Old Helensburgh

Apr 6th, 2024

Old Helensburgh

I’ve been doing some more painting. My latest project was going to be based on a picture of Helensburgh R saw on a heritage website about passenger transport on the Clyde.  The plan was to do a kind of blend between two pictures – the old and the new.

This is the old photo – cleaned up a bit from the original.  I think it is c. 1880 to 1890.  It can’t be before 1873 because that was when the Henry Bell Monument was built, or much after 1890 because there are no street lights, and in a later photo I have from 1902 there are what I presume to be gas lights.

This is the same view taken a couple of years ago.  I was going to take one myself but it was pouring with rain the last time I was there so I got this one from the Internet.  When I am back on my feet I will try to get the exact same angle.


Anyway – I decided not to do the blend because on balance I don’t see what the new picture is bringing to the party apart from colour. There are ugly street lights, ugly cars and a very ugly sports centre instead of the nice Victorian bandstand. So I am doing a painting based on just the Victorian picture, but adding colour and some imagined features like a little boy flying a kite and a baker’s van.
I’ve bought some new untextured watercolour paper because the textured stuff (what I would call ordinary watercolour paper) doesn’t work that well with the combination of watercolour pencils and ink which I am trying out.

Anyway, all this gives me something vaguely productive to do while I am wheelchair bound.