It Was Very Good

The title of this page is a reference to Genesis and the Creator of our world not myself. "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good". I am not that arrogant about what I do. The great thing about art is that there is always something to learn and room for improvement.
The Great spotted woodpecker. (left) I think this is the first one I ever painted. Or maybe the first one that actually worked. Between this painting and when I first started an awful lot of art went into the bin. We all have to start somewhere. The best approach is to take a long term view. Understand that it might take years before you are happy with what you do so don't be too hard on yourself if it doesn't happen immediately. And for the record, I'm  still in the middle of my own long term view!
Baby birds are cute. This is especially true when they reach this almost adult but still fluffy stage. I don't paint them for this reason, it is just the way it is. Yeah, right. These baby Great tits were particularly cute and fluffy. There really was no choice!
These two paintings were done at the same time deliberately to compliment one another. They feature a Wren and Goldfinch and copious amounts of Woody Nightshade or Bittersweet as it is sometimes called. I can vouch for the taste of the berries being foul. It is not something I would recommend to any one. Though they are not as poisonous as the Deadly Nightshade berries, to which it is not related  they will not do you any favours. The Deadly Nightshade berries on the other hand, actually taste sweet and have been mistaken for cherries which they resemble.  As the name of the plant suggests though, they are deadly, especially to children. Leave them both well alone.
The paintings above and to the left are closely related by the birds I have painted. Both the Robin and the Black Redstart belong to the Chat family of birds. You can see by the posture that Black Redstarts are black Robins. They are both beautiful, despite the differences in colour.
When you see these birds for the first time, (Bullfinch below) especially the male with his shocking salmon pink, which you would imagine would clash with the grey and black, but doesn't, it is an unforgettable experience. And yet, despite the obvious colours, they are not as visible as you might imagine. They are not common birds anyway because of persecution.
saw my first Siskin (above) quite recently and was pleased to note that I was as excited about it as when I saw certain birds for the first time as a child. Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven! The cones and catkins of the Alder Tree do appear at the same time. Glorious.
Here are two paintings of a bird everyone will immediately recognise. The Kingfisher can be found along both the coast and the riverbank.
I called this painting the Last Post. The squirrel is an old soldier. He has fought many battles over territory and come out on top.He is still bright eyed and bushy tailed!
This painting contains loads of the of the kind of things I like to paint. An old stone wall with mosses and lichen, dried up grasses and a bit of white bryony thrown in, a snail, and a beautiful bird, a Song Thrush. And there in the background, a birch, warts and all.
Y ou can see these birds almost anywhere there is water and reed beds. That would be any RSPB reserve that has these features. I happen to like Minsmere in East Anglia. It ha such a wide variety of landscapes, including coastal, woodland, heathland and of course, wetland. Going there is an experience, with good bird watching facilities. For this painting and the Bullfinch above I again used the technique I used on the Apocalypse Blue series. By keeping the background monochromatic, the colour of the foreground subject stands out.