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As kingfishers catch fire


50x50cm painting of a Thames kingfisher in ink and watercolour on a textured background, finished with cold wax and framed in a simple black tray frame.

Availability: 1 in stock

As kingfishers catch fire: ink and watercolour on canvas

It is such a thrill to see a flash of blue as you walk by the Thames, but before you can even form the word ‘kingfisher’ in your head, let alone point it out to a companion, it is gone. Occasionally, I have been lucky enough to see one, just perched on a branch while out in the kayak, but usually, I am busy trying to avoid falling in.

My mind always turns to this wonderful poem, but the truth is I can only remember the first line, so I have painted this kingfisher instead, to capture that thrill.

I textured my canvas with tissue paper to capture the watery ripples of the river, and then painted the kingfisher in ink and watercolour, before sealing it with a cold wax and buffing it to a gently sheen. It is framed in a simple black tray frame. I have put a photo of the close up detail to show the texture on the canvas. You might also like this pair of kingfishers. They would look lovely hung together in a larger space, or on their own.

As kingfishers catch fire

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.
I say móre: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces