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

Saturday 28 January 2017

My Sunday Photo & Sunday Sketches... Firecrest

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, it's been a rather busy week with lots of appointments, hence I haven't been able to get out and about with my camera.
What I have managed to do though, was to complete my watercolour painting of a Firecrest. 
Click here if you'd like to know more or to see the various stages of my painting.

It seems appropriate that I should show photographs of birds this week, as I will be taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch later today. 
Anyway here's my painting... (it was rather late when I took this photo so it appears a little darker than it really is. I may take another photo when it's lighter and replace it so that you can see the real colours)
I saw a brilliant photograph on the BBC's Winterwatch programme this week, which inspired me to want to paint a Firecrest.
(Credit: Photo by Ian Redman)

I've also managed to snatch a few pics of some of my bird visitors, but I hope to see far more later when I fill up the feeding stations.

Unfortunately, this shot of the Bluetit was taken through my kitchen window. 
We are lucky to have three Greater Spotted Woodpeckers around our garden... there used to be four, but I'm not sure what happened to the fourth. 
Best not dwell on that.
If you are taking part in the bird count... good luck and I hope you have lots of amazing visitors.
Have fun.
Once again I'm linking up with Photalife
and Alexandra's Sunday Sketches
If you'd like to see lots of more great photography or art, then just click on the links above. 
Thanks for visiting my place. 

I'm aware that not everyone loves art and birds so I promise to bring you something a little different soon. Like for instance the two foxes frolicking and having fun in the field next to our garden this afternoon. They were completely oblivious to me watching them.
Could this be the start of spring shenanigans? 
Enjoy your Sunday and I hope to see you again soon.

Friday 27 January 2017

The Firecrest... PPF

Oh my, what a busy week... so much so that I didn't even realise that we were already on to Friday!
I can't believe it, but I managed to actually throw some paint about this afternoon.
I've had a few appointments this week and hadn't managed to draw or paint anything up to this point.

I've also been watching Winterwatch on TV this week and heard about a tiny bird that I have never heard of before. 
The Firecrest
(photo credit by Ian Redman on #winterwatch)
The Firecrest... is one of our smallest birds, but I'm probably not going to see one around our bird feeder, because they don't seem to want to come this far north. 
So it inspired me to paint one instead.
This photo is obviously a work in progress and shows the under painting stage.
It feels wonderful to be painting once again.
If you'd like to know a little more about the Firecrest and how they sound... click here to access the RSPB website.
I will spend more time finishing this painting off over the weekend. 

Talking of the weekend... it is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch here in the UK this weekend.
I've participated in the bird count on numerous occasions and if you would like to know more or to join in click the link above.
It only takes an hour of your time... counting all the bird visitors that come into your garden and the RSPB monitor all the results. 
It can really be interesting knowing just exactly what is happening to our native wild birds.

Right... I'm off now to enjoy my Friday night, but first I'm linking up with the Paint Party Friday link before I do.
Have fun everyone and thanks for popping into my place. 
Enjoy your weekend

Sunday 22 January 2017

A Misty Morn

During this last week, we have had some incredible weather up here in the North East of Scotland, in fact some of the best weather in the whole of the UK, which is pretty special and doesn't happen very often.
The photo's below are from a few moments snapping away at the view across the back field.
It reinforced the practice of grabbing my camera and seizing the moment whenever I see something that captures my attention... because within about half an hour the mist had lifted and the weather changed. 
I'm always saying 'seize the day', but maybe I should change that now to 'seize the moment'.

I'm still becoming familiar with my new camera lens... I think I've still got quite a lot to learn, but I'm having fun along the way.

As usual I am linking up with Photalife.com 
and Mersad's Through My Lens
If you'd like to see more great photography, then just hit the link above.
Each week I hope to visit everyone, but with all the best will in the world, I don't always make it.
But what I can promise is that if you have visited me, then I will return the compliment.

So thanks for popping by my place and I hope to see you again soon.
Have a wonderful week.

Friday 20 January 2017

Snow scenes on slates... PPF

It seem rather ironic that I should be sharing my snow scenes painted on spare roof slates, when in fact we've had fantastic weather during this last week.
For example, it was -3 degrees this morning, but on mornings such as these, it can be pretty magical. Everywhere is covered with a crisp white crust, clear blue sky's and the sunrise brings an amazing colour palette.
I'd much rather this kind of weather during the winter wouldn't you?
It can be a winter wonderland out there, especially if you are wrapped up well.

But I'm not sure that Muffin agrees with this last statement.
We started our morning walk yesterday and not far into the walk, she refused to move any further and promptly sat down and wouldn't budge.
Here's a photo of her...
My hubby had to carry her for the majority of the walk.
(I should have taking the pooch pouch with us)
When I saw this photo, I immediately thought of Paddington Bear for some reason.
I think I'll have to hide her passport just in case... Peru is after all warmer than Scotland.

I think I need to warm up a little now. 
I'm going to link up with Paint Party Friday and hope you'll join me there. 
Thanks Kristin and Eva for hosting once again.
Have fun everyone and thanks for popping over to my place.
I hope to see you again soon.

Saturday 14 January 2017

My Sunday Photo... Muffin's snowy woodland walk

We had a fantastic crisp sunny woodland walk today.
As you can see little Muffin had a wonderful time, as long as I kept up with her.

If you would like to see some fantastic photo's then click here
As usual I'm linking up with Photalife.com 
and Image-in-ing.blogspot.co.uk
Thanks for your visit.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend... enjoy!

Friday 13 January 2017

Paint Party Friday... Thistles and Tropical Lovebirds

Brrr.... 'tis a wee bit chillywoo here today.
We've had snow flurries and the biting arctic wind is still blowing a hoolie about the place. 
We expected the snow to arrive yesterday, but it didn't arrive until the early hours of the morning.
I'd nipped to the bathroom (as you do around 3am) and couldn't see out through the windows, even with the full moon. The snowflakes had been blown horizontally across the field and had stuck onto the window.
I wasn't really aware just how cold it was until I walked barefoot into the bathroom and my feet nearly froze to the floor tiles... to say nothing about the icy toilet seat! 

As it's Friday, I thought I'd share my artwork and link up to Paint Party Friday once again.
I had mentioned previously that I would paint another thistle and here it is...

I'm going to have a hygge day today.
I shall enjoy looking out at this wintery weather whilst the fire roars and I enjoy painting. 
I thought I might paint another winter scene on a roof slate 
But for those of you who are missing and craving some colour, 
then how about these cute lovebirds below. 
Such gorgeous tropical colours that make me crave spring even more.
They are my daughters newest design and if you'd like to check out her shop, then click on her name. 
This illustration is a print, but she also has cards available, which is perfect timing for 
Valentine's Day. 
Thanks for visiting my place today. 
I hope you have a great day and a wonderful weekend.

Saturday 7 January 2017

My Sunday Photo... In The Pink

During the last week we have had some spectacular weather.
One particular morning, I opened my eyes to a pink glow. 
Everything had turned pink.
Looking outside the clouds were like pink powder puffs. 
I purposely haven't edited these photo's so that you can see the colours in their true form.
I'm not in the habit of diving out of bed in a morning (I'm not that enthusiastic normally) but when Mother Nature is putting on a show there's nothing for it but to run and grab your camera. 
Later I couldn't resist trying out my new zoom lens.
Here's one of my usual morning visitors perched high up on the chimney tops waiting for breakfast.
Yes, I think this lens will do nicely.
I'm linking up as usual with Photalife 
Have a great day and thanks for stopping by my place. 
I hope to see you again soon.

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.
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

Wednesday 4 January 2017

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all
I hope you had a fabulous festive holiday.
Now that all the festivities are over and the shortest day has past, I must say that I'm enjoying the prospect of waiting for signs that spring is on its way.
There are actual signs already... snowdrop shoots and daffodil tops are already peeking through the earth.
A few of my Christmas presents will help me capture everything... hopefully creating beautiful images.
My son has been having fun with setting up the night camera in various locations around our property and the first night showed masses of activity!
It wasn't until we checked the next morning, that we realised that the low hanging branches of a tree and a tarpaulin (covering a pile of logs) flapping in the wind, was the only images captured. 
What a disappointment.  
But look who passed through on night two!
A fox
But then last night's footage has thrown up a mystery... 
we have no idea what the animal image below is? 
Some say it's another Fox, others say a Badger.
There's been talk of Wild Cats and even a Pine Marten
We've even sent the image to the experts, but they haven't replied yet.
So what do you think?
I'll post the answer if we get anything definite from either the experts or more definite footage.

I'm linking up with Mersad link Through My Lens
Have fun and thanks for stopping by my place. 
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