Thursday, February 10, 2011

February Fox

We have noticed quite a lot of detritus in fields and hedgerows from the very popular Chinese Floating Lanterns recently. They are becoming de rigeur for smart weddings and other celebrations and I must admit they do look lovely en masse but farmers are worried about them being ingested by livestock. This has happened apparently. Coastguards are complaining that they are being mistaken for distress flares at sea. There is no doubt that the end result of them is rubbish in the countryside. Not as bad as the epidemic of plastic bags in trees but definitely on the increase. There are calls to ban them. I am not sure what sort of hazard they represent regarding fires during hot, dry summers. Can't we go back to setting free white doves? A much greener option.

This is a pen and ink and watercolour drawing called "When The Sun Rises". He looks cosy in his den doesn't he?

My brother discovered a lovely bird's nest when we were out and about recently. I love birds nests and this was a beauty because it was low enough to photograph. The majority that I find are too high up to see properly. Below is my pen and ink drawing which is very loosely based on the nest but in actual fact doesn't really look anything like it. I think I need to darken some areas a bit more. I don't like to fiddle too much though as it can be counterproductive and pen and ink is very unforgiving of mistakes.

Tony Angell is an author, sculptor and artist of huge talent. His work is peppered with black birds amongst other animals and birds. His sculpted ravens below are magnificient. Tony is an American artist and craftsman who lives with his family in Seattle. He has a website here and is represented by Foster/White Gallery here and Gerald Peters Gallery here (3 pages). Well worth visiting.


Tony Angell - In The Company Of Crows And Ravens

This is something you don't see everyday in England. It is one of the residents of a local ostrich farm, presumably being bred for meat. Sorry the neck is a bit truncated but they were behind a fence and with so much head turning and bobbing about (it not me) it was difficult to get a focused shot without wire in it. The beaks look quite vicious so we were glad to be on our side of the fence.

Not really a seedhead as such. More of a dried up collection of leaves but this one is a bit of a mystery to us. I was attracted to the symmetry.

A couple of shots of some mallard we saw on the pond on the Harefield village green. The light was really nice here. Sometimes the light on a seemingly grey day is better than a sunny one. That doesn't sound logical I know.

My local gallery had a new exhibition of mythic art starting a few days ago and I made a point of visiting as I love the participating artists. There were hares and goddesses and badgers aplenty.

Wendy Andrew is a painter of wonderful mystical art, myths and legends. She has the ability to blend brilliant colours together seamlessley to produce her very popular art. Her work is full of detail and interest. Seeing the artwork in the flesh so to speak, the colours are so vivid and vibrant. I love her depiction of the badger below. You can find masses of Wendy's work on her website here.

Wendy Andrew - Calling Badger

Wendy Andrew - Autumn Equinox

Julie Eaton is a St. Ives based illustrator who weaves a beautiful story with her work. You can find her website here with lots more lovely art.

Julie Eaton - Persephone

Julie Eaton - Autumn Night

Hannah Willow makes wonderful, folklore and myth inspired jewellery in Wiltshire. I really loved browsing her beautiful hares and trees and I wanted to take everything in the gallery home with me. She is also a wonderful artist and you can see some of her paintings here on her website as well as her jewellery.

We made a visit to Harefield the other day and I had to take some photos of the hare sculpture on the village green. It is quite an imposing structure which shows a running hare in a globe and has map depictions of the UK and Australia to celebrate the links between the two countries cemented during the war when an Australian military hospital was set up to treat wounded soldiers.

The beautiful illustrations below are the work of illustrator Robin Bell Corfield. They are illustrating A Shropshire Lad book of poetry by AE Housman. I have another copy of A Shropshire Lad which has been illustrated in a completely different way by Agnes Miller Parker. You can see the post here. Robin Bell Corfield's artwork is beautifully spontaneous and fresh and shows the English countryside as it was and as we all hope it would be again. I love Housman's poetry although it is of a completely different era. Many find it too full of doom and despondency but I love the lyrical nature of it.


Jennifer Tetlow said...

Your fox in his den, and your nest are beautiful. My days have been full of foxes and nests too, the Jackdaws and Crows are pairing up and building and fussing with nest material. Didn't see a fox, but caught the smell of one, and saw the evidence of his meanderings on a barbed wire fence.

jamjar said...

Your drawing of the nest is beautiful, so sensitive, it must have taken you ages with all the twisting twigs detail that you have put in, and your curled up fox does look cosy indeed. Lets hope it gets a bit milder soon, bitter easterly wind here today.

Cathy said...

Thanks Jennifer. Red foxes look so gorgeous in art and craft. Like you I can tell when one has been around because of the scent. They are very strong smelling. I love it when the birds start nesting, particularly the rooks. I have some more rooks nests for next week's blog post.

Cathy said...

Definitely freezing winds today Joy. Enough to freeze the barnacles off a brass monkey I think the saying goes..haha. Thanks for your lovely comment on my nest. I did enjoy it but it did take quite a while to do. I think it could be darker in places but I don't want to ruin it so I think I will leave it alone.

deb said...

Oh I love your fox in his cozy den and your drawing of the nest is wonderful. So much detail!
There is a fox on my blog post too but not as nice as yours!

Caroline said...

A post full of goodies, Cathy! I adore your fox - the monochrome with the contrasting foxiness is super! And am in awe of your patience in creating that beautiful nest. Of course you've chosen some of my most favourite subjects this week - crows,ravens and hares - looking forward to exploring the links. The book illustrations are so delicate - just lovely! Thank you!

Cathy said...

Thanks Deb. I like the look of your fox btw. I have never been close enough to photograph one myself.

Cathy said...

Hi Caroline. Your favourites are mine too. I am interested in drawing a badger now too after seeing Wendy Andrews gorgeous painting.

Acornmoon said...

what a treat you have prepared for us, I will have to return again to enjoy more when time allows.

Your fox is gorgeous!

tammykingdon said...

How do you do it Cathy? Such a fantastic collection of artwork. You must spend hours finding it all- thankyou! Do you have an outlet for selling your own artwork? I really like your fox.

tess stieben said...

We went for a wonderful winter picnic on sunday and I was lucky enough to capture a red fox mid-air as it was running across the snow laden fields. I posted the fox on my blog if you are interested in checking it out.
Hugs from snowy blowy Alberta Canada

ArtPropelled said...

Oh the nest is so beautifully drawn! Top of my favourites this week.

Cathy said...

Thanks Valerie.

Cathy said...

Thanks Tammy. It does take a lot of time but it is good fun. I have opened an Etsy shop recently but it hasn't really got started yet. It is called Caitlihne, which is the Irish version of my own name.

Cathy said...

Great shot of the fox Teresa. A winter picnic sounds amazing. I hope you found a nice, sheltered spot for it.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Robyn. I will have to keep an eye open for more nests to draw.

Crafty Green Poet said...

What a lovely fox, I love how his colour stands out so bright against the monochrome background!

I love the hare and rabbit in the two autumn themed paintings and the hare and raven sculptures.

You always share such wonderful selections of beautiful things!

Gretel said...

Oh, another one for my wish list, I must have the Robin Bell Corfeild. You do have a gift for showing us the most gorgeous things, not least of which are your own arworks.

Cathy said...

Thanks Juliet. I think you like the same sort of wildlife and nature related art that I do. I think foxes, hares and birds are a boon to the artist and craftsperson. What would we do without them..haha?

Cathy said...

Hi Gretel. Robin Bell Corfield's work is gorgeous, isn't it? He is just as good with colour as he is with monochrome. I am so happy that book came to live with me. One of my favourite poets too.

andamento said...

Hi Cathy,
My favourite thing this week is most definitely your sleeping fox picture, I really, really like it a lot!

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Anne. I enjoyed that one. I like to do graphic style pen and ink work.

Kat Mortensen said...

I love your fox, Cathy and the photo of the mallard.

When you say, "Chinese Lanterns", do you mean the plants, or actual lanterns? I like the way the plant looks, but I hear they are brutally invasive.

Always a treat to stop in here,


Cathy said...

Thanks Kat.

I didn't describe the Chinese Lanterns very well. They are actually flying candles with a paper lantern shape over them. The heat from the lit candle lifts the lantern up into the air and it is carried away on the breeze. People tend to launch them at parties and celebrations and especially weddings. They can cause a lot of problems though, once they have landed, especially in the countryside.

I agree that the plant chinese lanterns are lovely.