The First Swallow Returns
by Gill Bustamante BA Fine Art
Oils on canvas
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The First Swallow Returns is a 40x40x1.5 inches oil on canvas painting showing a solitary swallow arriving back to her English meadow in springtime. Grasses and white meadow flowers are in the foreground and through them you just catch glimpses of a river which meanders diagonally from right to left and into the fields beyond. The sky is blue and the sun streams across from the right. The feel of the painting is one of relief and optimism as the return of the swallows from Africa heralds spring and summer in England. This painting was inspired by a stretch of the river Medway that you can walk from Fordcombe, near Tunbridge Wells (postcode TN3 0RS). I walk there often as it sits in a wide river plain with gentle hills of the Kent Weald on each side of it. The river is not large at this point and there are lots of wildflowers along the edges. Swallows like the river as they can swoop low over it gathering insects. It is art nouveau and contemporary in style made by building layers of paint up over several weeks. It has wide white edges and is ready to hang.