'The Heart of the Canal Network' , the last painting from our stay in Birmingham.A found a good pulpit to view the mixed landscape from, stood up at the top of the old ramp leading to the cast iron footbridge. The vista was complicated and of interest right the way round, so I have attempted to condense a 270 degree view into a rectangular canvas, enjoyed skewing and manipulating the space. The scene contained a lot of themes I have been enjoying exploring with water reflection, dramatic near and far, obvious passages and routes for the eye on several levels above and below our vantage point. Also of interest Was the contrast of architecture, and some colourful elements with the glimpse of cafe culture and the bright boats in the marina, all coming off a central pontoon like a fern leaf.
I was greeted after only 15 minutes of setting up with a cup of tea from a resident boater in the basin, a Mr David who is a columnist for a few canal publications including Canals Rivers and Boats. There cannot be many city centre locations where you can stand and a stranger will bring you a cup of tea. Mr David wasn't the only resident to come and chat, there seems to be a photographer in every other boat in the Basin and a genuinely creative vibe amongst the boaters.