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Saturday, 24 November 2012

Barn Owl complete

I've made a bit of room in my blogger storage which such keep me going another few posts before I have to pay for extra storage (very annoying!!) I'm now resizing photos before I upload to minimize space - thanks again for the advice I was given in the last post.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Barn Owl Update and New Blog

When I first tried to upload this barn owl update I received a lovely message telling me I've run out space and have used my 1GB allowance for photos and telling me I have to pay to upgrade my storage - what is that all about?? I've only been blogging since July - well it seems I've been uploading large files and have run out of space pretty quickly - I've deleted a few photos which I know are not linked to blogger so I got enough space to add the barn owl - looks like I'll have to buy some more space now if I want to continue  - anyone else had this problem?  Thank you so much for the replies below and the link from Claire, much appreciated!

In the meantime Gary and I have started a blog just about our walks in Snowdonia, the Lake District and beyond.  It's called Two Pairs of Boots so if you'd like to follow our walks pop over, Gary's put the first post on this evening about today's walk from Abergwyngregin


Comments welcome as always especially if you know anything about this storage thing!!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Happy Birthday little bruv!

Doing what he loves
© Sharon Whitley

It was my little brother's 40th birthday at the weekend - so actually not so little any more! - but to me he'll always be my 'little' brother - even though he towers above me.  He's as mad on mountain biking as I am on hiking and art so as a birthday card I painted this watercolour of him on his mountain bike.  It was a bit rushed and even though the legs are not right and the wheel is a bit wobbly I quite like it overall - and it certainly made a change from birds!   Not done any more on the barn owl, will hopefully have time to work on it tomorrow, hope you're all having a great day!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Waxwings and more from the Wildlife Event

I was thrilled on Friday when I got to see the waxwings for myself - not the most exotic of places, Deeside Industrial Park!  We soon found them - there were a few serious photographers already lined up with their huge lenses on tripods ready to photograph the waxwings as they flew down to feed on the Rowan berries.  There was also an artist there sketching the birds in preparation for doing a painting in acrylics - he said he doesn't do watercolour - too difficult lol!  As always Gary got some spectacular shots of them and hope you like the selection I've posted here....

Here are a few more photos from the wildlife event that was held at the shopping centre on Saturday where I sat painting the barn owl.  It was nice to actually have a real barn owl there too!

It was lovely talking to passers by who stopped to watch and ask questions, including quite a few children who said they'd like to be artists when they grow up so if I gave them just a little bit of encouragement I'd be very happy - it's certainly something I'd enjoy doing again.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Barn Owl update

I did some more work on the barn owl today while I was doing a painting demo at a small wildlife event at Birchwood Shopping Centre.  There were birds of prey at the event which attracted lots of people - and also nest box building by Risley Moss - I had some lovely comments by passers by and one lovely lady asked if she could buy it when it was finished so Barny has been sold - I have to say though I'd got quite attached to him so I'll have to paint another for myself!  Still got the tree branch and background to complete on this one first though!

Oh and before I go ... the waxwing hunt was successful - we went straight to Deeside Industrial Park, 10 minutes drive from home and there they were next to the Triumph building in Zone 2. I was thrilled to see them, loads of them - such beautiful birds - photos to follow in the next post and more photos from todays wildlife event.

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend whatever you're doing!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Another waxwing (sorry!)

© Sharon Whitley

Seems I just can't stay away from painting birds!   The waxwing invasion is causing quite a stir among the birding community as these beautiful birds search for their favourite berries from the Rowan tree - they won't be around for long so I'm just hoping they'll stick around til Friday so I can get a chance to see this wonderful spectacle.

I'm a little bit excited about finally starting a painting that has been on the drawing board waiting to paint for quite some time now  - and I've been avoiding making a start - the beautiful barn owl - I'm taking my time over this one - it's started off quite well, I've done the eyes and happy with them - just hope I don't ruin it now!!   Here is is so far.........hopefully you can tell it's a barn owl!

and finally just for a bit of fun here's a sock monkey - I know a bit random but that's me!

Sock Monkey
© Sharon Whitley

Have a wonderful day whatever it is you're doing xx

Monday, 12 November 2012

Wonderful Waxwings

© Sharon Whitley

I'm pretty excited about the invasion of waxwings we're having over here at the moment from Scandinavia - apparently lots seen in areas not far from me in North Wales - all in very strange places - Industrial Estates, streets, superstores etc. all after the berries from the lovely Rowan tree.  Gary was lucky enough to photograph them up in Barrow, near Clitheroe at the weekend while he was up there - I missed out unfortunately but we're off on a Waxwing hunt on our day off on Friday - to B&Q in Llandudno of all places!   In the meantime I thought I'd do a quick painting of one from one of Gary's fabulous photos which you can see on his blog.  Here's a little taster to tempt you................

Absolutely beautiful birds and really hope I get to see them for real on Friday at B&Q!

I've also been busy painting a couple of pet portraits for commissions for Christmas presents so obviously can't show them here until after Christmas but the owners are really pleased with them so I'm very happy!

Have a wonderful day and please leave a comment so I know you've popped by!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Painting Watercolour Christmas Cards

Christmas is drawing ever closer and over the last couple of evenings I've been spending a bit of my spare time painting watercolour Christmas cards based on a frosty robin painting I did recently

I've been enjoying painting these little cards - nice and relaxing - no two robins are the same and each card is unique, then I decided to try some snowdrops cards

and can you spot the holly card below....

...I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that robins are my favourite to paint though ...... have a lovely day everyone

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Now for something completely different.....

After painting nothing but birds for the last few weeks I'm having a play around with other subjects - so as Autumn is well and truly with us I thought I'd start with a little study of conkers.

Bonkers about Conkers
© Sharon Whitley

As some of you reading this will know from my last couple of  posts I've been away for a few days walking in the Lake District with Gary and despite it being rather a mixed bag weather wise we got some wonderful walks in, starting with the beautiful Cadair Idris on Saturday where we had great weather...

The glaciated bowl of Llyn Cau

Cadair Idris summit - Penygadair

We did a round of the Coniston Fells on Monday - 5 more Wainwrights completed and again, pretty good weather for most of the I am on Grey Friar, with the mighty Scafells behind me.

Grey Friar with a Scafells backdrop

One of the things I always love seeing when walking in the Lake District are the local sheep, especially the tough Herdwicks or Herdys as they are more affectionately is a particularly cute one....

 and I've also got a soft spot for can you not love this face!

Both of these are contenders for future paintings, hopefully sooner rather than later so watch this space!

We ended our stay in the Lake District with a visit to Loweswater where we stayed with the lovely Ann and Roger Hiley of Loweswatercam  fame.  Here they are with a drawing I did of their dogs Harry and Bethan.  Take a look at their website to get to know them better and maybe buy one of their calenders (we did) in aid of Mountain Rescue.

The Hileys made us feel so welcome and really looked after us, freshly made bread, home made soup before a wet and windy walk up Low Fell (enabling me to tick off my 80th Wainwright fell) and a wonderful Greek themed supper - the first thing I did when I got home was get the bread maker out which has been hidden away in the cupboard for the last few years!

Holly enjoyed meeting Bethan and Harry, here they are on Low Fell looking down over Crummock Water

Thank you for reading and don't forget to leave a comment so I know you've popped by - have a wonderful day!