Love them or hate them, you have to admire sparrowhawks for their lightening speed and superior skill as hunters.I've been studying one for a painting and I have mixed feelings about it when it takes birds from my garden. Read about my efforts to get it to comply as a painting model in the Yorkshire Post.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Remember the hedgehog I rescued last winter? I grew so fond of him I decided to put him to work as a model.
This painting of him posing in a bed of autumn leaves was the centrepiece of my Christmas exhibition. I like my paintings to reflect the connections that I will have established between myself and the animal or bird portrayed - I certainly got to know this little chap very well - even after he had been released back into the wild I was painting his spines.
The average hedgehog has over 7,000 so it was a painstaking, though loving, process! Read about my the experience in the Ryedale Gazette & Herald this week and in the Yorkshire Post last month.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Friday, November 15, 2013
I'm auctioning this limited edition print today for BBC Children in Need.
Keep the bids coming.....
Thursday, October 17, 2013
clicking here to link to my event page on the website. The first to click on to each of my events gets a free ticket. You could win driving safari around Yorkshire's spectacular coastline worth £55 a children's falconry event or event a ringside seat at a talk about how I get up close to wildlife painting subjects.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
My paintbrushes have been flying as I get a new series finished for my winter exhibition which opens on November 9th.
Exhibition runs here at Fotherdale Farm, Thixendale, North Yorkshire YO17 9LS between Nov 9-24th. Join me for a mince pie and mulled wine and warm up with these sunny pictures as well as walks to find red kites at a roost, a stargazing evening, kids falconry and much much more!
Friday, October 11, 2013
Like all portrait artists, I like my subjects to pose within an artfully arranged backdrop but since my foci are so very shy it can be tricky to get them to walk onto the set, let alone posture.
Most of the time I concentrate on getting a good photograph out in the field and then work on my composition back in the studio.
But over the years I have begun to use the birds and animals that visit my garden and the fields around Thixendale as subjects and to design the backdrop for my paintings around them.
This acrylic painting of a tawny owl chick, for instance, took many years in the making.
But if you think I'm dedicated to my art this week I read this article in The Guardian about two Victorian pioneers of wildlife photography who went to some quite bizarre and dangerous extremes to get up close to their wild subjects.
I will reveal more about how I get my wild subjects to pose at a new exhibition of my work which runs here at the gallery in Thixendale from November 9-24th. Please visit my website for more details. www.robertefuller.com
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Now is the time to see Ospreys in Yorkshire. They are on their way back from their breeding grounds in Scotland and are likely to stop near fish ponds before they begin their 3,600 mile journey back to West Africa.
I spent a week this summer photographing them at a fishery in the Highlands.
Elephant Watch Camp.
Elephant Watch is an eco-friendly camp and the family were so welcoming to our group that I thoroughly recommend them to anyone who is likely to visit Kenya.
Ryedale Gazette & Herald.
As presenter John Craven sat down to interview Badger Trust vice president Jack Reedy about the latest badger cull, there was a close up shot of his cup of coffee - served in one of my badger mugs!!!here.
Friday, July 12, 2013
FARMING has undergone tremendous change over the years. As a farmer’s son, I can remember having family picnic lunches during harvest. Can't imagine the combine harvesters stopping now.
Enterprising business men and women have branched out into everything from fresh cut flowers to tailor made holidays in order to continue to make a living in the countryside. It's heartening to see how all sorts of people have adapted to the changes in such positive ways. I dedicated last week's column in the Gazette&Herald to the subject.
Tomorrow I have invited 20 food producers from the Yorkshire Wolds to show their wares at a farmers' market here in the gallery.
We've got a former Oxford don who now produces meat, a bio-chemist who has turned her hand at cheese-making and a former fashion designer who now produces rapeseed oil.
These modern farmers are making such a success out of making a living in the countryside their product is beginning to win awards.
Come along and stock up for all your summer picnics. We will be open from 10am-4.30pm.
Monday, July 1, 2013
A pheasant hen decided to bring up her brood right on the doorstep last month.
I fed her on mealworms and before she ran to gobble them up she would shake all the chicks out from under her wings - all except this cheeky one.
He jumped out as soon as he realised what he was missing though.
She soon got used to living with us - even making sure she put our dog Tink in her place.
Before long, I was able to lift her wing and take out a chick to show my daughter, Lily. It was as though she were a broody hen rather than a wild pheasant!
Read more on the story by following this link to my latest column in the Yorkshire Post.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
My summer exhibition is now over. The barn owls worked their magic and people flocked to see them.
Now it's time for them to take a bow and say good bye as they get packed up ready for delivery to their new owners.
Friday, June 7, 2013
My summer exhibition is in full swing and people seem to be really enjoying the new paintings of barn owls.
Tomorrow night I will be giving a talk about the barn owls living here on the Yorkshire Wolds and my campaign to protect them here.I'll also be offering tips on how to spot them and the other owl species that inhabit the area. You need different tricks up your sleeve to spot each species.
Roadside verges and country lanes have become a haven for voles so watching barn owls can readily be done from the comfort of your car.Barn owls are one of the easiest owls to see as they hunt on the wing out in the open at dusk. They quarter rough grassland on the look out for small rodents – especially short-tailed field voles.
Barn owls nest in farm buildings, hollow trees and specially-designed owl nest boxes. But beware of getting too close and disturbing breeding barn owls as they are legally protected as a ‘Schedule I bird’ requiring a license to disturb them near their nest site.
Little owls can readily been seen during the day too, but they are most active at dusk. They nest in small holes in trees or farm buildings and frequent areas of rough grassland with scattered trees.
They have small territories at this time of year and don’t stray too far from their nesting site.
They always perch low down in trees so that they can look out for a tasty beetle or worm, so set your sights on the bottom half of a tree rather than the top.
Their dumpy silhouette is unmistakable. They also like to sit tight up against a tree trunk with a good view of the ground yet their dappled feathers can make them surprisingly camouflaged against the bark.
White droppings streaked down the trunk are a dead giveaway of one of their favourite perches and look on the floor below, too, for small pellets. These are often ‘jewel’ encrusted with beetle wing cases.
Tawny owls are the most common and widespread owl, but they are also the most nocturnal and mainly live in woodland. They don’t venture out until it is almost dark when they can be seen on fence posts and telegraph poles.
Their hunting technique is simply to wait patiently for prey to pass by underneath before they swoop onto it, so you rarely see them out flying.
Their favourite food is wood mice but they will eat anything they can catch from worms to young rabbits and at this time of year will readily take young blackbirds.
It is for this reason that their daytime roosts are given away by a cacophony of bird alarm calls, as parents try to protect their young.
If you hear alarm calls consistently in the same place, try walking slowly towards the sound – it is almost always a predator and quite often a tawny owl or their young.
The adult birds often sit in the same place in the boughs of a tree throughout the day and only take cover in a hole if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
This month I released the young hedgehogs I found in the garden last winter.
After reading David Attenborough's report on the State of the Nation, I feel happy to have done something to try to help one of our most endangered species.
Barn owls are one of my favourite birds of prey and I have worked for years to support the population on the Wolds, feeding them during extreme weather conditions and building nest boxes for them.
I also am a founding member of the Wolds Barn Owl Group, which works to conserve these beautiful birds of prey.
Barn owls are not particularly hardy birds and the recent run of freezing, snowy winters has hit northerly populations hard. In 2010, we lost 80pc of the owls living here to the cold. I personally cared for the remaining four owls and at last their offspring has repopulated the region.
Read more about their story in the York Press here.
To find out what else is going on during the exhibition and to book on one of our many wildlife walks, talks or kids events, click here to link to my website
Friday, May 3, 2013
He reminds me of the sheep dogs that used to work on the farm where I grew up in Givendale. They were so intelligent!
Named Nap, this old dog is missing a few teeth but still maintains an enviable work ethic. He takes new canine recruits at Border Collie Rescue under his paw, so to speak.
The charity's uses Nap to help them assess new arrivals at the home and then gets him to help them train the young pups up accordingly.
Border collies are well known for their intelligence. The breed dates back to the raids on the Scottish Borders. Raiders would use the dogs to shepherd plundered stock back to homesteads – getting the dogs to herd the stolen flock alone so that the men could avoid the risk of risk getting caught with stolen property.
Come and meet Nap and some of his recruits from Border Collie Rescue here at TheRobert Fuller Gallery Fotherdale Farm, Thixendale YO17 9LS on Sunday 12thMay. The talk, Border Collie – A useful dog is at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £9.50, 50% of which goes to Border Collie Rescue.
I need to get this painting of a barn owl finished in time for my summer exhibition which opens on June 1st.
First I blocked in the basic background colours and positioned my owl, scarping away any unwanted textures with a scalpel.
I will be showcasing my barn owl paintings at the exhibition, which is open here at the gallery in Thixendale, North Yorkshire, everyday from 11am to 4.30pm.
I decided to focus on barn owls this year in celebration of the fact that they are thriving again here on the Yorkshire Wolds.
You may remember we lost nearly 80pc of the local population during the particularly harsh winter of 2010, but the surviving pairs bred last year and the year before so that we are back on course now. There's nothing quite as beautiful as a barn owl gliding across the countryside in the evening!!!