Looming deadlines and work overload have kept me honest and at my desk for the last few days. They have prevented me from getting out and about much - not even being able to get over and play with the delightful Blandford Otters. Nevertheless, I was determined to keep up with the sketching momentum I had built up of late. Therefore, I decided that the first half-hour of each working day would be spent trying to capture the avian activities of 'our' garden birds on paper. My idea was to give myself a time-limit, to make me work very quickly and thus learn how to gather as much information about the light and birds, without the images becoming pedantic. Generally, I was quite pleased with the way it was all turning out.
This morning I looked out and noticed the usual suspects rousing themselves for the rigours of the day. Blue Tits, Goldfinches and Blackbirds were all posing nicely for their portraits to be painted. My pencil was poised to start, when a handsome male Great-spotted Woodpecker stole their limelight, flying in and landing briefly on the Birch Tree. He allowed just enough time for me make one rapid drawing, before undulating away stage left. I was reasonably happy that I had captured him on paper and while the moment was still alive in my mind, I kept drawing, painting and adding surrounding elements to the page. By the time I had completed the page, the half-hour was up, compelling me to get the nose back-to-the-grindstone.
If you're expecting words of wisdom from Dan and Rosemary you may be sadly disappointed. However, if you want to keep up to date with our current projects then pick up the feed at the top of this column.