Friday, October 23, 2009

Badgers in Colour

I've finished the first painting in my new 'badger' series (see above) and have begun the second (see below). I was going to build up the background with layers, but after straw-poll in the gallery I've decided to keep the colour behind the badger quite flat. Things are stepping up for the exhibition now.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Swans- a-swimming

I've just finished these two in time for the Christmas Exhibition. Don't know how they'll go down, they're a little different to my usual painting style.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Big Draw

The gallery has just hosted a week of Big Draw events. Some 60 school children, including those picture above from Ampleforth College and, below, from Pocklington School attended intensive drawing sessions during the week. And on Saturday we opened up the event to the public. Children aged from babies to their teens all picked up pencils and started sketching my paintings with enthusiasm. I was very impressed with the quality of all the work produced. The events are part of a nationwide campaign to promote the importance of drawing: the way it helps you to look intently at your surroundings and the way it can improve your understanding of what you see.In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Darwin, we decided to make the natural world the theme of our Big Draw event and we gave people skulls and feathers as props to sketch.
I was particularly impressed with the confidence that the children showed in tackling their subjects. They were not afraid to fill the page, a reflection I'm sure of the way in which art teaching has improved in schools over the years.
The school children took their sketches back to their classrooms to work up and will be back next month to show me the results. I look forward to it. I plan to award the best Young Wildlife Artist of the Year.

Friday, October 16, 2009

An Invitation For You...

I've just picked up the invitations to my Christmas Exhibition which opens on November 14th. Click here for your own copy.
It was a bumper collection. The latest edition of my bi-annual newsletter and the new catalogue are were also ready. Click on the links above for your online preview of both.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lappet Man

Whilst it is spectacular to see a kill, the aftermath can be just as interesting. The day I watched a lappet-faced vulture take on some 35 rivals, plus a jackal, was better than any Bruce Lee action movie. Read more in my monthly Yorkshire Post column

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lean Times

Bring on the rain! Don't know whether I brought the drought with me from the Masai Mara, but after a wet summer we seem to be having a drastically dry autumn. And now the dry weather is beginning to affect the badgers I have been watching. Their favourite food - earthworms - have gone deep underground to find moisture.
I usually throw dog biscuits around the sett so that they stay longer and I can photograph them. Lately even those badgers that routinely turned up their noses to the biscuits have been glad of the extra food - see this fellow trying to reach under a log for one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Facebook - I'm on!

Hi there. Thought you'd be interested to know that I've made myself a page on Facebook. If you want to follow my adventures on Facebook too click here. Or log on and search for 'Robert E Fuller'.
Of course, I'll still be blogging away here and can put a lot more detail about what I'm up to.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Badger Watch

The badger clan that I have been watching from my hide on the Yorkshire Wolds all year have been putting a lot of effort into social bonding lately.
They've been grooming themselves:
And each other:

...and playing loads, see these two on in a game of hide and seek!

This is all good news. The sett has been in turmoil for much of the summer after some rebellious males upset the social order. But the fact that the clan are now spending this quality time together means their social bonds will be reinforced and this means no more infighting.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Drawin' Darwin

We're having a Drawin' Darwin day at the gallery on Saturday, October 17th.
Happily, we have now secured sponsorship from the quality pencil manufacturer, Derwent, for the art materials. Now all we need to do is provide the paper and some props and get as many people as we can into the gallery to start sketching. It is all part of a nationwide scheme funded by the Arts Council to encourage people to draw. I hope that if people look at my paintings for long enough to draw the creatures they see, or at a skeleton, or a feather, then they will really be seeing nature - and that ties in naturally with the 200th anniversary celebrations of Darwin.
For more information about the day click here , and for details on other Big Draw events taking place around the country this October click here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Badgers in Colour

I've started working on a series of paintings of badgers for my Christmas exhibition, which opens on November 14th and runs until November 29th.
Well, actually I've been working on the paintings for the exhibition all year but this is the time that I knuckle down in the studio with my paintbrushes.
I built a hide close to a badger sett in February and I've been watching and photographing the badgers most nights since then. I have got to know some of them very well.
This is Dyson. I've watched him grow up, from his first visits out in the late April snows with his mother. I named him for the greedy way he uses his snout to hoover up the titbits I leave out for him.
I still need to add a lot of detail to this painting. I'll keep you posted on how it develops.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Nest Boxes Go Up On The Wolds

I have been busy putting up nest boxes on farmland across the Yorkshrie Wolds after we raised £287 in a raffle at my summer exhibition. The money will fund 28 boxes and this weekend I put up 17. Only another 11 to go.
I''m hoping this latest conservation project, which I've called Nest Boxes on the Wolds, will boost bird populations in the area.