Saturday, 29 December 2012

Trial run!

During one of my plein air walks in early summer, I took a photograph of this fabulous house. I was taken by the manicured lawns, the perfectly planted flower beds and borders, and the structural framework of the surrounding trees, especially the large Copper Beech tree.

It has been quite a while since I last used my brushes and I felt the need for a bit of a practice before painting anything proper, and when I flicked through my library of reference photo's this one jumped out at me. As a 'refresher' practice piece I wasn't too fussy about lines and colours but I really like the way it's come out and wish I'd made a greater effort. So, I will be doing this one again and hopefully benefiting from the trial-run.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Whenever I venture out into my garden, the true owner of this plot of land follows me around as if checking that I'm not going to do anything that will upset or violate his tiny kingdom. Sometimes from high in a tree, and sometimes on the ground and dangerously under-foot, my friend the Robin is ever present. But annoyingly he seems to have an uncanny knack of knowing when I am armed with my camera and what it is for because he teases me no end by posing and then hopping away just as I'm about to release the shutter. This shot is one I took some time ago as he rewarded me by posing nicely on the upper branches of one of my tall conifers. Had this shot included some snow I would have used it for a seasonal digital card, but instead I decided to use a photo I took of 'Dick the Wick', one of over a dozen loyal Gnomes who tend the mountainous regions of my large rockery.

I thank all of you, my blogging friends, for the support and encouragement you have given me throughout 2012. It means more to me than you can know. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, peaceful New Year.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Blind Snowdrops

Some weeks ago I received a message through my web site's contact page that took me aback. A lady wrote to tell me that her mother was so in love with one of my photographs that she was seeking permission to use it as the subject for a window blind in her newly decorated bathroom.

The photograph in question is my favourite of all the Snowdrop photographs I've ever taken. I am blessed with a garden that has more than it's fair share of Snowdrops and they come up in abundance every January. It is an annual ritual for me to get out there with my camera trying to find new ways of capturing the beauty of these wonderful little flowers.

Anyway, I was happy to grant permission for my photograph to be used in this way and promptly sent off a high resolution version. I also asked if I could be sent a photo of the finished blind, just out of interest. A couple of days ago I received an email telling me the blind had been made and fitted and attached to it was a photo. I post it here for you to see. I would never, in a million years, have expected that one of my photo's could be used in such a way, and I can't tell you how flattered I feel.

Talking of photography, I have finally treated myself to a new DSLR. I chose a Nikon D5100 but bought the camera body only and added to it a Tamron 18-270mm Zoom Lens. The lens cost as much as the camera. LOL. I know the Nikon lenses are a better quality but I want to do a lot more walking and I don't want to carry lenses and get involved with changing them often. A one-lens-for-all-purposes suits me better even though there is a slight compromise in image quality. Can't wait for the Snowdrops now.

Finally, I have decided what to do with my miniature pencil drawing. I've mounted it in a clear plastic Coaster.

I took an unused coaster that had some promotional material inside it and carefully prised it open. I then made a 'surround' in Paint Shop Pro, printed it out and then cut out a centre rectangle for the drawing. The finished Coaster now lays on my desk where I can place my hot cups on it. It's nice to have finally found something useful to do with my art. LOL.

I'll take this opportunity to wish all of my fellow bloggers the very best of the seasons greetings. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. ;)

Monday, 10 December 2012

Sheepish looks.

Like so many of us this time of year, I'm afraid I just haven't had the amount of time for blogging that I would like. I've attempted to get round a few of the blogs I follow but I'm doing very well. If I haven't visited YOUR blog recently, please bear with me ... I'll catch up soon.

I've also had no time whatsoever for my art. I haven't touched a brush or a pencil for weeks. Actually, that's not quite true. I did find myself with a little time last week to do something so picked up a small 9" x 6" pad and selected a photo from one of my recent walks. Some of you will remember my encounter with the flock of sheep and this is taken from one of those photos. I don't usually try and paint animals so this was quite different for me. It was fairly quick and 'wet' (by my usual standards) and I enjoyed watching the colours blend. I must do more of this sort of thing.

One small matter I'd appreciate some help with is the 'miniature' pencil drawing shown in my last post. I am completely stunned by the wonderful comments from you all. When I knocked out that small sketch I had no intention of producing a keepable drawing. It was just a few minutes sketching and as such I gave no thought to paper or placement. As you will see from the attached photo, the sketch is stuck at the top of a scribbles page in an A5 sketchpad. In view of the good comments it has received I've decided to keep it but think it may get lost (thrown away) if I leave it where it is. The only idea I've had so far is to cut it out and mount it into a very small photo frame. If anyone has a better and more original idea, I'd love to hear it.