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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Bird Watercolours

I apologise in advance for this blatant plug but I recently painted a series of small bird watercolours which are available at £10.00 each unframed (each approx 5x3 inches ish)- I keep getting told they are too cheap for originals so if you fancy one get in there quick before I decide to up the price!! If preferred they can be bought framed at £20 (plus p&p).  Here is what is still available, if interested you can contact me on

I sometimes get sent photos from people who have bought my artwork showing me how they look hanging in their new home and it's always lovely to see! Here is one from a lady who bought a few of these small watercolours, displayed together.

There you go plug over!!  

Still enjoying learning about photography and took these photos of a couple of beautiful Canada Geese at our local pond on Friday.  Hope you like them - I'll be painting one of these in the near future I think

Monday, 17 March 2014

A new passion?

I've always enjoyed photography but only ever had a small point and click so as far as photographing wildlife is concerned they're a bit limited.  So up to now all our outdoor experiences and in particular wildlife experiences have been captured through Gary's lens and I've used his photos to paint from.  I think any artist would say that given the choice they would prefer to paint from their own life experiences - you can't beat it, as you relive the moment as you're painting, you experience a different feeling when painting something you've experienced.  That's not to say I don't enjoy painting from other people's photos as I love that too, a photo can trigger something in me and inspire me to want to paint it, like when I saw a kingfisher for the first time but didn't get a photo so used one of Gary's old ones - I hadn't been there when he took the photo but the emotions I felt when I saw my first kingfisher went into the painting. Some of the photos I've used from PMP have given me enormous pleasure to paint,  whether it be for a challenge or because a photo has reminded me of a place or a time etc.  and I love seeing the subject come to life in front of me - not that I always like the end result! - but I will have enjoyed the process.   So the emotions can be there whether or not you have actually been there at the time.   

Anyway I'm in the very lucky position of having a very good teacher and a good camera to start my journey into DSLRing! So not only will I be having the experiences I will be capturing the images through my own lens (well Gary's borrowed lens!!)  He generally uses a Nikon D3 but has kept hold of his old D300 so the other week I asked him if he could teach me how to use it and I'm loving every minute.    I went out yesterday on my own to have a practice and was delighted to come across 2 Mute swans in a beautiful courtship display so got a few shots of that and I tried to get some shots of flapping ducks - this is the only one I managed and it was a bit of a fluke!

So you can expect art AND photography posts from now on hopefully - I've finally got into the watermark thing too, something I should have started ages ago!!!!   

On the bottom of each of my blog posts at the moment you'll find a link to the charity wildlife ebook Gary and I are both part of. Everyone involved in the book has volunteered their work and time to put it together and all proceeds go to the South West Deer Rescue Centre

Here is a link to my post about it  

If you haven't already please consider buying this book - it's a wonderful book and only costs about the same as a coffee and it will make such a difference to the deer centre.  

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Wildlife Art and Photography Book

Red deer stag
Watercolour painting by Sharon Whitley

I know that many of my fellow bloggers are wildlife and nature lovers and hope that you'll be interested in this post.

Gary and I feel very privileged to be part of a charity ebook which is available worldwide on Amazon for the kindle, kindle apps and kindle reader on the pc.  It features wildlife artwork and photography from all over the world with an account of the inspiration and thought processes behind each painting and photo provided by the artist/photographer. It includes 2 paintings of mine (please don't let that put you off though, there's plenty from other artists too!!)  and a few of Gary's wildlife photos.  It also includes 2 step by step watercolour demonstrations by the super talented Maria Balcells.  Not only is it a wonderful book but it's for a very, very worthy cause, the South West Deer Rescue Centre. Every penny of the royalties from this book will go to the cause and the book itself is currently available at the reduced price of £1.29 or $2.15 for a limited period until the price goes up, that's less than the price of a coffee!

"The South West Deer Rescue & Study Centre was started by Mike Gage, who has been involved with deer management and conservation for over 35 years, and has built a true bond with all of the SWDRC residents. Caring for orphaned and injured deer of all species, he is the true deer whisperer and relayed tales of sitting in the middle of fields waiting for the deer to surround him. This has enabled him to understand and build a trust with these animals. Mike is a well-known character on Exmoor and indeed, he has some Exmoor deer at the centre; he will not release these deer back to the wild for fear of them being shot or poached . One of his stags has an impressive 31 points on the antlers and is a true giant of an animal. What is even more amazing is the fact that Mike receives no funding of any kind and uses his pension and savings to feed the deer. You can book to visit the centre and it is completely free"

Here is a link to a review of the book on Judith Farnworth's blog   Her otter painting is also featured in the book.

So I urge you to please consider buying for your kindle or pc - there's no reason not to at that price and you will be making such a difference to the deer and to Mike!

I've also donated the above painting to the cause which is currently receiving offers - the painting will go to the highest bidder so if you like it please consider making a bid, you never know you might be the highest bidder, it's an original watercolour mounted in a 12 x 10 inch mount.

Here is a link to buy the book in the UK  Buy a Book, Feed a Deer (UK Amazon)
and in the US  Buy a Book Feed a Deer (US Amazon)
and in Australia  Buy a Book Feed a Deer (Australia Amazon)

and to make an offer on the deer painting please email to

Click here to go to the South West Deer Rescue Website

Thank you for reading and hope you can help!