Recent bird paintings

I’ve mainly been painting birds and woodland over the winter, I love both. Mainly I head to the coast to watch the birds and these paintings are from the Lune Estuary near where I live, and the barnacle geese from the Solway Firth in Galloway. The entire Svalbard population of barnacle geese overwinters on the Solway Firth and it is really worth a visit to see them.

The Scottish word for curlew is whaup. I was in my twenties before I knew that they were the same bird 🙂 Morecambe Bay is a wonderful place to see them and other wading birds.

Whaups, Morecambe Bay. Oil on canvas, 61 x 46 cm

Whaups, Morecambe Bay. Oil on canvas, 61 x 46 cm

Barnacle Geese, Solway Firth. Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 cm.

Barnacle Geese, Solway Firth. Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 cm.

Little Egret, Lune Estuary. Oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm

Little Egret, Lune Estuary. Oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm

 

Wire bird sculptures

I’ve enjoyed experimenting with wire sculpture since I was 15, when I crafted a trio of chickens out of chicken wire and photographed them amongst our flock of hens, as part of my Higher Art project. Over the last year I’ve started creating things using wire again, as well as dabbling in ceramics and various other things. I think sometimes its just very refreshing to do something in a different way, in this case, I feel like I am drawing in 3D, creating something pleasingly tangible.

I’m working on a couple of herons at the moment, as well as my old favourites the chickens. As always, the legs are the hard bit, but i’m making progress and am quite pleased with how these are coming along. 

The herons are designed to be stood in a pond, should you so desire, I will post some pictures asap.

Headless chicken: sculpture in progress

Headless Chicken. My studio has resembled a macabre nativity scene in the last week.

Creatures spilling out of my studio

Creatures spilling out of my studio with my unimpressed dog in the background!

Silhouetted against a beautiful winter sunset -heron in progress.

Silhouetted against a beautiful winter sunset -heron in progress.

Herons on sticks

Herons on sticks! No legs yet but I wanted to see how the bodies were looking.

Scartin in the leaves. I love how they develop a character.

Scartin in the leaves. I love how they develop a character.

Fergus the cat upstaging the chickens

Fergus the cat upstaging the chickens

Sketching at Conder Green, Lune Estuary

I just thought I would share a couple of photos from this morning, I went to Conder Green on the Lune Estuary. Such a beautiful day that even the mud looked nice – reflecting the blue sky. I love the shapes carved by the tidal channels in the salt marsh and mud, and the birds are always fascinating. Today there were lots of redshank scurrying around busily, feeding before the tide covered up the mud. I think they were redshank anyway, they had red legs.

I’m planning a series of larger paintings from my accumulated sketchbooks of the Lune Estuary, I have dozens of sketches of birds and the river, I’d like to do something with them.

My Mighty Midget telescope and sketchbook

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Wellies essential all year round in Lancashire

Conder Green. Glasson Dock in the background and a flock of oystercatcher and knot?) which rose from the opposite side of the river

Redshank feeding on the mud, incoming tide

Blue Mud! An acrylic study I painted from my watercolour sketch.

Pittenweem Arts Festival 2017

I’m currently showing my work at Pittenweem Arts Festival, in venue 82. Ovenstone 109 is a fledgling brewery and lovely new festival venue which opened this year – formerly a John Deere tractor showroom – (my siblings and I used to enjoy passing by!)

Here’s some photos. There are 11 other artists and makers exhibiting their work here. You can see their websites and work here.  We’re open until Sunday 13th August, from 10 am until 6 pm each day.

My helper Ashby and I after setting up. Photo by www.iain-robinson.com

Inside Ovenstone 109

My paintings

Outside Ovenstone 109

The reservoir behind – used to be the water supply for Pittenweem

Sketches of Spring

May and June are my favourite time of year. These watercolours are of gowans, lovely big daisies, which fill up the edges of our garden at this time of year, roses, and just the general joy and chaos of spring. I painted the deer at Leighton Moss, a nearby RSPB reserve. I’d gone with a group to sketch for the day and we were rewarded with seeing so many amazing birds and animals, an otter, marsh harrier, gorgeous young fluffy moorhens, and these red deer mother and young, who stepped out of the woods in front of our hide, like a scene from Bambi.

'June Garden', watercolour

‘June Garden’, watercolour

'Meadow', Watercolour

‘Meadow’, Watercolour

A sketch from a lovely garden in Eskdale, watercolour

Red Deer fawn, watercolour

Red Deer fawn, watercolour

Red Deer, watercolour sketch

Red Deer, watercolour sketch

 

Group Show at Halton Mill Opening Sun 4th June, 11am-4pm

The artists who work at Halton Mill are having a group show which opens on Sunday 4th June. It was looking really good when I left yesterday, quite varied work including prints, drawings, costume design and paintings. I’m showing two paintings:

‘Ash Trees, Hutton Roof’ Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm

Borders Landscape (Clearfelling). Oil on paper, 23 x 18 cm

Here’s the poster with details of the exhibition and other events that are on.

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New paintings of Lancaster Canal

I’ve been working on a few different things recently, and painting the canal has been one I’ve really enjoyed – probably more so than painting the back door, which has been another project. The door was easier though.

These are mixed media paintings in watercolour and acrylic paint. I live very near the Lancaster canal and spend a lot of time both canoeing along it and walking my dog, sometimes also canoeing with the dog, (as he prefers to be in the boat). I love the tranquility of the canal, and aimed to capture its ethereal beauty in my paintings.

These are all paintings of my local stretch of the canal, between Garstang and Lancaster, including my favourite bit which is the arm to Glasson Dock.

Winter Canal, near Lancaster. Mixed media.

Winter Canal, near Lancaster. Mixed media.

Misty Winter Morning, Lancaster Canal. Watercolour

Misty Winter Morning, Lancaster Canal. Watercolour

Canal in spring, near Glasson Dock. Mixed media

Canal in spring, near Glasson Dock. Mixed media

Summertime, Lancaster Canal. Mixed media

Summertime, Lancaster Canal. Mixed media

Autumn, Lancaster Canal. Watercolour

Autumn, Lancaster Canal. Watercolour

Cow Paintings in JC Country

I have a lot of friendly looking neighbours with black and white spots. I like to say hi when I walk past with Ashby my dog, and I recently decided to draw some of them. These are cows from the dairy herd belonging to John Carr, of Clevely House Farm in Forton, and prints of my cow pictures will soon be for sale in the farm shop, JC Country 🙂 The cows are part Jersey and they’re really beautiful.

I love working in ink, like watercolour it is quite quirky, best treated with a light touch. These cows were drawn in Quink Ink, which although sold as an ink for writing, is my favourite ink to draw with.

Here’s the pictures, including Ashby who works as Quality Control.

Quality Control

Quality Control

'Cow-619', Ink and watercolour.

‘Cow-619’, Ink and watercolour.

'Cow-823', Ink and watercolour.

‘Cow-823’, Ink and watercolour.

'Dairy Cow, Clevely House Farm', Ink and Watercolour

‘Dairy Cow, Clevely House Farm’, Ink and Watercolour

Lune Year Paintings

Update: The paintings are for sale here.

My exhibition ‘Lune Year’ opens next Saturday at Halton Mill – a series of paintings and drawings of the River Lune since last December, after Storm Desmond. I thought it might be nice to put them all online as a gallery. So here they are 🙂 or rather, this is most of them and I will add the others when I can.

 

 

Lune Year Launch – Saturday 3rd December

My exhibition of drawings and paintings, Lune Year, will be on show at Halton Mill in December and January. The exhibition opening is between 12 – 4 pm on Saturday 3rd December, and all are welcome, do come along if you’re free. There is also an arts and craft fair at the Mill on the same day, and the cafe will be open. It would be lovely to see you there.

My work will remain on display at Halton Mill 10 – 5 (weekdays only) until Friday 13th January.

Lune Year Exhibition Flyer

I’m launching the exhibition to coincide with the anniversary of Storm Desmond, which caused extensive flooding in the Lancaster area and elsewhere in the North of England. The peak recorded flow of the Lune was equivalent to 41 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water going past the measuring gauge every minute, a rate that would fill the Royal Albert Hall in less than a minute. For anyone who knows this part of the river, the Lune was flowing over the top of the Crook O’ Lune bridge, several metres above its usual height. I have never before experienced such an event, and while the floods themselves were both terrifying and awe inspiring to watch, it was the aftermath which has really fascinated me. The river and riverside at Halton has been profoundly altered, with many areas washed away, new islands formed, and almost a year later, grass and debris are still hanging in the trees high above the usual waterline. After the floods receded, all these changes in the riverside really became apparent, and I decided to continue drawing and painting the river throughout the year; this exhibition is the result.