Friday, 18 April 2014


Happy Easter everybody - hope you are enjoying the break and getting some sunshine

I've been busy with the garden and with clearing kitchen cabinets in readiness for work starting at the end of the month ... I don't want to have to do everything at the last minute so all non-essential items have been boxed up and put in the spare bedroom.   Its amazing how much clutter I've  accumulated in the seven years since we moved here.  Anything that hasn't been used for 2 years has been dumped or taken to charity shops so its been a useful exercise.

I really haven't done much at all on the art front.  I've tried my hand at doing smaller works but find myself getting frustrated as I can't get as much detail into the pictures as I'd like.      This is a piece I wanted to draw specifically to fit a long thin picture frame with olive green mount I've had at home for ages ... and bearing in mind how many pictures I have of our 'tree rats' I thought it would make a good subject - but my heart isn't really in it which is why its taking me so long to finish it.

Its coloured pencil on grey pastelmat

The two UKCPS entries have been signed and framed now so they are ready for us to deliver to Birmingham next weekend - we're staying over on the Saturday and I'm looking forward to a decent curry!   The Private View of the exhibition is at 5pm on Sunday 27th at the RBSA Gallery and the exhibition opens on 28th April till 10 May - so if you're in the area do pop in and have a look.

Not the best photo of the pictures as I've got lots of glare/reflection on the glass.  The mount on the gorilla picture is actually 'dawn grey' but it looks a bit too white in this photo

Last night we went to the lovely little theatre in Whitstable - The Playhouse Theatre.   They have started showing films occasionally and we saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - I know its been around for ages but we don't watch many films and we really enjoyed this as it was filmed in Jaipur and revisited some of the places we toured in January/February.     The street scenes - with elephants, camels, ox carts, Tuk Tuks etc were brilliantly portrayed.    Dame Judy Dench is always in good films isn't she?      Apparently they are planning a sequel to the film so thats definitely on our list of ones to watch out for.

Today we paid another visit to Howletts Wildlife Animal Park - the place where I photographed the gorilla (above).    Howletts has a lot of monkeys and gorillas but we mainly went just to walk around as we have annual season tickets and fancied a couple of hours away from the house.

We skipped the gorillas today and focussed on Lemurs (there are 6 at the Park - different sizes and colours)

How rude!

I love the way they wrap themselves into a ball

and the lionesses were very sleepy - difficult to get photos with their eyes open:

The place was crowded with families enjoying the Bank Holiday so we only stayed for a couple of hours.

We got home to find this in our garden:

The fox has been visiting us most evenings for the past few weeks but it is timid and runs when it sees us moving in the house.      Just recently its been appearing in the daytime so I guess it must be hungry but we don't want to encourage it - I think they are beautiful creatures but I've had a cat mauled by a fox before so I know they aren't as cute and cuddly as some might believe.  We also don't want our regular hedgehog visitors getting killed.

This was taken at approx 2.30pm today.

OK ... the weather is taking a turn for the worse now but we'd planned on BBQ food tonight so I'll be sending David out to 'do his stuff' in the garden.   Luckily we have a gas BBQ so it lights immediately - I'll stay warm indoors and prepare the veggies/salad bits LOL


Katherine Thomas said...

Congratulations on the CP show! Your pieces look wonderful! All the animal photos are good, but... the eyes of that lioness in the photo where she's looking into the camera... wow! So expressive! I hope your painting of the squirrel comes along for you, it promises to be a beautiful piece, looking at your composition and what you've done so far!

Jo said...

Love the animal pix. The lion really looks magnificent. Lemurs have such noticeable eyes don't they, fascinating animals. Hope your pictures do well in Brum and that you manage to get enthused about the squirrel.

Get a little sunshine, you must be joking. Glad you have some, but it's pretty dull here.

Happy Easter to you too.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

its been nice and sunny here all day, spring is finally here :)

your gorilla looks wonderful in its frame, it really suits it

that first lemur has such gorgeous colouring

hmuxo said...

I love the gorilla painting! And all the photos are amazing! Happy Easter !!

hmuxo said...

I love the gorilla painting! And all the photos are amazing! Happy Easter !!

Polly Birchall said...

You picked two lovely and different pictures and I wish you the best of luck. Oh, and loooove the lemurs. Happy Easter

Jan said...

So glad to see you finally painting again! Even if you aren't too enthused about the squirrel (which looks great so far), maybe it will get your motor revved for other things.
The gorilla and LuLu look so good framed - I'm sure the greyish mat really enhances the gorilla.
Rainy here too and I'm still plugging away at painting myself. Making hay while the sun shines (or doesn't in our case) and all that.