Sunday, 1 August 2021

Grazer...

This is a painting of the bear 128, Grazer, and one of her yearling cubs.  Watching the Explore.org bear cams this year has been crazy, lots and lots of bears and Grazer on the defensive the whole time - she has a reputation for beating the snot out of any other bear that dares to even look at one of her cubs.  However, I caught this tender moment a couple of weeks ago, just after she had been nursing her two cubs in a quiet spot under some trees and thought it would make a sweet painting.  Painted in watercolour on paper and will be in my Etsy shop shortly.

Next up - I've been asked to be the prize in the American magazine Travel Guide's summer competition again this year.  First prize is a painting of the winner's favourite bear, second and third prizes are a painted trinket box & a stuffed Otis bear, so I had better get a move on with the box & toy!
 

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Beadnose...


 I completed this yesterday - it is a portrait of the bear 609 Beadnose who lives/lived at Katmai National Park Alaska.  She was a great favourite of viewers of the Explore.org web cams and if you have seen a photo of a bear at the top of a waterfall with a fish just flying into it's mouth, odds are it is Beadnose.  Sadly, she has not been seen for two seasons now - I suppose we will never know what happened to her, whether she passed away or simply moved elsewhere.

This is a private commission and will be a surprise gift for someone.  It is painted in watercolours on paper.


If you'd like your own bear portrait, I'm free for a few weeks, get intouch!

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Beautiful Braye...


 Braye Bay, Alderney - watercolour on paper.

When I got this commission over a month ago, I thought 'yeah, this I can do, it will be a doddle' - famous last words!  When it came down to it, firstly drawing buildings has never been my strong point.  Perspective and I are not good friends.  So I drew everything else and wondered how on earth I was going to get that line of houses correctly.  The paper was far too big to use my light box and each attempt to draw them by eye resulted in failure.  In the end, my partner suggested I get the reference photograph up on my computer screen and fiddle about with zooming in/out until it matched the rest of my sketch and then trace the buildings.  Which, thankfully, worked a treat!

Secondly, the sky was fun to paint but so very time consuming!  I was constantly worried that I would mess up the effect of the golden light so had to be very careful and paint each little cloud one at a time - no big splashy washes for this one!

Then there was the business of adding in the client's children - she'd Photoshopped them in but put one child in the water, which would have meant the girl would have to be ten feet tall to have matched the spot where she was.  So I had to tinker about with the drawing to place them together on the breakwater and hope that the girl was taller than the boy in real life!

In the middle of all this, my partner fell ill and had to be rushed to hospital by ambulance, where he stayed for three days.  Turned out he had a very severe case of vertigo, caused by an imbalance in the ears which can come on with no warning and no reason at any time, and is totally debilitating.  That was all extremely worrying and for the first few days after his return home, I was basically his carer as he was very insteady on his feet.

Finally this week I got the time to devote to finishing it off, just within the deadline.  It was a very challenging painting but I really did enjoy it - I know this beach so well, having lived in Alderney throughout my teenage years and have holidayed there frequently more recently.  

Next up - another bear!

Saturday, 19 June 2021

Bits & Pieces...

I've not been very creative for quite some time now - still having trouble getting motivated.  However, I have crocheted this small lap blanket out of a couple of nice varigated yarn cakes.  I quite like the haphazardness of the colours.



Also knitted a tiny elephant, lion and tiger - there were several cute animal patterns in the latest Lets Knit magazine and I thought to knit them all and make a mobile.  Half way there!

At least I am painting - I have a very complicated watercolour on the go, a scene from Alderney that someone asked me to paint.  It is of a sunset over the beach and I thought it would be a doddle - turns out it is in fact one of the hardest paintings I have ever undertaken, but I am thoroughly enjoying it.  Nice to get the juices flowing again!
 

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Lost Souls...

I enjoyed crocheting the first Lost Souls shawl (free pattern by Maryetta Roy) that I decided to make another on and had the perfect yarn in my stash.  This has been crocheted using a cotton yarn that starts off dark greay and gradually lightens as you go along - creates a great effect in this shawl!

This is now for sale in my Etsy shop.



 In other news, the air plant in the bathroom has flowered!  I usually manage to kill off my airplants but this one has not only survived but put out this interesting bloom.  I have been told that once they flower they die...but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Love's Young Dream...


 I've really not had the time nor the inclination to paint lately - not sure what the problem is, too much lockdown perhaps.  However, I have managed to paint this, even though it took far longer than usual.  This is a watercolour of bear 151 Walker and bear 708 Amelia in a post coital snuggle.  This happened on the Explore.org web cam a couple of years ago.  I was under the impression (as were a lot of people I guess!) that once bears did the deed, they ambled off on their separate ways.  Not so in this case - Walker and Amelia spent quite a long time cuddled up on the grass in the sun, giving us webcam viewers ample time to snap away and take photos.  When I did get around to working on this, I really enjoyed it! It will possibly be for sale in my Etsy shop soon - I have someone already interested in it.

For a complete change, my next commission is an Alderney scene - can't wait, it's going to be difficult but I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Lost Souls...


 I can't believe it's been nearly a month since my last post - things have been happening, but mainly I have been taking a bit of a rest after a busy winter.  I feel very weary after the current lockdown for some reason.

But I have been crocheting in the evenings and finally completed this lovely Lost Souls shawl.  It's made in a silk/merino/mohair mix that I had squirrelled away in my stash.  I could not find any more to buy when it looked like I would not have enough - must be discontinued.  Thankfully once the shawl was washed and blocked, it grew a fair bit!

I used a free pattern by Maryetta Roy - check it out if you can, it is very clever and simple to do once you get the hang of the repeats.  I like it so much I have started another one in some different yarn that I know I have enough of!  This one is already taken, but the next one will be up for grabs if and when I finish it.

On the easel - a small bear painting that seems to be taking an eternity!  I have not had the time to paint as much as I would like - with life slowly returning back to normal, suddenly there seem to be more and more things requiring my attention.  Frustrating to say the least.

And finally, my daughter is now fully vaccinated and Mr.B and I get our second dose next week so we can all breath a sigh of relief...