Follow by Email

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Wildlife Studies for 2015

One of the things I love to do as an artist is to paint the wildlife that Gary and I see on our travels - it started a couple of years ago when I started to paint the birds that visited the garden - as a record of what I saw and since then my art has been mainly focussed on painting birds and other wildlife that I see throughout the year using photos taken as a reference. I've said  this before that there is something extra special about painting something that you've had a memorable experience of because you relive the moment as you're painting it.  This year I thought it would be really nice to record these sightings in more of a journal style, writing notes about the experience and giving information about the subject - like a diary to look back on - so that's my main aim for this year - to produce an artist's diary recording the wildlife sightings and experiences of the year.  I'm sure I'll be doing the odd 'proper' painting as well - but I hope you'll enjoy sharing our wildlife sightings with us through my paintings this year - it will also give me an incentive to keep this blog up to date which I've neglected terribly again lately!  I've already done 3 of the types of studies I'm talking about - this first one records the many turnstones we saw earlier this month on Criccieth beach on the West coast of Wales - we made 2 visits to this beach and both times these turnstones were busily feeding amongst the seaweed covered rocks and sandy beach - beautiful little waders and a real pleasure to paint - here is the resulting diary page

We also saw lots of oystercatchers on the same beach, also busily feeding and more timid than the turnstones, flying away long before we got near them - I managed to get some lovely views while sitting quietly on a rock, watching them through the binoculars and getting some decent photographs with a long lens.  Here are the studies I did of these lovely waders, so easy to recognise with their bold black and white markings and bright red/orange beaks.

The next set of studies is from a visit to the high tide on the Wirral last Friday - the high tide pushes a variety of waders close to the shore, namely knot, sanderling and the odd dunlin - they are not spectacular looking birds with their dullish brown and grey plumage but when there are thousands of them in coordinated flight together, landing to form a carpet of grey and with the sound that goes with them it's a wonderful spectacle to behold.  Here are some little studies of some of the birds that were close enough to get photos of

Thank you for looking in - and I'd love to hear what you think of this way of recording our wildlife experiences