Friday, December 18, 2009

Seal Pups Galore!

I didn't get time to go and see the seals pupping in Lincolnishire this November because my Christmas exhibition was so busy. But last week I decided to drive over and see if they were still there - and they were. In their hundreds!
It really was worth the trip. The spot that they land on is actually part of an RAF base, which in a way means they are well protected - even if at times things must be a little noisy for them, as these signposts suggest.

My daughter Lily really enjoyed seeing them. They came up so close to the fence she could have touched them!
Not only are the females feeding their new pups now, but this is also the mating season and males, or 'beechmasters' as the dominant ones are known, are rounding up the females too. To read more follow this link to my Gazette & Herald column.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A waxwing Christmas

I always think of waxwings at Christmas. They are not resident to the UK, but like Santa they visit us from Scandinavia each winter and tend to hang around shopping centres whilst people are doing their Christmas shopping.
Last year I spent much of December scouring the streets of Huddersfield trying to photograph some, only to have a flock visit the tree outside just as I was sitting down to my Christmas dinner.
As I watched them, the reason for the name ‘waxwing’ became clear. Each of the secondary flight feathers bore a tear-shaped red droplet which matched the dripping candle wax on our table... Read more in this week's Yorkshire Post.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Uptown Fox

Painting by Robert E Fuller

I had a call yesterday from Peter Levy of Radio Humberside wanting to know all about urban foxes after that photograph of a fox walking up an escalator in a London Underground Station appeared in all the papers.
Thinking of town foxes brought me in mind of a week I spent cramped in a child's Wendy house in Huntingdon watching a vixen and her cubs. Click here for more on that experience.

This is the time of year to be listening out for fox calls as they begin their courting season. These animals really are among the most adaptable of all our species and the jokes in the newspapers yesterday on that savvy fox's London 'knowledge' aren't that far off the mark.

To learn more about town foxes click here link to Peter Levy's BBC Radio Humberside programme.

And for more 'foxy tales' click here to link to a Gazette & Herald column of mine.

Friday, December 11, 2009

And the winner is.....

....Amy Crowther, age 11 of Pocklington School, pictured below.
Her painting really was wonderful. It kept catching my eye every time I walked past it and I thought it really deserved to win. Amy is now the Young Wildlife Artist of the Year. She told me that it was the first time she had used acylic paints and I hope she keeps it up.

Having said that, all the paintings were outstanding and I found it hard to choose winners amongst the rest. Here are some examples:
Pictured here with Amy Crowther are Amy Redhead, age 11, and Will Wraith, also 11, with their paintings.

This was Amy Redhead's picture, it earned her second prize in the Pocklington School catagory.
And this was by William Bulmer, also of Pocklington School.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pick of the Best

This week the gallery has been filled with pictures produced by children for our Big Draw competition. The special exhibition follows a series of workshops in October in which the youngsters were encouraged to draw from nature, using my pictures as inspiration.
More than 120 children took part, and we held a special opening over the weekend for the children and their parents to view the work.
The pictures the children produced were outstanding. I don't think I could have done half as well at their age. Here are some of the winners.
Pictured on the right is Emily Dalton, whose drawing earned her second place in the general public catagory.And this is six-year-old Poppy Hutchinson whose beautiful drawing of a tawny owl earned her third place.

Shelly Best, pictured here on the right with her sister Natalie, won highly commended for her work.
The Big Draw is all about encouraging people to look carefully at their surroundings, which is what you have to do when you draw. I was encouraged by the way in which these young people are so inquisitive and so enthused by wildlife.

It was very difficult choosing an overall winner from such outstanding pictures, but tomorrow I shall be announcing the Young Wildlife Artist of the Year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Docking station lures shiest birds

After Kingfishers, I think bullfinches are this country's most colourful bird. But they are such shy birds that in the past I have had trouble getting close enough to photograph them. Until, that is, I discovered their love for dock leaves.... read more in my Gazette & Herald article here.

Bullfinch on Appleblossom

The knowledge has helped with getting studies for paintings, such as the above.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Special Deliveries

My Christmas exhibition is now over and as with the end of every exhibition it leaves me feeling both sad and happy at the same time.
There was a really festive atmosphere here whilst it was taking place, but it was so busy I hardly had time to step out of the gallery.
Today I took the opportunity to get out and personally delivered the 10 original paintings I sold to their new homes. It is always sad to see them go, having spent so long researching and painting them - but great to see the new owner's delighted faces when I dropped them off.

Tufty, Original Oil Painting, now sold.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Time to buy your Christmas cards

Don't get caught out with the last minute Christmas postal rush. We have two new Christmas cards this year which should fit the bill:
Pheasant Portrait
Click here to order

Fox on Lookout
Click here to order

They each come with the words 'Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year' printed inside and cost £10 for a pack of 10, including postage and packaging.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I've sold all three of my new swan paintings. This is great news as they were a departure from my usual style and I wasn't sure how they would go down....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Best of Luck to the Blacksmith's Inn

The new owners of the Blacksmith's Inn, formerly the Blacksmith's Arms, in Westow, popped in to the gallery yesterday to buy some prints from me to decorate their newly-refurbished pub.
Mark and Jane Scholefield are re-opening the 300-year-old pub, which has been closed for two months, as a traditional inn and have restored its name as well as its former darts, dominoes and cricket teams.
The couple, who used to own Will's Bar in Malton Market Place, will continue to run a restaurant alongside the pub.
They bought a print of my red stag painting and one of my saddle back pig picture.
It is the opening night tonight and I wish them well. I hope their new customers enjoy the pictures...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Barn Owl is Back

Barn Owl on Fencepost, oil painting
The wild barn owl that I feed from my garden bird table is back at last. He disappeared over the summer after the tawny owl, with whom he guardedly shares my outdoor dining table, went for him. I expect the encroaching cold weather has brought him back. That and the fact that the tawny owl is less prevelant now that his chicks have grown up.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mist Lifts

I've been flying my new barn owl in the living room. She's still a bit young and has a lot to learn, so at the moment this is probably the safest place for her.
I got her in the summer after my last pet barn owl, Fern, sadly died. She's called Mist.

Monday, November 23, 2009

New prints for Christmas

I've published three new limited edition prints of my paintings. They are:
'Wren on Hook'
Image size: 15 x 30cm
Click here for details

'Fox on Lookout'
Image size: 45 x 30cm
Click here for details

'Long Tailed Tit on Catkin II'
Image size: 15x30cm
Click here for details

Each print is one of just 850 editions and is available loose, framed or mounted. If you're thinking of ordering one as a gift for someone special this Christmas, take a look.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mull it over

It's been a busy day in the gallery, inspite of foggy wet weather. (In fact it may have helped!) As well as enjoying the show, visitors have really appreciated a warming glass of my mulled wine. Lots of people have asked for it so here is the receipe for my mulled wine mix:

1 bottle of red wine
1/4 litre of orange juice
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 litre of water
1 mulled wine spice bag

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir until the sugar has dissolved. If you want to spark it up a bit - swap the water for 1/4 litre of brandy, which gives it a very nice kick!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Funny Fungi

We have had such a dry September the fungi is later than usual. But this current bout of wet weather has brought it all out now. I love the colours and shapes that you get.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

WI Charm

Another group visit to the exhibition yesterday! This time we had 10 members of Sinnington WI. It was great to meet so many people who enjoy my work and so many wildlife enthusiasts too!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Getting Up Close

Something a lot of visitors to the exhibition have been asking me is how I get close enough to badgers to photograph them for my paintings. It isn't easy, as these pictures show.

Badgers out in force...

I enter stage left and... exit one badger, stage right

Snap a twig.. and ...exit badger number two....

Only one badger left now

Getting annoyed now. No badgers and the battery of my torch has run out. Little do I know, my luck is about to change.

Starting to look a lot more promising....