Friday, February 19, 2010

Winner of The Telegraph's Big Picture Competition

The photograph I took of a tiger hunting in India has won me first prize in The Telegraph's Big Picture competition this week. It will appear on the back page of The Telegraph on Saturday, follow this link to see it on the web.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tiger Hunt

As celebrations for the Chinese Year of the Tiger begin this week, I have been reminiscing about the first time I saw a tiger in India, its three-metre long body gliding through a deserted Raj temple. I was lucky enough to see this tiger go on to hunt and the pictures I went on to paint became some of my most popular.
These powerful animals are surely among the most beautiful in the world. And yet tigers as a species are in grave danger. It seems they may be under even greater threat during this apparently auspicious year.
To read abut my encounter with tigers see The Yorkshire Post this weekend.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Red Stag

I've just finished my first painting of 2010. I saw this red stag on a trip to Sleivemore on the Isle of Islay in Scotland and decided to paint him in oils for this. I'm pleased with the way the light lit up his coat.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Spring Fair

I've been exhibiting at Birmingham NEC's Spring Fair this week. It is the biggest retail event of the year and the main one to which retailers from all over the world come to choose which products to stock for the following year.
Today was the last day and was spent winding down and packing up the stand where I had been showing the greeting cards featuring my paintings.
It has been a very busy, and very successful week with lots of interest in my newest cards, especially in 'Wren on Cherry Blossom', pictured. It was also a great opportunity to meet and talk with so many of our customers. Thank you all for your support.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nest Box Giveaway

It's National Nest Box Week next week and I decided to use the opportunity to spend some of the money I have raised this year through my conservation project, Nest Boxes on the Wolds, by giving 40 nest boxes to the pupils of Leavening Primary School.
Each family at the school got their own nest box to take home and put up in their gardens. I also gave a few to the school garden and we spent the afternoon last Friday putting the boxes up. The children were so enthusiastic, I'm sure they will cherish their boxes and hopefully I have done something to foster a love of wildlife amongst some of them at least.
Run by the British Trust for Ornithology, the week aims to redress a delcine in natural nest sites for birds.
To read more about it in The Yorkshire Post click here.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Raffle Winner

Pictured above is Wendy Johnson, the proud winner of the raffle I held during my Christmas exhibition. She won £150 worth of prints and came in to the gallery the other day to choose her prize.
I hold a raffle at each of my exhibitions to raise funds to build nest boxes for birds throughout the Wolds and North Yorkshire.
I'm delighted to announce that we raised a little more than £240, all of which will go towards boosting and supporting bird populations in the area. Thank you to Wendy and all who took part in the raffle.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Robin Territorial

Robins are viciously territorial, but one year a robin in my garden took on a competitor he couldn't compete with - his own reflection in my car window. To read more about it and how I got him to pose for the painting below read my latest column in the Gazette & Herald.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sparrowhawk Spoil

In preparation for the Big RSPB Garden Bird Watch at the weekend, I moved all my bird feeders - I have several so that I can watch the birds from nearly every side of the house - to a spot in front of my kitchen window.
I topped up the feeders on Sunday morning and then settled down with a cup of tea - as advised by the RSPB Bird Watch website - and began to count the birds as they came in to feed. I had just got going when a sparrowhawk came swooping in and they all scattered!
I had to wait 20 minutes and then start the whole thing off again. Of the birds the RSPB wanted us to lookout for, I saw: nine blackbirds; five blue tits; five chaffinches; two collared doves; five dunnocks; five great tits; seven green finches; two robins; six starlings and two wrens.
I also saw 70 tree sparrows, a sparrowhawk, a pheasant, a great spotted woodpecker and, best of all, four bullfinches. These birds aren't on the Big Garden Bird Watch list, but I was pleased to find them in the garden nevertheless.
If you haven't registered your count yet, you can still do so. Just follow this link.