Rob Hainsworth has been volunteering with us for years and could be occasionally be spotted sketching away. This week he shared the results with us and we just love them – so atmospheric and full of energy, capturing the spirit of working by the river and how the passers-by watch our efforts. Below Rob has written a few words about what prompted him to illustrate our work.
‘As a 17 year old country lad I went to art college in Edinburgh for almost a whole year before dropping out… distracted by “sex drugs and rock and roll….. It was the 60s…I’ve been intending to do some illustration for a while, inspired by my eldest daughter, an artist who recently had a couple of graphic novels published. I last did some illustration about 40 years ago but didn’t then have a story to turn into comic strip and was trying and failing to make up one of my own… Then life got in the way until recently, when I was looking for more engaging activity at home. I researched and illustrated “The Famous Tay Whale” by William McGonagall… A fascinating story but a poem so bad that my artwork couldn’t spoil it… A very successful try out of any skill I still had. After that I was looking for at various possible subjects to illustrate and it occurred to me that Water of Leith volunteers worked in some very photogenic and often quite dramatic work settings… I particularly like the way that volunteers sometimes almost disappear into foliage and sometimes group together to give an intense focus. I also like to show “Life going on” (ie. Water of Leith footpath users.. walkers, cyclists, dogs, etc.). I’m intending to do the most recognisable locations and to show all our different activities. I want to get more wildlife into the illustrations.‘
by Rob Hainsworth
(This article was originally posted on our old site in August 2018)