Friday, 8 March 2013


We've had horrible weather in Whitstable today - fog first thing and drizzle/rain all day.     So I knew I wouldn't be tidying the garden or even watching/photographing garden birds today.    But they had other ideas - there's been a never-ending stream of hungry birds raiding the feeders today.  They've really been posing and putting on a show - obviously a bit of rain can't stop them stoking up on seeds and suet as mating/breeding season is upon us

Despite the fog, and the rainspots on the windows I managed to get some photos of a woodpecker who visited our garden several times - well I don't really know how many as I was working hard at my drawing board most of the day  LOL

A bit soggy, but posing nicely on the apple tree closest to the house so the fog/rain wasn't so much of a problem for the camera:

and a visit later in the day, to a tree further from the house so the pictures are a bit murkier

If you've been paying attention to my posts (!!) you will remember that I showed photographs of a woodpecker in my garden last Friday (St. David's Day).    That woodpecker had a red flash on its nape and I've just found out that means it was a male (thank you Google).   This woodpecker has no red patch so its a female .... I hope that means we have a pair visiting the garden - if not perhaps I need to start a dating agency.    Romance is definitely in the air

The juveniles have red caps so I'll be looking out for youngsters in a couple of months as the breeding season is sometime between April/May I believe.

Talking of Romance being in the air, David and I were en route to our voluntary jobs at Pilgrims Hospice eBay office on Wednesday.   We stopped at a roadside post box to mail a birthday card and cards for the Mums (Mothering Sunday this weekend in case you'd forgotten)!   Next to the postbox was this telephone kiosk and, as I had my camera with me I couldn't resist ....

Not sure how much detail you can see ... but as with so many phone boxes in England some of the glass has been kicked out and the graffiti artist has been busy ... shame the offender is illiterate!

So ... somebody had a good night out - that's an empty bottle of bubbly (or pomagne) in the kiosk and its true the kiosk really is in the middle of nowHere (note the correct spelling) but hope the lady was dead impressed anyway!

This is what I've been up to today.    

Zinc is sadly no longer with us.     This is the second portrait of the three which are going to Singapore and this horse belonged to my client's daughter.     The colouring is what we in England called 'flea bitten grey' so I need to find out what they call it in Singapore/Australia ... but in any case there are a lot of spots to portray.

I'm working in pastel on graphite/black sanded paper.   The camera hates this combination and really comes up with some weird images.    Basically this is just the outline and a very understated background.  I've had to tweak this in PaintNet to make it look dark enough .. 

Laying down basic colour and defining facial features etc .. this is mostly using whites/grey/blues and pinks.   The background looks far brighter here than in reality

This is where I stopped this afternoon as the light was so poor.   Early days but I got a good start

The BBC has forecast rain tomorrow and most of Sunday and light snow Monday and Tuesday here in Whitstable.   Hope its better where you are


Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

raining here as well :/

nice start to the horse :)

when i see graffiti that is spelt wrong i just want to take a marker to it and fix the mistake :p

Katherine Thomas said...

You know what? Those birds' expressions even look grumpy and down-trodden... I love the phone booth! And the horse portrait is really, really wonderfully done! I admire your technique and how you can use different surfaces and mediums to achieve special effects like the gray of this horse's fur... That's so good!

Jan/ said...

I know you said that flea-bitten gray horses were difficult but you're making it look easy! The background is perfect with the horse too.

Bummer on your weather, hope it clears up soon.

I think the same people who deface public property are the same idiots who "deface" our email boxes with spam! Just got to have some attention in some way!

Jo said...

Love the woodpecker.

Telephone boxes have changed a bit haven't they? I remember the old red ones. What's pomagne, something with apples?

Horse coming along nicely.

We are supposed to have a nice weekend, but snow again next week.

Karen Hull said...

Just beautiful Sue - love the colours you used!!! :)