I have been doing a lot of painting and rather less updating of the blog lately, getting a collection of paintings together for my Ilminster Exhibition – ‘A Westcountry Bestiary’. Another one I finished early this year and have yet to show you is this: “The Fairy Barge”. Don’t ask where this odd little group sprang from, I couldn’t tell you, I simply started off with the idea of a barge (as in a flat-bottomed boat suitable for shallow waterways) travelling along the drainage ditches and rivers of The Levels. Of course they are not usually spotted, because they are fairy barges. Swans can see them though.
This is a royal barge, of course. As to the motives of the Fairy Queen and whether she is overly fond of swan feathers, I leave that to your judgement.
Painted in watercolour (mostly Prussian Blue), with a few details finished in gold leaf and shell gold. Shell gold, if you are wondering, is astonishingly expensive gold watercolour paint which is made entirely of pure gold, bound together with a little gum Arabic. I bought a quarter pan once, for I think about £40 our of sheer curiosity. I don’t think I’d buy it again, it is not really as impressive as its price tag, but I do get a certain satisfaction in using only real gold paint if I am mixing it with gold leaf as well. One day, when I run out, I may attempt to make more out of the left over dust and floaty bits from the gold leaf I have saved over the years.