Recent minatures

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If you wonder where I have been, I have been painting these tiny miniature paintings on canvases around the size of a matchbox.

I’m quite enjoying doing them. I would like to present them in small gift boxes but I don’t know where I can get some from.

People don’t seem to have room for art, so the idea is they might buy one of these to put somewhere special… you never know…

I haven’t done much this month but at least I have got going again over the last few days. I’m putting an Exhibition up later today which will be up on Saturday and Sunday at Etruria.

Details are that the Etruria Industrial museum is holding a static steam engine day on Saturday and a classic car day on Sunday.

Might see you there…..

X

Chameleon

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Oh Chameleon,

How do I draw you?

You are Camouflaged in camouflage !

You hide in plain site

Like an octopus hides itself

Or a wobbigong shark,

Or a squid…..

Oh Chameleon

Your tongue is so long,

Like a limpet catching prey,

As long as a woodpeckers tongue

wrapped round its brain?

Or an anteaters snout?

I don’t know,

Because I can’t see you,

Hide in plain sight

Out of sight.

That’s your trick

Sneaky……

Portraits

 

I think I’m reasonably good at capturing people’s images when I paint and draw both traditionally and digitally. I also enjoy painting animals, and again I need to be accurate in representing them.

There are lots of books and videos to aid drawing and painting techniques. But the biggest thing that helps me is practice. Like anything else the more you do the better you get.

That said, having the book you are drawing in or canvas you at painting on placed at an upright position, either vertical or slightly sloping, helps with the resulting picture. If you draw on a horizontal surface thee picture can end up elongated or distorted. Similarly if you have a canvas in front of you too low down you can end up with a picture where the head may be to big, and thevlegd too small. It’s all a matter of positioning so you see the image equally.

I don’t tend to draw out first, I’m really terrible for starting with the eyes then working my way out! I guess I think the eyes hold the character. If you look at a face eyes are not always level. Because a face is symmetrical does not mean it completely matches on either side. Edgar Allen Poe was photographed, and when you take the two halves and multiply them into two new faces it could be two different men you are looking at…

Anyway it’s too early in the morning to be doing this…

X

P.S. the paintings here are distorted a bit because of the angles they were taken at. I have tried to straighten them up digitally but they are still a bit “off” I will try and get more photos if I can, but some belong to a relative who lives a fair distance away .

Finished painting?

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I’m calling this finished…for the moment, its a question of how much detail I can add….

I enjoyed painting him, but there is such a lot of fur, of different shades, tones and colours, that its hard to get it right. I hope his owner will like him.

I met a lady yesterday who happened to come in to the warehouse at Etruria where we are holding an exhibition and hands on workshops at the weekend at Etruria Industrial Museum – (see my previous blog). She showed me photos of her son’s work, it was stunning! He does paintings of horses, and the attention to detail reminded me of the work of George Stubbs, whose equine paintings are remarkable. We both agreed that Stubbs painting of the horse Whistlejacket is one of our favourite paintings.

So this little fellow will be off to his home soon. I enjoy painting pet portraits, its a challenge to get an accurate image the owner will approve of. There is something about portraits of people and animals that appeals to me.

Light Dino

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You glow in the dark to light my way….

Triceratopsically whimsical

Moonlit Dino, horned and frilled,

plastic printed 3d pet.

Your noble stance hides a part of your leg.

Broken off foot, you hobble across the cattle grid trivet

On top of the microwave…

How do you light my way?

Unique l.e.d light, recharged through a usb port.

Your battery flat now after a night on the tiles.

Left on by mistake to light the way of hunting cats,

tigerish moggies that stalk their catnip prey…

So my millions of year old pal, I shall renew your light,

Recharge , rebuild, modern but also ancient

Dino, Tri, Cera, you are Tops!

Casey

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If ever there was a strange cat it was Casey. He would jump in to any box, and kite! Black and white, with golden eyes, white paws, weighing in at around 5 kilos.

Casey was a stray, he kept going into a local shop and walking along the shelves, knocking things down. I was asked if we would take him in as no one else had claimed him. So he became our cat for a while.

But Casey was not clever. Every day he would sit on the white line on the centre of our road, every day, just after 5, when cars were driving down the street. Every day risking his life. I would drive round the corner, get out of the car, and call him in. I never knew why he did it, but as the evenings got darker I became more worried.

Then one night he limped in through the back door. We took him to the vets and they said he must have been hit by a car. The head of his femur had been broken, where it fits into the hip socket. We had to let them operate to remove it, the hip would recover if he was kept quiet and not allowed to move around much. We got a small cage and he had to stay in it for 3 months…..

Eventually he was allowed out. He was fit and healthy again, but I doubted his ability to stay safe. It was winter so Casey was given luminous, sparkling collars so that if he did go onto the road he would be visible to cars.

Nothing happened for a while. I took  a photo of him playing in the kite and decided to paint it.

Then one night he went out and when I looked for him in the morning he was nowhere to be found.

Worried, I put up posters, I rang a local cat charity, and then as it was the weekend, I had to wait for Monday to ring the council to see if their waste trucks had picked up a black and white cat. But there was no news.

Finally I rang another charity, yes they had collected a badly injured cat, they told me which vet he had gone to. It was on the other side of the city, it was the emergency vet that they used.

I rang in hope and fear. Yes they had received the cat, but it was badly injured when they got it so they had put it to sleep….. I was shocked. I asked why, and they said it was because no owner could be found! I asked what would have happened if I had found out where he was earlier? They would have operated to remove his leg! I could not get over the fact that he had been euthenised because I had not contacted them….I was so upset. His life was taken because there was no one available to pay a large bill….I was totally broken, felt so guilty. But there was no way I could have known where he was. It was before microchipping came in. My cats are both microchipped.

I still miss that mad, weird cat…..

Today’s sketches at apedale

Trees, trains, troops, tea, and horses all on display at Apedale (Moseley trust) today.

Apedale is a nature reserve, but there is also a mining museum there and a light railway with preserved steam engines. Today there was a steam gala, but because they have been commemorating the 1st World War there they had a lot of extra activity and extra exhibits on display. These have included a tank, a sopwith camel plane. Also about 8 steam engines, various trade stalls and model train displays and stalls.

I had a go at drawing as I didn’t take a camera with me. I drew William, one of the horses which pull a limber with a field gun attached. We had to go before they did their display sadly.

I also drew a couple of the volunteer troops and a couple of the trains that were on display. The first train I was drawing suddenly drove off, so the result isn’t brilliant. I also drew inside the cafe.