Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gearing up for Exhibition

I've been working on several paintings at once as I gear up for my Christmas exhibition. It runs from November 13th - 28th. Whilst that seems a long way off, it isn't really when you think how much there is to get ready.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I've just finished this oil painting of a covey of partridges in snow. It will be exhibited in a special focus on game birds that I am preparing for my Christmas Exhibition.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Closed to Sheep

Shortly before opening time yesterday I found three customers lined up and waiting to be let in. They hung around for a while, but then left in disgust when I didn't open the doors - it was still a good half hour before opening time!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Meet Pete

Pete is now offering a bespoke framing service at the gallery and we want to celebrate the new service by offering a discount to all my blog readers.
With over 20 years of framing experience, you name it Pete can frame it.
Already his orders are stacking up and this week he added rosettes to his list of paintings, photographs, certificates, and needlework that he is framing.
I am offering readers of my blog a £5 discount off their first order. Simply print off the above picture of Pete and bring it into the gallery to claim yours.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hares in Stubble

As the harvest is cleared hares become much more visible so I took the opportunity this weekend to do a bit of hare photography before the stubble went under the plough.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Pangolin

My trip to Namibia really was spectacular, but this sighting of a pangolin took the biscuit. It was the first thing we saw after arriving in the country and it was just by the side of the road as we drove to Etosha National Park.
Pangolins (essentially scaly anteaters) are very, very hard to spot and there are those that spend their whole lives in the African bush without ever getting to see one.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Honey Badgers Bully the Bog Roll

Honey badgers have a very different temperament to our English badgers and at the last camp we stayed in during my Namibian trip they had taken to raiding the campsite at night foraging for any food that might have been left about.This one nicked next door's toilet roll as well! It all seemed a harmless bit of fun and so we decided to follow it and photograph it as it ravaged the roll - but then it turned on us. To find out more about my close encounter with these ferocious creatures read my latest Yorkshire Post column by clicking here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Quagga Look

The unusual markings on this zebra put me in mind of the long-extinct sub-species of zebra known as the quagga.

This photograph, taken at London Zoo in 1870, is of the only quagga to be photographed. The quagga became extinct in 1883 - doesn't it look similar to my Namibian zebra?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bone Crunching Giraffe?

One of the strangest things I saw during my trip to Namibia was giraffe chewing on dry bones. I thought that perhaps they could be extracting minerals from the bones because I saw it on several different occasions. Anybody else know what the reason could be?This was the first wild giraffe my two-year-old daughter had seen so she now thinks all giraffes eat bones.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Big, the Beautiful and the Comical

The wildlife was so obliging in Namibia. Here are some of my favourite poses.As we left our camp at Okaukuejo one morning we were greeted by this bull elephant. It seemed appropriate to stop and give way to the larger vehicle.And these giraffes rowed up in order of size for me.
Zebra's always make a wonderful composition, here they were jostling for best position at the waterhole.This ground squirrel caught my eye as he groomed his tail. Their tales are very important since they use them as sun shades to protect themselves from the harsh African sun and as shields against snake attacks.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Elephant hierachy

My daughter Lily enjoyed the safari, especially the giraffe which are her favourite, but after a long day driving through the bush even an elephant at such close quarters wasn't enough to rouse her.This large bull elephant seemed as tired. It looked as old as the desert landscape that it belonged in. I watched as he broke up a scuffle between two young elephants, but then, as he passed through, the mischievous young elephants rammed him from both sides. As the elephants came to the waterholes they would drink, have a mud bath and then talc themselves down with dust. It looked as though this large elephant was passing on some of his wisdom to a younger bull.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nights at the Waterhole

On the last few days of our trip we stayed at a third camp overlooking the Okaukuejo waterhole. At night the waterhole was floodlit and I was able to watch the wildlife action after dark. This herd of elephants were breeding and the large bull in the middle appeared to be the most popular with the ladies. I watched as he went round and greeted each cow elephant in turn. On this night the elephant kept scenting the evening air. There were lions roaring in the background and the next day we saw why: just outside camp were more than 20 jackals on an elephant carcass.
A herd of zebra arrived to drink at about 10pm. They looked stunning against the dark night.
This black rhino decided to go for a dip and spent nearly an hour wallowing in the pool. A black rhino in the black night. The waterhole was fed from a bore hole and in this picture the rhino is standing over the outflow, where the freshest drinking water was. This elephant knew where the spot was too and easily won out in the standoff that followed.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Life at the Waterhole

It was wintertime when I visited Namibia and the countryside was dry, so all the action took place at the waterholes. Day and night these life-giving pools were a hive of activity as animals and birds came to drink.

Among the most fascinating to watch were the elephants.

These two were so funny, tugging at each other's ears.

And this little one caught my eye as it charged gleefully around in the dust.

These two appeared to be having a quiet chat, before, shortly afterwards, they began a mock fight.

Whilst these two young bull elephants were testing each other's strength.