River Woman by secretplanet

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Oil paints, marker pens, & prismacolour pencils (horrible things that break all the time!) in my sketchbook of secrets, A4 size.

“..Years later, somewhere in the middle of her life, the woman sat on the banks of the same river, wet with the vigors of the swim. The river’s undine appeared before her once again & began to speak.
“Did you know when you stepped into the river how deep & how fast the waters can run?”
“I didn’t know.” replied the woman.
“Did you know you could swim?”
“No.”
“You see?” the undine smiled kindly at her “Some strengths we find only when we are already in need of them!”

That was a little passage I found written on a scrap of paper, tucked into a book I’ve owned for years. I was cleaning up, going through my old things, & I’d forgotten all about it! I must have been 17 or 18 when I wrote it, back in the 80s. wow! It was like finding a letter from my teen self to my somewhere-in-the-middle-of-my-life self, & it brought a tear to my eye! I have this impression of myself being an absolute idiot at that age, but maybe I wasn’t so bad deep down..

So anyway, the model for both those figures was myself. I thought that was appropriate! I’m experimenting with the idea of fae folk being super sized instead of tiny. My husband wonders how the bottom half of her fits into that river, but I say she’s fae: how do we know she even HAS a bottom half!
BTW, if I ever stopped dying my hair I would probably be that grey by now: I started at 13! That’s another of my little secrets..

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river, undine, faerie, woman, midlife, swim

“Ria Gilham is a self taught artist with a remarkable eccentric realist style influenced by her medical training. Expressing her love of fantasy and tales of the imagination, her paintings appear as scenes from yet to be written legends.”
Betty Nolan, Nolan Art Hobart Tasmania

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Comments

  • LoneAngel
    LoneAngelalmost 2 years ago

    wonderful work .. many congrats on the feature

  • thankyou so much!

    – secretplanet

  • Luke Brannon
    Luke Brannonalmost 2 years ago


    Congratulations! You’ve been featured in Finks of Inks!

  • thankyou so much!

    – secretplanet

  • wormink
    worminkalmost 2 years ago

    reveiw be new the past graces the present wonderfull enjoy and create

  • Tammera
    Tammeraalmost 2 years ago

    stunning and superb….love it!!

  • Tammera
    Tammeraalmost 2 years ago


    Congratulations!! Stunning work..Deserving of a feature!!

  • thankyou! :)

    – secretplanet

  • LoneAngel
    LoneAngelalmost 2 years ago


    22.11.12

    stunning work .. many congrats on the feature

  • thankyou so much! :-D

    – secretplanet

  • Meg Ackerman
    Meg Ackermanalmost 2 years ago

    I love this piece! Great work. Congrats on being featured.

  • thankyou! :)

    – secretplanet

  • NightBloomer
    NightBloomerover 1 year ago

    This is wonderful, and your description is very moving! I like knowing the story behind it.

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