Thursday 19 May 2011

A Wildlife Refuge; The Inception - Curlew Mating & Conception?

My favourite time of the year and already the breeding season is in full swing. But with one thing or another I’m finding time for fieldwork extremely tight and most days I do get a spare moment I tend to be out in my little corner of the property planting my shelterbelt which will, in a few years’ time, become one of the migrant hotspots in the whole of the county – one dreams! We also dug a small pond in the wettest corner of the field which, after 12 days, already has 27inches of water in it (this pic. was on day 6). No liner required!

The one bit of drawing I have done was from the semi-comfort of the near-completed extension. Curlew courtship seems to entail the male pursuing the female incessantly, occasionally tapping her on the rump with his bill whilst she threatens brutal retaliation and makes herself as unpleasant as possible. The little male is relentless yet she appears to give him no encouragement at all. How curlews actually manage to procreate given these circumstances is beyond me. 

Thursday 5 May 2011

Off The Easel

Having spent longer than anticipated doing the house (and still much to do) I’ve managed to shoe-horn a couple more commissioned pieces into the timetable. I am assured by She that decides these things that I shall be allowed more painting time in the coming weeks, so further progress on the waiting list ought to be apparent . . .

I worked on these two paintings contemporaneously, which helped to retain an element of freshness in both pieces, I think. Switching between the heat-soaked heather-clad summer moorlands and the crisp, clear wintertime scene of the seals and eiders made for interesting fluctuations in the artist’s mood.  The seal painting was completed mainly at the new house which also meant ocassional assistance from youngest daughter Edie - that's her doing some underpainting in the photo;

The Grouse Moor – Acrylic on canvas, 34” x 26”

Seal Cove - Acrylic on canvas, 40” x 20”