Thursday, 3 August 2017

Introducing 'Jeremy' the Baby Blackbird

Around June each year, my bird-feeding activities are rewarded with some up close views of newly fledged Blackbirds, as they are brought to the bird table for the first time by their relieved parents!
  This year Mr and Mrs Black had been blessed with four babes, who spent their first few days out of the nest roaming around my garden, exploring beneath bushes and hanging around at the base of the bird-table (and taking the odd nap) waiting for titbits to be dislodged and fall to the ground.
  The smallest of the fledglings particularly caught my imagination and I spent a lot of time watching over and photographing him. Eventually I put pencil to paper and created this little portrait of Jeremy..
Jeremy sitting on the garden wall..

Jeremy takes a little nap beneath the bird-table

My drawing of Jeremy is based upon this photo..

Jeremy begs his dad to feed him!

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Watercolour Design 'Follow the Swallow'

Throughout my three week stay in Scotland I was entranced by the aerobatics of the Swifts and Swallows, who seemed to delight in their extraordinary abilities! When not in flight they take their rest in the safety of Tara's golden crown...
 This design was inspired by those wonderful and magical little birds..

Swallow rests upon Tara's Crown at Samye Ling

As I lie and watch the swooping swallow..my heart doth leap and yearn to follow..

Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Track to Garwald



The cottage at Garwald

Samye Ling Tibetan Temple






The long and winding dusty track

       


   I recently spent a few weeks helping out in the Kitchen Garden at Samye Ling Tibetan Centre, which is situated 'off the beaten track' amidst the beautiful hills and forests of Eskdalemuir in the Scottish Borders.
  My stay involved a two mile walk every morning and evening between Samye Ling and the little cottage at Garwald where I lived with other volunteers. These daily walks became one of the highlights of my visit, and the inspiration for some verses and artwork, along with the photographs taken at Garwald, where I spent a number of evenings watching hares in the meadow and swifts and swallows in the sky above. I never walked the same track twice... as it changed with different weather conditions, sights and sounds and changing light in a continuous flow. My walks were accompanied by the sounds of Garwald Water mixed with bird calls.

                   The Track to Garwald

       Winding through the valley, bright river at your side,
          'Neath cloudy skies or blue..and all the seasons through -
           Each traveller or pilgrim may walk this dusty track
           Leading on to Garwald or to Samye Ling and back...
       


Garwald Water on a misty morning

Thrush in the meadow..
Garwald Goldfinch 
Gazing..

Hare in the tall grass..

Hare -  what do you see..?
Early morning at the Garwald cottage..
Evening light

Twisted Hawthorn
     
The contemplative ..

           

            
 















Saturday, 29 April 2017

Meditation on 'Corot'

This illustration combines a number of my favourite things! I'm very fond of trees and equally fond of literature. This verse from 'Corot' by DH Lawrence speaks so wonderfully of the magic of trees..I've long been wanting to incorporate it into some artwork..
'Meditation on 'Corot''
'Ah listen, for silence is not lonely! Imitate the magnificent trees that speak no word of their rapture, but only breathe largely the luminous breeze.' DH Lawrence.

Watercolour painting 'Yar'

I've always loved birds, and really enjoy watching Crows and Ravens, which seem so full of character..
   This little fella popped out of the end of my paintbrush recently and said 'Yar'!
'Yar' watercolour with pen and ink

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Watercolour Painting 'Headless Jack'

This painting is of a quirky old tree growing in Sherwood Forest, which is home to many other quirky ancient trees, many of them Oaks like this one.
  I named this tree 'Headless Jack' for obvious reasons!
'Headless Jack' watercolour painting
'Headless Jack' growing in Sherwood Forest

Thursday, 23 March 2017

'Old Major' Watercolour Painting

Inspired by my visits to Sherwood Forest I've finally produced a likeness of the Major Oak, something I've long been wanting to do!
'Old Major' watercolour painting 
  I've concentrated on one particular angle of the great trunk - where it appears to split into two huge branches which seemingly have 'faces'..one looking towards the left and the other looking downwards. When you walk around the tree these faces are clearly visible. One looks particularly grumpy, and I like to imagine it grumbling to itself about having to take the weight of the tree year upon year.!
The 'two faces' of the Major Oak

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Pyro Art Keepsake : 'The Secret Keeper'

This small slice of boxwood features my imaginary tree character, who is the 'Secret Keeper' for the Enchanted Forest, the Forest of dreams..Creatures of the forest come to the Secret Keeper to communicate their worries, fears and woes..which are stored in the sack at the base of Secret Keepers roots and remain there never to be told. Having unburdened themselves, the creatures leave with lighter hearts! The design is double sided, with the Secret Keeper one side, and the sack of secrets verso.
 These photos show some of the stages of work..