Friday, February 18, 2011

And Badgers Get to Live Another Day Too

It seems squirrels AND badgers have had a narrow escape this week. After yesterday's dramatic climbdown on its plan to sell off our forests, today the government has announced a delay to its decision on whether to give a planned badger cull the go-ahead. Apparently there has actually been a drop in cases of TB in cattle.
Whatever the reason, badgers can run free for now.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hooray for the Forest Sale U-Turn!

Squirrel Nutkin gets to live another day after yesterday's spectacular climbdown on government plans to sell the nation's forests. Thankfully the government has seen sense and withdrawn its plans to sell off the country's forests. Our forests and the wildlife that live in them are too important to lose. Let's hope this idea goes back into the bag for good.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blue Tits Set Up Home at Leavening School

A pair of blue tits has moved into one of the nest boxes that I donated to Leavening School last year. The early birds were spotted flying into the box earlier this week- making the event a fitting way to celebrate National Nest Box Week.
Last year I donated 40 nest boxes to each family at the school in support of the British Ornithology's week to highlight the national decline in nesting sites.
This week, to mark the event, I gave each of the children one of my calendars so that they can record their sightings throughout the year.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Loving the Lemurs

Isn't David Attenborough's new series on Madagascar spectacular? Makes me want to go. I used to work at Chester Zoo, where I painted this lemur, but that's the closest I've got to the unique wildlife that inhabits this Island of Marvels.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Spring Fair

My wife Victoria has been in Birmingham all week exhibiting at the annual Spring Fair. Held in the NEC, it is the biggest retail event of the year and a chance to show your product to retailers from all over the world . Victoria took along our newest greetings cards. These modern designs are taken from my paintings and so far there has been a lot of interest.We also have new wrapping paper for sale which I hear has gone down well too. In the meantime I've been looking after our daughter Lily and we've done a bit of painting together.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Love Birds

I painted this for my wife one Valentine's Day.
It's now available from the gallery as a card. Visit the website if you haven't already found the perfect gift.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Talk and Slide Show on Masai Mara Scheduled

I have rescheduled my talk about my adventures in Kenya's Masai Mara to March 17th, after it was cancelled due to the heavy snow last November.My trips to the Masai Mara have been among the most awe-inspiring of my career. The thrill of seeing more than a million wildebeest and zebra as they plunge across the crocidile infested Mara river is one of the highlights.
But it is also the sheer quantities of game, including of course the predators that follow them on what is the world's longest migration, that really enthralls.
Please do come and hear all about these experiences on March 17th. It will take place at 7.30pm here at the gallery and costs £5 a ticket, which includes refreshments.
To book a place follow this link or call 01759 368355.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hunkering Down

I spent a morning during the worst of the snows watching these partridges cope with the cold
The experience inspired me for my latest column in the Ryedale Gazette & Herald. Click here to read it.
They reminded me of a painting I had not long finished.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Year of the Hare?

Chinese New Year begins tomorrow and this time we're entering the Year of the Rabbit.
But according to the Wood Land Trust it was the hare that first figured in Chinese mythology and only changed to a rabbit in modern Chinese horoscopes.
I plan focus on hares for my exhibition this summer after learning that this species is actually the fastest declining mammal in the country.
My successful 'hare watch' over the winter has given me plenty of material to use for a whole new series of paintings and I've already begun painting up boards ready. The exhibition opens on June 4th and runs until the 19th.