“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Friday, 6 January 2017

Thistle and Robin... PPF

Welcome to 2017
I'm hoping that this year my art can go up a gear... or at least get out of first gear.
I have lots of ideas, half hatched plans and masses of enthusiasm. 
I just need to prioritise now.

I started off this week painting a thistle. 
I used Windsor & Newton Cotman 111 round brushes (no 3 and no 5)
Why these particular brushes you ask? Because basically my daughter left them behind when she left after the holidays. 
I couldn't resist trying them out, but don't worry I've sent her new replacements. 
Something tells me she came off rather well in this transaction.
Brand new brushes for old ones... but I'm pleased because they worked beautifully.
For those who like to know details...
I used my Kuretake: Gansai Tambi Japanese Watercolour paints on Daler Rowney Aquafine smooth A4 Hot pressed paper (300g/m2) 

I'm pleased with certain aspects of this painting, but it was also yet again a learning curve. 
I have so many learning curves that it feels like once again I'm in a complete spin. 
I've decided to go larger and have another go at painting it.
I think that I should keep to one theme instead of flitting like the proverbial blue * fly. 
That way I hope that I might actually develop a style.
I'm linking up for the first time this year with the Paint Party Friday link. Click here
Happy New Year Eva and Kristin and thanks for hosting your fantastic inspirational link up once again.
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I'd just like to add that I've had some success with my new camera zoom lens. 
As regular readers of my blog will know, I've been trying to capture the image of my camera shy robin for quite some time.
But at last I managed it...
How cute is he? 
I was doing a little tidying in the garden and he was very interested in what I was doing out there, especially as the ground was frozen solid.
As soon as I moved away, he hopped down into the dried leaves to check out what I'd unearthed.
I'm so happy with these photos, but as you can probably imagine I've got about 150 others of my new little feathered friend. 

Lovely to see you here once again and I hope to see you again soon.
Have a wonderful weekend

34 comments:

  1. What a lovely thistle ! I made an abstract thistle a few weeks ago if you scroll back a little on the blog... And congratulations on nabbing a photo of your feathered friend.... I have been trying to get a pic of an illusive huge woodpecker around here... i only see them once in awhile and they are very skittish...Happy New Year!! Hugs! deb

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    1. Thanks Deb, I think I remember your thistle. I was pleased with mine although I now want to paint a larger version. It's looking a little different at the moment, but I'm only on the under painting so anything can happen.
      I was also pleased to capture the robin. We actually seem to have four around our place which will make for some fabulous singing and shenanigans when spring arrives.
      We also have a few woodpeckers that tap a large tree in our garden. The sound echo's and is really quite something. I've got a few photos of them too, but as you say they are very skittish.
      I wish you a fabulous creative happy, healthy New Year x

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  2. I can't imagine why you would feel the need to redo the thistle other than just the joy of being able to do it. This is a beautiful painting as is and doesn't require improvements. Love your little Robin too ... they are sooooo cute. Having a telephoto lens makes all the difference in the world. Happy New Year, Neesie ...

    Andrea @ From the Sol

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    1. Thank you Andrea, I really enjoyed painting the thistle and was rather pleased with the outcome, but wanted to paint it in a larger version. Each time I paint something I learn so much, but I suppose that's the same for everyone.
      I may decide to reopen my Etsy shop where a print might appear... just thinking things through at the moment.
      I'm loving my new lens too. It seems everything has a learning curve for me right now. Happy New Year to you and thanks so much for your lovely comment.

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  3. Your thistle is fantastic, and you used great materials, too. Your Robin is a darling. Happy New Year, hugs, Valerie

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    1. Aww thank you Valerie, I must admit it's wonderful to receive lovely comment about my painting and photographs. I'm really pleased with both.
      I wish you a wonderful, creative, happy, healthy New Year too.

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  4. gorgeous thistle Neesie!!! Old brushes don't figure into your artistic abilities. Really brilliant photos too-love those birds. Happy PPF and a happy New Year too!

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    1. Thanks Linda, you're very kind. I think the robin may be one of my favourite birds... but then I like all of them so please don't make me choose :D
      Happy PPF and New Year to you. Let's hope it's jam packed with creativity

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  5. Hello Neesie, I think you have a most delightful outlook from your desk... how inspiring for when you paint.
    The thistle is beautifully created. Beaut colours and shading. The round brushes are so nice to use for watercolour - win win for you and your daughter ;D)
    Those birds are so sweet, tiny ones are always so busy... gorgeous photos indeed! Cheers now, Sue.

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    1. It's a great place to paint Sue, but I have a studio that I really should be using. It's currently being used as a distribution centre for my daughters card and print business. There's hardly any room in there so for now I'm enjoying using the kitchen table!
      Thanks for your visit and lovely comments. I appreciate you popping by my place. Have fun and enjoy your weekend

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  6. Spectacular robin shot! And love the thistle -- beautifully done!

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    1. Thank you Debra, I love robins and at the moment we have four that are currently dotted around our property. There could be high jinks come spring!

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  7. When we lived in N Idaho the Canadian Thistles would plant themselves in my yard. At fist I wanted to dig them up but then realized they are so beautiful and just needed a place to live. Your painting reminds me so much of them. It is beautiful and I wouldn't change a thing.

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    1. How kind of you to allow the thistles to live in your garden. I have lots of them on a far corner of my place... behind the follow. I have seen how many bees visit them, so thought it best to let them be. They can only stay as long as they keep out of my borders.
      I'm happy that my painting brought back memories.
      I'm just painting a new thistle on a larger scale.

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  8. such beautiful work as always, you've 'got it' Neesie, so talented.

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    1. Aww bless you Christine. Your comment means a lot to me :D
      Happy New Year to you

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  9. Well I think your thistle is beautiful and I think you should be proud of it. Gorgeous photos of the sweet little bird!

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    1. Oh I am proud of the thistle Laney thanks... but I just thought I'd paint another larger version.
      Thanks for your visit and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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  10. I saw your gorgeous thistle painting on Facebook and it caught my attention immediately! It's simply stunning!! You know, I found the style I am painting in by flitting around and just trying different things. And even now I always play and try new things. So, if variety makes you happy, I'd say - go with it!! And your robin photos - so beautiful! They are such cute little birds and so much smaller than the robins we have here in the States! Happy New Year and Happy PPF!! xoxo Silke

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    1. That's great positive feedback Silke, I really appreciate it.
      I love your current vibrant style and can only hope that I can produce something as good. I just have so much stuff going on in my head that it sometimes can stop me from actually starting a painting. Not knowing which to choose.
      I thought if I kept to one theme it might help a little.
      The robins are one of my favourite native birds. They really are full of character and we currently have four living around our place. There could well be some serious shenanigans come spring!
      Happy PPF and New Year to you... let's hope that it's full of creativity :D

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  11. the lens seems to work gret :D looks clear and crisp (no robin sighting here still)

    great colours in your thistle. Themes can work well with learning as long as you don't think you will get bored having to stick to a theme.

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    1. Yep I'm really pleased with the new lens Jennifer
      I can sometimes get into a little tizzy trying to think of what to paint and then don't actually start!
      I thought if I told myself I'll just stick with the thistle for a wee whilie, then that way I might actually be calmer and paint a little more. I'm just painting the thistle larger and then I might move on. Decisions, decisions!
      Happy New Year if I haven't wished you a wonderful, healthy, happy, creative New Year yet.

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  12. You know I am enthralled with your art! If only I was half as talented!!
    Are you sure that is the same bird - different colors - maybe male and female --
    Your thistle is gorgeous and I always enjoy your pictures. Especially of a certain dog!
    sandy xx

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    1. Now then Sandy, I've seen your cards, you are very talented... it's just we use different media that's all.
      As for the robin, I'm not sure if it is the same one or not. I thought it was, but at the moment we have at least four dotted around our property. There was a little argy-bargy going on, so anything could have happened.
      It'll be interesting come spring as I'm sure they'll be lots of shenanigans!
      Muffy say's hi... she's curled up on my chair at the moment. Hmm... no idea which one of us is top dog? HA!

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  13. Luv the Thistle sketch and can never have enough of birds real live or photos

    Happy New Year

    much love...

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    1. Thanks Gillena, I had fun painting the thistle and capturing the robin.
      Happy PPF and New Year to you too

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    1. Thanks Peggy... have a great weekend.

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  15. The right brushes, paints, and paper can make a world of difference.
    What a wonderful new camera!! Wow! Enjoy! :)

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    1. I'm certainly learning that Rita, it makes a huge difference. No curling paper in future for me!
      I'm thrilled with my new camera lens. Hopefully I'll be able to do it justice now :D

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  16. Wow phenomenal bird photos...so crisp and clear. Love them..and your thistle is gorgeous. Love the details of the purple flower. I can see this as a beautiful large piece. Well done!
    Happy New year may all your dreams come true!!

    Hugs Giggles

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    1. Thanks Giggles, I've already started the large painting of the thistle and I'm having fun.
      Happy New Year to you too

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  17. Thistle's a very good start to the year. You're always in top gear to me, from where I sit Neesie! Love that Robin, I need you back here with your telephoto lens to capture a little wren for me!
    Have a lovely week, it's tennis, tennis and more tennis for us here in steamy Melbourne!
    Wren x

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    1. Aww bless you for your compliments Wren.
      I have to confess that I've tried many times to capture the wrens photo here... it's incredibly flighty and camera shy... but I'll keep trying and I'll be sure to let you see it if it's up to scratch.
      Enjoy the tennis... I just wish I could nip over to see it. I loved to visit the Open when I lived there. Have fun and I'll write soon x

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