|A lone puffin we saw at Bempton Cliffs at the end of March - in a variety of poses!|
Still finding it hard to find time to blog but determined to keep it going if only intermittently as my own little diary of what I do for me to look back on. The wildlife journalling is still ongoing although it's slowed down a lot - not that I'm not getting out and about in the countryside with the camera - I've been doing lots of that and enjoying every minute of it - but having time to paint what I've seen has been another matter! Any painting time I've had has been taken up with commissions as I've had a run of them lately but I've also been busy enjoying the lighter Spring evenings taking Holly out for longer walks - feel so sorry for her being cooped up in the house while I'm at work! My daughters are in and out of the house during the day in between university and college lessons so she does get some company but they're hopeless at taking her for walks and leave that up to mum - not that I mind though - after a day's work and making dinner, there is nothing better than going out for a wander down the local river or up one of the local hills, taking in the scenery and wildlife - I love this time of year after what seems such a long winter full of short days, when you get home from work and it's dark - I think lots of people can relate to feeling a bit down over the winter months for the very reason that many people (depending on the job they do) don't really see much daylight. I'm lucky that my work does get me out and about during the working day and I'm also very lucky that I have my painting that keeps me occupied on those long winter nights - when I paint I am transported back to the time I was inspired to paint the subject in front of me - I can almost feel the breeze, smell the air and hear the sounds - which is why I tend to get more painting done in the winter! I do have a day off during the week which coincides with Gary's day off so we will either have what we call a 'photography day' or a 'walking day' - I love both but a day out walking in the mountains just about wins for me I think and I hope I'll still have the health and fitness to do it into my golden years! The photograph below is Holly and me on High Hartsop Dodd in the Lake District yesterday, a beautiful area and the one after that is taken on Sergeants Crag a couple of weeks earlier. Anyone who has heard of the Wainwright's will know what I mean when I say yesterday was my 204th Wainwright - only 10 more to go before I complete them all - and I'm loving every minute of it!
I first started walking just over 6 years ago so pretty late in life and I really haven't looked back - it has opened my eyes to a whole new world that I hadn't even realised existed, it brought me closer to wildlife and inspired me to start drawing and painting again, something I hadn't done since my late teens. I love art but if I were asked what is more important to me at this time I would say it is the experience for me which has become more so - I know this isn't the same for all artists who will say the love of art comes first. Art for me has become a way of celebrating those experiences in a painting or journal page which will provide a lasting memory of a special moment - and that's exactly what I'm concentrating on this year with the wildlife journals. When my legs won't take me to these wonderful places anymore I'll hopefully still be able to paint them when I'm old and grey!
That's not to say I won't occasionally paint something from someone else's photo which inspires me and I'm happy to take on commissions from time to time - memorialising someone else's experience - it's an honour to be asked. I recently painted this butterfly on a thistle from a photo by Dave Smith from Paint My Photo - and there are a few more photos from PMP I'll probably have a go at at some point - just for fun - and why not!!
Thank you to anyone who pops in and reads my waffle - it's a bit of a mixed bag on this post but my life is a bit of a mixed bag too - all good though!