As part of the process of collecting preparatory material for paintings for my solo show in London next year, I decided to take a walk along the Thames embankment at Bermondsey at dusk.
The view back upriver has Tower Bridge with the sun setting behind it, with the Shard to the left, and the dome of St Pauls appearing on the right the further you walk down the curve of the river bank. I thought that this was an image which I'd like to explore, with the interplay between the natural and man-made landscape, and the lovely graphic elements of the buildings, the shoreline, the cranes, the boats and the water.
I like to take an 'essay' of photographs from which to refer, in this case capturing what it felt like as the evening progressed and the sun slowly set. In doing this, I am creating a narrative of my own experience. I was watching how the light and the colours changed, clouds moved, changing relationships between the passing boats and the buildings, exploring different angles and compositions, different textural qualities, the interplay of all the elements.
When I am back in the studio I will be using these images as visual notes and reference points as part of the process of making the final oil paintings.
So come with me on a walk along the embankment at Bermondsey on a chilly evening in May. it's very very quiet, and there's hardly anyone else around.....