The Royal Jubilee


My first watercolour painting captures the moment around four o'clock when the Royal Barge approached Southwark Bridge, with the City, including the distinctive Gherkin, on the left and the new Shard Tower on the right, disappearing into low cloud.


The second painting is a narrower view showing the barge Gloriana at Southwark Bridge followed by the cavalcade of rowing boats.


The third painting is a view across the Millennium Bridge towards St Pauls with one of the painters in the foreground together with one of the many police officers on duty that day.


As a watercolourist, the delights and drawbacks of en plein air painting rapidly became apparent. We had an artistís dream view of this historic spectacle but the wind often blew easels over, hands became clumsily cold holding the brushes and the damp conditions meant that watercolour washes took an inordinate time to dry. I realised before the event that capturing the moving panorama of boats would be impossible in the short time they would be in my view so I took an iPad to photograph the parts of the Pageant I wanted to include in my paintings.


In spite of the weather, it was the most memorable en plein air painting experiences of my life.