Monday, 19 March 2018

Another Snow Day...

 Well, after a week of almost Spring-like weather, the snow came back with a vengeance over the weekend.  Being the weekend, it didn't affect us too badly - we had been for supplies early Saturday morning so could afford to take it easy and stay home as the snow fell.
 We awoke to this yesterday - a bit more than predicted!
 Some of us liked it more than others...
...especially to eat!  I'm surprised Daisy didn't spend most of the day asking to go outside for a wee, she ate so much snow during her walks.

The snow bear was made from the sweepings off the front path and off the top of my car - had to find some way to burn off a little energy!

Hopefully it will all melt away today - it's back to business as usual, places to go, things to do...

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

A Sad Tale With A Happy Ending...

Finished this today - this is a painting of a bear known as 451 who lives at Katmai National Park, Alaska. She has quite a story:

Back in 2015 when I started to watch the bears on, there was a sow with two cubs. One day in the autumn after the visitors' camp had shut down for the season, one of the cubs staggered and collapsed by the side of the road right in front of one of the cameras. All of us who watched the cams were transfixed, waiting to see what would happen. Over three days the poor cub got weaker and weaker and finally died. The mother bear (451) sat next to him with the other cub the whole time, only leaving for a short breaks to catch a fish or two. When the cub was dead, she sat vigil over him for a whole night.

The next day the rangers came in a boat to remove the body for autopsy - they too had seen events over the cams and it was a golden opportunity for scientific investigation. When they arrived, 451 and her remaining cub walked slowly down the road, far enough away for the rangers to safely take the cub. After they had gone, she sat there where her cub had lain for the rest of the day. The whole thing was heartbreaking - I've always believed animals feel emotions and bereavement and this just proved it as far as I was concerned. 451 and her cub eventually slowly walked away and that was the last we saw of her that year.

The following year we hoped to see her return from hibernation with her cub. Sadly there was only one sighting of her limping past one of the cams...on her own. Again, desperately sad.

However, last year at the start of the season 451 showed up at Katmai with three tiny cubs! I was overjoyed to see this! I had watched her with her dying cub every waking minute I could, even taking the kindle to bed with me to check throughout the night as I was so emotionally involved and moved by her plight, so to see her with three healthy cubs and healthy herself was wonderful.

This painting was completed in watercolours using as reference a photograph taken by someone who was actually at Brooks Camp in the autumn, and who kindly gave me permission to use it.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Mystery Solved...

 I had a reply to my question, this wolf is apparently Nuka!  So glad to be able to title my painting properly.
This is not how I pictured this painting in my head, but it is progressing along quite nicely anyway.  This is bear 451 and her cubs from Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park - she has quite a story whcih I shall tell when the painting is finished.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Bit Of This, Bit Of That...

 Well, the Beast From The East (who thinks of these daft names?) has disappeared in a puddle of melt water, thank goodness.  I started knitting these during the big freeze but didn't manage to finish them until the weather had warmed up.  But if it happens again, I'm ready!  This is a pattern from the lovely book Woodland Knits and a golden opportunity to use the fabulous furry yarn that has been languishing in my stash for far too long.
 Also knitted a cowl using recycled denim yarn and adapting a pattern from the Japanese Knitting Pattern Bible - this is one of the less ambitious patterns, but very pretty nonetheless.  I look forward to trying out some of the more complicated ones in the future.  This is for sale in my Etsy shop.
Started this little watercolour yesterday - my painting time seems to be seriously depleted this week - hoping to remedy that today.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Well At Least Someone Is Enjoying It...

Daisy yesterday - I think it's her first snow!

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Wolf With No Name...

I completed this yesterday - it went very quickly despite the amount of brushstrokes needed to render the fur!  Painted in acrylics on a canvas board.

This is one of the wolves we saw at the UK Wolf Conservancy during our visit last year - I took lots of photos with a view to making paintings from them at some point.  Unfortunately, what I didn't do was note down the names of the wolves as I took the pictures - I don't know which one this is.  I've sent an email to the Conservancy with the reference photo asking which wolf it is...I'm kind of hoping it is Torak, the one that escaped and went on an adventure a few weeks ago!

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Artist's Block...

Sometimes creativity reaches an impasse.  No idea why, it just happens out of the blue and is extremely frustrating.  Last week - and the week before - I had the time to paint but could not think of a single thing I wanted to paint.  Then when I found a subject, the drawing went very badly indeed and two attempts went in the bin.  So it was time to step away and go and do some heavy gardening to take my mind of it and vent some of my annoyance!

Then I had a search through my collection of photos and found one I had taken at the UK Wolf Conservancy last year that I quite fancied painting.  Three attempts later, I gave myself a mental slap round the face and used a grid to map out the basic sketch properly over the top of the failed efforts, painted out the errors and then it was business as usual.  I'm pleased with how this is progressing and very glad that the awful mind fog has lifted!

Acrylics on Dalerboard.