A view of the Thames Valley from the Oratory Boathouse near Hardwick on Thames, Pangbourne. It was just before Christmas and two scullers in a Double scull had had an early row and were drifting back in to the pontoon. The muted light at this time of the year hide subtleties, that if you look for them, a whole pallet of ochres, reds and blues emerge. The river is high and it seems to breathe with a murky life of its own. The paintwork is expressive and free flowing using brushes and pallet knives.