Sunday, January 30, 2011

In the garden today..

Blackbirds, Collared Doves, Great Tits, Chaffinches.
A new bird visited the garden today, or I should say a family .. of long-tailed tits.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Art Class

Work in Progress

I had a great lesson today.
Drawing with Indian Ink using bamboo, a glass pen, a quill made from a swan feather, and a twig from an apple tree.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I love looking at other artists' work and skineart is a great place to visit.  The subscribers have such a varied approach and style, it's really inspiring.

Each month it hosts a theme challenge .... January "Your basket might overload", which gives you a focus for your scribbles.  

How many roles do we play in life?

January Theme Challenge! Your basket might overload

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Something to look forward to ...

When you're day at working isn't turning out great, it's always good to have something to look forward to.  What would you look forward to?

My list would look something like this:

1.  An evening spent with my family
2.  Bright blue skies
3.  A walk in the countryside away from the grime of the city
4.  Tea and cake with friends
5.  Tranquil moments
6.  A redundancy cheque!

Sometimes we cling onto the known in fear of the unknown,
regardless of how it makes us feel.
Perhaps we should think of the excitement of a new adventure,
and let go!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Coombe Hill Wood, Glastonbury

We visit this wood, maybe, three times a year and I don't really know why we don't come more often.  It's a managed wood and has Oak, Elm, and Birch trees and all kinds of wildlife - badgers and rabbits included.

I always get drawn to the Oak trees.  The smaller ones in the woods have been their over two hundred years, but there is a really large one that must be much older than that.  I often wonder what sights this tree will have seen and witnessed over the years.  How people lived and used the woods.  This old Oak tree must have been planted around the early 18th century.

As always, I collected treasure to bring home and draw. 
A branch from an Oak tree that has blown off, some very tiny shells, and small feathers from a hungry animal's feast.

Friday, January 21, 2011

On my walk today....

Great Tit, Fieldfare, Redwing, Blackbird, Starlings, and Magpies all sharing the skies and the fields.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Facing the Wind

I was fascinated by the view across the field on Sunday.  All these birds were facing the same way, into the wind.  I think they thought if they were perched face onto the wind, there was less likelihood of being blown off.   

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lino Print - Ink Pot - Stage 3

Initial print to get a build up of ink on the lino block.

All that is left to do now is keep rolling on the ink and taking prints until I am happy with the finished one.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Sand Print

The waves rush over me in their excitement to get to the pebbles on the beach. The sound it makes as it rushes over the pebbles makes ripples go up and down my spine. I move only with the tide, one line at a time,  Once I was alive, now I am embossed on the sand. What am I?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lino Print - Ink Pot - Stage 2

I find this part of the process quite therapeutic.  This stage involves cutting away all the parts of the lino cut that you don't want to load with paint and print.

Rather than have the ink pot on its own, I decided to give it a background and foreground.  These parts of the print I wanted to be quite angular as the ink pot is round.

There is a fantastic artist that lives locally who produces the most wonderful prints using lino and wood.  Check out her website here  Something to aspire to.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lino Print - Ink Pot

A new project today.

I'm using the ink pot sketch as a starting point to produce a linocut print.

Drawing the picture on the lino

Friday, January 7, 2011

Small Pleasures No 4 - Birds

I was woken up at 4.00am by the sound of the rain, initially forecast as snow, but that had moved on up the country.  As I tried to get back to sleep, I kept thinking of the hare I had drawn yesterday and in my head a story of a hare and a crow began to take shape.  Finally, I drifted back to sleep in the forest.

The rain has been a frequent companion today, and the birds have kept away from the garden in sheltered spots.   At lunchtime, however, there was a break and I grabbed Mr P and the camera and went for a walk.  I couldn't make my mind up about the camera at first, because of the rain, but I'm glad I was remembered of all the other times that I have missed a good photo opportunity.

The birds were also taking advantage of the break in the rain and the birdsong was truly uplifting.  The usual suspects about; sparrows, starlings, pigeon, collared doves.

However, I took my small pleasures on two counts; the first is the closest I have ever been to a Buzzard (that is a live one!).  As I walked past one of the old oak trees, he suddenly broke cover and flew across the field. He could only have been 3 metres away from me at the beginning and he was beautiful.  After I fumbled with my camera (being totally unprepared and lost in thought!), I managed to get a few pictures.

The second small pleasure was a very bold little robin who was singing at the top of his voice, and looking very smug in the tree.  

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sharing the spoils from the feeder

We don't get many starlings in our garden, but yesterday we had an influx of about fifteen.
I think starlings are a very attractive bird, it's a shame farmers have an aversion to them. 
Whilst out walking with my farmer friend last week, she explained that the loud distressed bird call, I could hear, was a recording of starlings warning other starlings to stay away.  However, she said it was ineffective as they just got used to it.

It was great to see the sparrows went afraid to come and get their share of the spoils from the feeders.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Negative Spaces, Positive Forms

Photo of Lunn's Hill wood taken on 31st December 2010

A study of negative spaces, positive forms - number 1

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Fossil Hunting at Lyme Regis

These are ammonites, amongst the best known fossils.  They became extinct over 140 million years ago.

In Whitby, England, the fossils were once thought to represent coiled serpents that had been beheaded and turned to stone by the Saxon abbess St Hilda.  In order to maintain this legend, snakes' heads were commonly carved on fossil ammonites sold to tourists in the area.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A nature lesson in tonal values

Imagine yourself using a pencil instead of a paintbrush to draw everything.  What this does is to train your eyes to see the value gradation.

Take a book with your favorite paintings. Scan the color images and convert them to gray scale. Comparing the gray with the original will help you see how painters plan their value patterns.