Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Courting on the cliffs

While I am on the bird theme thought I'd show a painting I did in spring of this year. While walking the cliffs at home saw these two peregrines displaying to each other, am pleased to say that they eventually got it together and produced at least
one offspring (I only saw the one). sorry for the quality of

Monday, December 22, 2008


Here are a couple of pages from my sketch books, I spent a long time sketching the wagtail in the field and then worked them up when i got home with some coloured pencil. The stonechat was done fairly quickly with a black indelible pen, something I now use alot to sketch with because it forces you to be bold as you can't rub out. These are examples of successful sketches , I would'nt have room or the time to post all the unsuccessful pages!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Foxy Lady

I was inspired by another artist Karen on UKCPS to try this one after seeing her picture of a vixen on her blog http://wildaboutart.blogspot.com/ . Its coloured pencil on black Canford paper and it's one of the few paintings I have finished using CP. I have to say that while I love the overall effect it can become quite tedious building up the colour and I am always comparing the time taken to what I could achieve with paint , however I am reasonably happy with this although I have changed it around the mouth after receiving some very helpful critiques on UKCPS, I must re scan it and show the improvements.
While I am writing this blog, I am watching through my window at the bird feeders I have in the trees opposite and it occured to me that maybe I should try to encourage more people to feed their garden birds, it does'nt cost a fortune and is a huge assistance to small birds during the cold winter months when it can be hard for them to find enough food, also it can give hours of free entertainment.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


As another New Year fast approaches I once again start to agonize over which direction my art should take....big landscapes in oil, small watercolours of birds and all things nature, flowers in acrylic...watercolour, coloured pencil ? I move from one to the other like a nomad in the desert, never quite reaching my destination! For many years I have had the idea of painting the birds I have seen in my village and surrounds and maybe producing a book, given that I live in one of the best birding spots in Ireland and so far would have seen over 250 species in the area, this could prove to be a mammoth task so the faster I start the better.
I am at the moment painting a display board depicting the "Birds of Ballycotton" which will be displayed at the entrance to the village, and the painting here was the cover of the last Cork Bird Report and depicts a pair of Little Egret.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bird sketches.

Thought I'd show another side to my art today. I started drawing and painting about 120 years ago, or so it seems, initially as a means of recording some of the birds I saw in my other obsession, birding, and twitching, which is not the same. Above is a bird called a Sharp Tailed Sandpiper, which is an asian wader that winters as far away as Australia, unfortunately it got lost when deciding to migrate and ended up on the beach in my village Ballycotton , in Ireland. This was only the 3rd record of this bird in Ireland. The bird below this is a Common Kingfisher, nothing terribly exciting about that, albeit a stunning little bird, except that I sketched it in Goa in India. In Ireland this bird is extremely

shy and hard to see, in fact I think I have only managed to sketch it twice in Ireland, but in India, apart from being very numerous, it is also very tame and confiding and allowed me plenty of time to draw, all the time diving for fish and coming back to the same perch.
The other two sketches were also done in India and are of a Black Capped Kingfisher and an Intermediate Egret.
Can anyone out there tell me how to move pictures easily on blogger as I always have enormous trouble getting them where I want them.