Getting a Painting of Kanumbra
In late-2012, I got an email from a person (Shirley Peters) who had been barging on a hire-boat in 2012 and who had found the Kanumbra website. The opening paragraphs of her email validated the reason why I constructed this website in the first place, and reinforced what we had heard from others who had contacted us:
"I have just finished reading (almost) your entire web site, and have found it very interesting and entertaining. It is so good that you have kept such a detailed record, as it will make my planning so much easier. I don't want to reinvent the wheel, and by finding blogs like yours, I hope many pitfalls can be avoided".
We exchanged a few emails, and I found out that she was a painter from Sydney, who had the dream of establishing a "floating studio" on a barge in France, where she could continue to do her paintings. Already, in her short trip in 2012, she had captured some of the beauty and spirit of some of the canal towns through which they had passed. I was particularly impressed with some of her intricate renditions of Nerac (a town on the Baise River with which I could easily fall in love) and her capture of the mood and lighting of bicycles in the rain.
She had also done a few barge paintings from photos, in which I was particularly interested.
So, after we had exchanged many more emails about barging and life in general, I asked Shirley if she would do a painting of Kanumbra moored at Moissac, using the photo on which the header to this website is based. She agreed to do so, and got to work. A couple of weeks later she sent through a picture of the painting so far, and asked if I had any comments or suggestions. I made a few comments and she then completed the painting. However, when she sent it through, she said she was not happy with the way it looked, and would prefer to start again from scratch and incorporate some of my suggestions from the start. A few weeks later, she sent though a picture of the second painting for comments. This second painting took account of my comments and was a much better representation of the situation. After a few little modifications and finishing touches, she sent the painting to me via Australia Post, and it now hangs proudly on our lounge room wall in Taggerty. It has given our friends a much better starting point for learning what we are up to on the canals, rather than having to sit through the obligatory photo album presentations on the computer!
Shirley, her husband and two friends are now booked in to do their Barge Handling Course with Noble Marine in Moissac in September 2013, and are keenly researching barges with a view to buying one of their own.
Note: reproductions of all paintings above are with the permission of Shirley Peters.