Thursday, November 10, 2016

An Exclusive Preview of My Latest Original Paintings

My winter exhibition opens on Saturday, but in case you live too far to visit, here is a selection of the original paintings going on show.
Red Stag of Studley Royal

 Original Acrylic Painting  £3450
Framed Size: 23.5" x 18.75" Image Size: 9.25"x 13.5"
One winter after heavy snows I woke up to find it was minus eight degrees. The landscape was twinkling with a haw frost. On the spur of the moment I decided to visit Studley Royal near Ripon to see the deer. When I got there it was thick fog and very cold, but by late afternoon it began to clear and this magnificent stag appeared out of the mist. Click here to buy. 

Proud Partridge

Original Acrylic Painting  £2,950
Framed Size: 22.5" x 17.75" Image Size: 8.25"x 12.5"
I love it when it snows. I like to watch how wildlife copes with the white-out as food becomes scarce. Red-legged Partridges seem to peck at anything above the show – to see if it’s edible. Click here to buy

Black Grouse
Original Acrylic Painting £2,150 
Image Size: 10" x 7
I think watching black grouse performing their courtship dance is one of the most spectacular wildlife encounters that you can have in the UK. They perform this dramatic display on a designated area known as a ‘lek.’ I have been especially lucky to have been able to watch it right on the edge of the lek itself, hidden inside a small hide. Click here to buy

Tawny Owl Chicks

Original Acrylic Painting £7,950 
Framed Size: 41.5" x 34" Image Size: 28.75" x 21.25"
Every year I use my pair of local tawny owls as surrogate parents for owlets that have been handed in to rescue centres. Some years this pair has raised up to 10 chicks, which I supplement feed in my garden. They land on this particular branch on the edge of my garden at dusk every night. Click here to buy.

Barn Owl in Elm Stump

Original Acrylic Painting £6,550
Framed Size: 29" x 33.5". Image Size: 17.5" x 21.25"

I put this old elm stump into a tree near my house to make a natural nest box. Kestrels and tawny owls have used it in the past to nest in but 2015 was the first year in which a barn owl used it. The male barn owl overthrew a pair of kestrels which were planning to nest there. It was an hour-long battle but the barn owl won. This is the female which arrived two hours after the male's fight with the kestre. It was very interesting watching the barn owls meeting for the first time. Click here to buy.

Hare in Snow    NOW SOLD 

Original Acrylic Painting Image Size: 7.5" x 5.75"

I was just heading back to my car after a long day photographing hares. The sun was low in the sky, giving the surrounding snow a warm glow. I decided to leave the hare small in the picture to give it a sense of scale.

Colourful Kingfisher    NOW SOLD

Original Oil Painting 
Framed Size: 13.75" x 17" Image Size: 8" x 11"
I spent three years studying kingfishers along a stream. I positioned a hide up stream of the nest and tempted them closer by putting small fish in a tank in the stream. One year the pair raised three colourful broods! 

Black Fox    NOW SOLD
Original Oil Painting
Framed Size: 27.75" x 22" Image Size: 13"x18.5"
A customer of mine got in touch to let me know he had seen a rare black fox near his home in Halifax. There are only thought to be a handful of black foxes in the UK. Although black in colour, these foxes are technically known as ‘silver’ foxes since the fur is tipped with white. The unusual black colouring is thought to be a genetic anomaly. Historically these foxes were valued for their fur.

Curlew in Meadow   NOW SOLD  

Original Acrylic Painting 
Framed Size: 23.5" x 16" Image Size: 6.5" x 13.5"
Curlew and Chicks NOW SOLD
Original Acrylic Painting Framed Size: 23" x 20" Image Size: 11.75" x 8"
One day, I found a curlew’s nest. They scare easily, so to put a hide up nearby I had to build it very carefully, putting just one piece of the hide together at a time. The day the chicks hatched I spent a full day taking photographs as they took their first wobbly steps – what a privilege! The following day they were fully mobile and looking for insects in the grasses.

Goldfinch at a Nest       NOW SOLD
Original Acrylic Painting Framed Size: 14.75" x 18.75" Image Size: 9" x 13"
Goldfinches are one of Britain’s most beautiful birds. This pair nested in an elderberry tree next to the back door of my parent’s house. I put a hide on top of their porch roof to study this nest up close.

Little Owls      
Original Acrylic Painting 
 £2490Image Size: 10.5" x 7.5"
I photographed four little owls as they fledged from a tree close to my gallery in Thixendale. They took shelter in a rabbit hole under a large rotting log. Little owls are known to nest in rabbit burrows where nesting sites are scarce, but I have never known fledglings to leave the safety of the trees and go to ground.
 As I watched one evening, a chick rushed out of the hole under the log and pounced onto a beetle whilst the others looked on. The way their tilted their heads to locate their prey was so funny to watch. This owl quickly polished off the beetles; to the envy of his siblings, who were still dependent on the food their parents brought them. Click here to buy. 

Sparring Sparrowhawks NOW SOLD
Original Acrylic Painting
Framed Size 30.5" x 31.5" Image Size: 17" x 17"
I have a love hate relationship with sparrowhawks as they can cause such destruction to the song bird population in my garden. I decided to try and entice a female sparrowhawk who was a regular visitor to my garden to feed on dead pigeons that I put out for her, instead of preying on my garden birds. It worked and I fed her every day for around 5 months.One day a new and more aggressive young female sparrowhawk spotted her eating my daily offering and launched an attack. I was fortunate to have been in the hide with my camera when it happened.

Black Rhino                        
Original Acrylic Painting £2750
Framed Size: 25.5" x 21"  Image Size: 15" x 10.5"

There is usually a dramatic moment or two when I go to Africa and this was one of them. I spotted this black rhino in the distance walking across a plain of Etosha National Park in Namibia. I set off on a 30km detour to see if i could photograph it coming towards me. I got there just in time, but when it heard the engine of the landcruiser it broke into a fast trot, heading straight for my car. It veered off at the last moment, just before it got to me - phew! Click here to buy.
Chaffinch on Blackthorn Blossom            
Original Acrylic Painting  £2750Framed Size: 16.5" x 24" Image Size: 6.25" x 12.5"
Male chaffinches are beautiful birds. Their melodic song is very distinctive. It is a short, fast rattling sound, best remembered by imagining a cricket bowler running up to the crease with the ball and then delivering with a flourish. Usually rendered as "chip chip chip chip chip - chooipchyoo." Click here to buy.

Courting Frigate Birds       
Original Acrylic Painting £3,450
Framed Size: 26" x 26"  Image Size: 12.25" x 12.25"
I watched these magnificent frigate birds on my trip to the Galapagos Islands. During the breeding season the males puff out their throats a bit like toads to create incredible displays. The way in which the females seem to snuggle up to these inflated red chests is so tender. I wanted to capture the intimacy of this ritual in my painting. Click here to buy.

Galapagos Penguins                  
Original Acrylic Painting £3,450
Framed Size: 26" x 26" Image Size: 12.25" x 12.25"
These penguins are only found on the Galapagos Islands. They are also the only penguins to live north of the equator. There are less than 1000 breeding pairs left in the world, so they are considered to be an endangered species. Click here to buy.

Giant Tortoise: Super Diego         
Original Acrylic Painting £3,450Framed Size: 26" x 26" Image Size: 12.25" x 12.25"
Most people have heard of Lonesome George, the last giant tortoise his kind, but how many know about Super Diego is a giant tortoise who is largely responsible for bringing his own subspecies back from the brink of extinction. Super Diego is a 135 years old giant tortoise and 'mega-dad.' He is thought to be solely responsible for bringing the saddle-backed Espanola tortoise back from the brink of extinction after fathering an estimated 1,700 baby tortoises since being acquired by the Foundation in 1977. Click here to buy.

King of Savute 
Original Oil Painting £8,950
Framed size: 37" x 29" 
The title of this painting 'King of Savute' really sums up this magnificient painting of this male lion. I photographed him in Botswana in 2000, and I remember as I watched him that he really exuded power & presence.

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