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Living in the Northern Hemisphere, January is not a good time for me as an artist. The days are too cold so it is not very pleasant getting out walking let alone painting. And because they are also so short, there is less daylight in my studio and I much prefer natural daylight for working. I have all the usual aids like daylight lamps etc but they are just not the same. Now I know there are plenty of hardy souls getting up at sunrise and heading off for the wide blue yonder who will be wondering what I am moaning about. Good luck to them but it is not for me – I am definitely not a morning person. So here’s a summer painting to cheer us all up a bit. That was more like it. We had discovered this delightful spot by chance while looking for a place to stop and enjoy some fish and chips one evening. I just had to come back and paint it. My last blog was about my best ever painting. For me this is definitely one of them. It just captures the essence of the quintessential English countryside on a lazy summer’s afternoon. I didn’t get wet feet because the stream turns sharply so I was able to relax on the bank and enjoy the day. The strange tree shape is the focus but there were lots more going on that I had to try and capture particularly with the water. It is a fast running stream which had lovely ethereal reflections. It is also crystal clear which meant that under the shadows of the overhanging trees you could see the bottom of it. Interesting because it meant I could introduce the same colour of the river bank into the water to give a nice harmonious tone to the foreground. Add the shadows for some nice contrast and bluer tones in the background to invite you in and all done….except for the ducks. I have to admit that over the years I have had a few ‘issues’ with adding wild life to my paintings so was a bit reluctant this time. However they are such an integral part of the scene that I just had to bite the bullet and go for it. Happily I think they turned out fine but I stuck with just these two rather than tempt fate by adding any more. This painting has never been on public display but hangs on my bedroom wall being the first thing I see when I awake each morning so it’s always summer in our house.