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Tuesday, 27 August 2013


I think birds like ostriches and emus are such characters and have been meaning to paint one for a while particularly after seeing them painted by other artists who've done a fantastic job of them so finally got to have a go.  It's from a photo by Gary Jones but can't remember where it was taken.

I'm thinking of getting the acrylics out today and have another go at them - I tried a couple of times but found them difficult to work with so we'll see what happens!

Sunday, 25 August 2013


© Sharon Whitley

© Sharon Whitley

I'm making the most of my time recuperating by painting - keeps me from climbing the walls - can't wait to get back out in those hills but at least I have another passion which isn't so physical and I can do indoors!  With these two I wanted to try and capture the texture of elephants skin but in a loose way - as you know I'm not one for detail and like to splash it about!  Also wanted to capture the elephants emotions - elephants are known for having emotions - I believe all animals do to be honest but elephants are known for their strong family bonds and for having fun so the top one I've called Eleluv and the bottom one Elefun - hope you like them.

I have to say a big big thank you for those of you who visited my daughter's blog and left lovely, encouraging comments - it really made her day and she's put another post on with her favourite animal, the wolf for those of you who'd like to pop over and have a look here's the link

Friday, 23 August 2013

Scottish Wildcat

Being a bit of a watercolour nut, I rarely use other mediums but I do have pastels and pastel pencils and thought this Scottish Wildcat would work with pastels so I gave it a go - it takes a lot longer than watercolour and my fingers were dusty and aching by the end of it - I don't know if I use pastels 'correctly' but then again I don't know if I use watercolours 'correctly' either!  I just do what works for me.  I'd like to learn a bit more about working with pastels though so if there are any pastel artists reading this who can help with any tips please let me know!  This Scottish Wildcat is from a photograph taken by Dave Webb who was lucky enough to photograph these gorgeous creatures in Aberdeenshire recently - he actually saw three of them which is amazing considering there are thought to be less than 50 left in the wild.  I had to paint it, such a beautiful creature still native to the UK but seriously endangered.  We hear so much about the plight of big cats such as tigers yet little about our native big cat here in the UK which is very nearly extinct.  More should be done to save this beautiful animal.

My daughter Sian has posted to her blog recently, she doesn't post very often but she has some photos she's quite proud of which she took at the Zoo recently - it would be lovely if you could pop over and leave her a comment - it really makes her day when she gets visits!

 Thank you!

I'm hoping to get a bit of extra painting in as I'm recuperating from an operation so it's a good excuse to sit and paint as I can't do much else really at the mo!   Can't wait to get out and about again though, with one thing and another we haven't been out walking for weeks, and all this lovely weather we've been having too, typical!  Hope you're all fine and dandy where you are, take care!  Sharon xx

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


© Sharon Whitley 

I love tigers, who doesn't?  Gary asked me to paint this from his amazing photo of Kirana taken at Chester Zoo.  I love the composition of this, the way it is cropped in, all Gary's work, I just copied it! The stripes drove me a bit doolally though!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013


Gary and I have finally got round to launching a joint website with the view of hopefully selling from it - it seems to have taken ages to set up but it's nearly there now - just  few tweaks here and there - if you'd like to take a look here is the link ....

Most of my paintings are of course from photographs by Gary but there are some that have been painted from other photographers in which case I have made sure I've credited them - so many artists these days rely on photographs generously provided by the wonderful photographers out there and certainly deserve to be credited whenever possible.  So take a look and let me know what you think and if you can think of any improvementS or tweaks then any advice would be gratefully accepted!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


Latest commission - I love labradors and as you may know I have a black labrador myself - first time I've painted a chocolate labby though!  I had the pleasure of meeting him when him and his owner came to pick up the painting.  She also sent me this lovely message

I just want to say thank you so much again for Scouts portrait, I still can't believe how life like it is! you've captured everything so perfectly! I will certainly be recommending you to people I meet who want a portrait of their dogs

How lovely is that?

and here is Scout himself with his owner and the painting  - he doesn't look overly impressed!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Life is for living!

It's definitely been a week to remember - or one I'd rather forget!  The week started off very nicely with a trip to Blackpool Zoo - lovely sunny day, walking around the zoo without a care in the world.  Gary mentioned being tired on the way home but thought nothing of it - in the middle of the night he woke up with severe chest pains. After ringing the doctor, we were advised to call an ambulance and he was taken to hospital with a suspected heart attack - in A&E he fell into unconsciousness - I've never seen so many people react so swiftly - the crash team were amazing and brought him back round but it was such a shock - after many many tests it was finally confirmed that he hadn't had a heart attack but has an infection in his heart.  He's now home and resting but it certainly confirms to us a philosophy that we both share anyway - life is for living, do what you love and love what you do because you just don't know what's round the corner.  So once he's fit and well again we'll be back up those hills, exploring the nature and wildlife around us and relishing time with family and friends.  

When I got home from the hospital I came across a great blog post shared by Diana Wallace who is a fellow art nut!  Her post struck a chord because we do so often make a big deal out of things that in the whole scheme of things really don't deserve the effort, I do it myself sometimes - we make mountains out of molehills for no reason   Take a read - it makes sense! What happened to Gary of course was a big deal but thank goodness it turned out to not be as serious as initially feared and he'll be right as rain in no time! 

Luckily he enjoys watching me paint so in between telling him off for doing too much I'm  getting the brushes out.  This was painted as a commission for a work colleague and is a gift for her father who owns the two cats.

So, fellow bloggers, hopefully you're all having a great day with no nasty shocks and enjoying this wonderful gift of life we have!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Baby Swallows

Another of my favourite birds - love watching the parents feeding their babies, and swallows in flight are wonderful to watch!  The babies are sooo cute too!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Avocet pure and simple

I love the simple lines and pattern of this beautiful bird - and I wanted to keep the painting simple too. You've just got to love these birds! This is painted from a photo by Gary Jones who needs to get his blog up to date!

© Sharon Whitley

Have had a couple of lovely trips to Chester Zoo lately where we (or Gary!) got some great photos of the tiger cubs and cheetah cubs.  Yesterday we went to Knowsley Safari Park - I haven't been there since I was a child, wonderful driving through the lions, rhinos etc. and then off to watch the Sealion show and the Bird of Prey displays.  Definitely recommend it for a family day out!