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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Cheeky Chimp

This cheeky chimp is from one of Gary's photos from Chester Zoo - I have a monthly challenge on my facebook art page to do a painting usually from one of Gary's photos and this chimp was the challenge this month - there have been some amazing paintings done of him and this is my version which I finally got round to the other night.  I was quite pleased with the eyes and mouth area but I rushed the rest of him unfortunately - I might touch him up a bit yet!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Red Shoes

Not my usual subject I know but boy did I enjoy painting these!  Anyone who knows me will know that you're more likely to see me in a pair of walking boots or trainers than a pair of shoes like this but it's nice to feel girly from time to time and I'd love a pair of shoes like these - even if it was only to look at.  This painting seems to have gone down well on facebook and as I enjoyed painting it so much and because I'm loving my new pigment perylene maroon I've decided to do a 'red shoe' series so be prepared for more killer heels on here!  This was painted for a challenge in the Loose Watercolour Group on Paint my Photo and there have been some super paintings - they're from an original photo by Freda Austin Nichols who takes some fabulous photos and generously shares them with artists copyright free. Lucky us!

Another challenge on Paint my Photo this month is to paint a flower in macro!  I needed something to decorate the space above my bed so I went for pinky, purpley colours to go with the colour scheme.

This was also from a PMP photo posted by a member called Trudi. And here it is in it's frame above the bed

I had a lovely message on my last post from a fellow blogger and wonderful artist called Maggie Latham. She saw a pair of red cardinals in her garden on the North Florida coast - she had never seen these birds in real life before and didn't realised you could find them in that part of America - she then just happened to check out my blog and lo and behold saw my painting of a red cardinal - what a lovely coincidence!  She even wrote about in her blog yesterday.  I'm at work tomorrow (booo) but hoping to get another blog post on which will be all about birds and a close encounter with a beautiful Eagle Owl.  Have a lovely day whatever you're up to!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Isle of Skye

As promised some photos from our trip to Skye, we were blessed with very good weather - but thankfully nowhere near as hot as the rest of the country has been! No wildlife photos unfortunately - see last post  - got plenty of seagulls though but I'll stick to the beautiful landscapes for this post!

An amazing landscape in the North of Skye near to where we camped, called the Quaraing, this strange landscape was formed from a series of landslides leaving the harder rock behind, forming huge pillars and rock formations.

The Old Man of Storr - it took 3 attempts to climb this to get this view from the ridge above - on the first two attempts the cloud came in and blocked the view just as we were nearing the top!  Got it in the end though!

This is taken from below the impressive Cuillin Ridge at a place known as the fairy pools - there were lots of people bathing in the pools and it was difficult to get a photo with noone in it!

 We took a boat trip from Elgol to visit the beautiful Loch Coruisk. This photo just doesn't give justice to the beauty of this place!

Eilean Donan Castle

On our drive back we stopped at Glencoe and climbed up into the Lost Valley, as I'd never been and have wanted to see this beautiful place for a long time!  I wasn't disappointed, wish we could have stayed longer!

And as I can't put a blog post on without a bit of art in it so here is one I've done recently, of a red cardinal - wouldn't it be lovely to have these gorgeous birds on our feeders here in the UK?

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

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Catching Up!

Oh dear I have been neglecting my blog lately!  Have got quite a bit of catching up to do which I'll try and do over a few posts, I'll start with our fabulous trip to the Isle of Skye - we went there camping for a week at the beginning of July - the weather wasn't as hot as it has been in the rest of the country but lovely and warm for Skye and it stayed dry which was great.  The wildlife watching was a big disappointment though - we had hoped to see White tailed sea eagles, otters, deer and golden eagles - we were lucky enough to spot a couple of golden eagles far off but none of the others despite paying for a guided wildlife tour and going on an organised boat trip where they feed the sea eagles - but sadly they weren't cooperating on the trip we went on.  We staked out a couple of known areas for otters - but no luck there either - I actually fell asleep at one point and just asked Gary to give me a nudge if he saw anything!  So while sitting in the tent one night I thought I'd just paint an otter instead - this was done in the tent and I've been intending to finish it since I've been home but not got round to it yet!

Another painting that is sitting on the easel waiting to be completed is this one of a siskin and goldfinch, from photos by Gary taken at the Dyfi Osprey project.

I'm still debating whether I should add a bit of a background to this, so any suggestions welcome!

A bit of good news to end this post - one of the paintings I entered into the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art was accepted and it sold within a few days!  I was thrilled to bits to have been accepted as it's supposed to be a difficult one to get into but to sell as well was fantastic!  Here is the painting, it's of some greylags in flight - quite loose as you can see

 - I have to tell you that when I rang my dad to let him know it had sold he said 'Really? I didn't think it was that good!'  - he doesn't really like my looser style and prefers realistic paintings.  For anyone who loves wildlife and loves art and who lives locally to the Wirral, get yourself down to Gordale Garden Centre as the exhibition is well worth a look - 400 paintings and sculptures to drool over  - it can also be viewed online HERE.

I'm off to browse through your lovely blogs now - sorry I've not been around and I know I'll have missed loads, have a wonderful weekend and I'll be back soon with some piccies from the Isle of Skye.