Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Garden Stuff...

 We have a wren's nest in the ivy on the pergola.  We didn't know what it was when we discovered it and nearly pulled it apart while investigating - very glad we didn't.  The wren has been seen entering it, so hopefully it is being used and we haven't scared it off - I heard it singing loudly out there this morning.  The nest is about 6ft away from our back door so perhaps we will be able to see what happens if there are chicks.
 I've been planting flowers...
 ...the currants are already dashing ahead...
 ... the apple tree is covered in blossom, having recovered from it's severe pruning in the winter.
Of course, now that there are flowers, seedlings and bedding plants out there, the weather has taken a turn for the worst - the garden is now swathed in expanses of fleece until the cold snap is over.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Peekaboo!

I finished this yesterday afternoon, then sold it before the paint was even dry!  This is a watercolour of an Alaskan brown bear cub, peering around his mum in the hope of getting a little bit of that salmon.  It was great fun to paint and I am happy that the experiment of taking screenshots from a film in order to use them as painting reference worked - I'll be trying that again in the future.


Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Everything In The Garden's Lovely...

As the weather has been so wonderful over the past week, I have spent most of my time getting the garden back in order.  There was a fair bit of winter debris still to get rid of, seeds to sow, grass to cut, and compost to be spread.  Things are sprouting nicely and it all looks promising so far.  A few casualties - I sowed cucumber seeds too early (over enthusiastic) and they got leggy then keeled over.  So I have started again with them, but everything else seems to be doing OK, even the vegetable seedlings in my new tall planters - well guarded by slug tape!

So I haven't had the time or the inclination to pick up a paintbrush until this week.  It's another bear - I know, I'm sorry but this obession has yet to run it's course!  This is in watercolour, going well so far.

Currently on the needles: an oven...who knew it would need so much knitting?  Slowly losing the will to live...

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Prints!

 As the reaction to this painting was quite overwhelming, I have decided to offer it as prints on Society6 with half of any profits to be donated to the American Humane Society.  I chose this charity as they are prepared to fight in court against  the cruel law just signed by Trump that allows the gassing of bears & their cubs in their dens in Alaska, as well as baiting, snaring, and traps, with the same ruling applying to wolves and their cubs.  Prints can be bought here:
https://society6.com/product/bear-today-gone-tomorrow_print#s6-6842120p4a1v45
https://society6.com/product/bear-today-gone-tomorrow_stretched-canvas#s6-6842120p16a6v28
https://society6.com/product/bear-today-gone-tomorrow_cards#s6-6842120p22a16v71

I have also put this painting up as prints & phone case covers, profits of which just go to me - girl's gotta eat!
https://society6.com/product/blue-jellyfish-10_print#s6-6842087p4a1v45
https://society6.com/product/blue-jellyfish-10_iphone-case#s6-6842087p20a9v430a52v377

Friday, 31 March 2017

Otis and the Raven

This is a small watercolour & ink painting of a bear called Otis who lives in Katmai National Park, Alaska.  He's usually a very chilled old bear, concentrating on catching and eating fish in vast amounts while keeping himself out of trouble.  However, last year this raven just got on his nerves!  I painted this from watching the video clip several times & taking various screenshots plus using a bit of imagination.  Now for sale in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Bear Today, Gone Tomorrow?

I've been quite affected by the fact that the US Senate just passed legislation allowing the killing of bears & wolves in Alaska - in their dens with their cubs by gassing, from the air with guns, baiting bears & shooting them, using snares and traps - all because they feel these predators severely deplete the supply of moose and deer for people to shoot.  Seems a twisted logic to me, but nothing the current American government does surprises me any more.  So I was moved to paint this picture - looks innocuous enough from a distance, but has quite a bit of symbolism if you look closer and think about it.  Well, that was my intention at least - whether or not I've pulled it off is up for debate, but it's how I felt and interpreted it.
Acrylics on board.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Can We Get Back To Normal Now?

 Spring has definitely sprung where I live - primroses and violets in the garden, as well as daffodils and plum blossom.  The year is already a quarter through and I feel as though most of it has been spent either with builders in our house or with me ill.  After the kitchen refurbishment, which ate the whole of January, we were then told they wanted to fit a new boiler and water tank - begs the question as to why this wasn't done at the same time as the kitchen, but I guess that would require some sense and logic...
Anyway, that took place a week ago, and yesterday we had a chap come round to make good the mess caused last week.  We've also had numerous visits by various plumbers trying to sort out why the cold tap in the bath was only giving out a trickle since the refurbishment.  Despite me asking every time if it could possibly be the knackered feeder valve in the airing cupboard, I was ignored and each plumber had a different theory which meant they went off promising to come back and sort it and were never seen again.  However, after pushing to get it fixed before one of us got third degree burns in the shower, the fifth plumber came last week, ostensibly to change the taps (which were brand new six months ago) but after I explained the situation he crashed around for a bit then came downstairs saying he'd identified the problem.  Can you guess what it was?  Yeah...maybe the blonde lady should have been listened to six weeks ago and saved you all a lot of time!  So finally we have a safe bath, and hopefully after they come tomorrow to sort out a radiator that isn't working properly since the boiler was fixed (you really couldn't make this up) I might get my life back.  I wonder just how many days I have wasted on this in total - it has been virtually impossible to get any work done when I have strange men and their tools, dust sheets, and loud drills causing a disturbance.
There has been a fair bit of knitting in the evenings though, most of which I can't show just yet.  You'll have to make do with a small bowl of plums...
I've also been working on this painting - while at first glance it looks pretty normal, I have a bit of a different idea for this one, it will carry a bit of a message.  I'll only show it if it works!