Horse painting practice. A quick sketch to painting.
Soon I shall start thinking about christmas shopping, but already my ACEOs have turned to the Christmas theme and even have a little gold paint on some of them. Here is Christmas Mouse who has happened upon the fairy at the top of the tree…..
Two ACEOs inspired by a Poem
The Red Cardinal
I was approached by a poet writing a children’s book using a poem she created about a bright red bird. She sent me some stanza’s of the said poem and wondered if I might be inspired to create ACEOs with her poem in mind.
The poem “Santa’s Songbird” is about a blessed Red Cardinal, a North American bird rather like the Green Finches of the UK but with feathers of a vibrant red colour.
And so here he is, in all his glory.
A horse decorated in the style of North American Indian tribes.
I have been wrestling with this image for some time. At times my art direction fails me, like when I choose a design that really is too small for an ACEO, still I did my best and now it is time to relax and have a beer.
The Elephant and the Mouse
Evidence seems to suggest that elephants do not like small animals running frantically around their feet particularly as they cannot see them properly. Naturally in the wild quick moving small animals like snakes are a danger and so elephants would try to get away from them as quickly as they could. This may be the reason that elephants appear to be afraid of mice.
Fable featuring a mouse and an elephant
An ancient fable tells the story of a duel between an elephant and a mouse for the position of king among the animals. The elephant sat and laughed at the mouse until the mouse climbed into his ear (or in another story his trunk) and nipped him hard and drove him mad until the elephant ultimately admitted defeat.
I like my elephant and mouse to be friends, so here they are.
The cat has been spooked, but there is something spooky about his shadow!
Remember these guys…..? Black Beauty himself and the cast from the TV Series from the 1970’s.
As a child I would draw horses all the time.
I was completely mad about them.
I knew all sorts of facts about horses, their kit, how to keep them, their breeds and colours. But there was no chance of owning one myself or of even being taught to ride. Instead I read a lot of horse books from the library and drew them prolifically.
Champion The Wonder Horse
Champion the Wonder Horse, White Horses, Follyfoot and Black Beauty were among my favourite TV programmes. I bought the Black Beauty LP and used to play it on our old single deck before I went to school. I even made up words to the theme tune, I was too embarrassed to sing them in front of my friend so I did so from behind the toilet cubicle door at school. Strange days.
Today I started a new set of ACEOs with a Horse theme, here are the first two.
Dapples & Tassels, and Feathers & Forelocks.
Manic Illustrator in a Panic
So I was sitting on the sofa for the latter part of the evening . The TV was on, then suddenly I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye, against the dark colour of the sofa something was moving, creeping. I had already got rid of a live mouse in the morning, it had surely not enjoyed the trauma of being in a house with cats so much that it had returned?
This thing had just come out from the corner of the sofa, from behind me, in the gap between me and the sofa. This moving thing came into focus. It was a BIG version of the BIG house spiders.
It’s pace was steady, thankfully away from me. It was definitely unperturbed by my presence. I can deal with these spiders usually in a quiet manner, usually with a glass and a piece of card but NOT when they have seemingly been ON me. Eurgh, it had probably been hanging inside my fleece before I put it on, Ewww, or crawled on me, then off me onto the sofa. Why is it that I have to emit a small squeaky shrieking noise or strange sounds of disgust at this point? Is this evolutionary, or learned? Is it a girl thing? It really is reactionary and kind of ridiculous. That spider gave me the heebie jeebies because it had probably crawled on me. He finally left by being ejected from a glass over the hedge in the dark. No doubt he has found his way back by now….or perhaps he is on some other unsuspecting person’s sofa…..
Since Wrangling with Originality I have decided to revamp my website, no great shakes the content is still the same but it’s a bit more shop orientated.
Still got a bit to do, but sadly the historical “likes” have gone off my static pages. I do think though that I should thank everyone who has commented on anything on my site, my wranglings or ramblings and my pics, and with a few tweaks to do I will put thismessage on my site somewhere prominent!
It is a fish eat fish world.
Not so much blogging this week as I have neglected words for colour issues and other technicalities on my website. I struggle with choosing colour for my website background as I think the artwork images should do the work really, just like an artists portfolio should actually speak for itself. I get the feeling that my preference for black is not terribly popular, although really it is difficult to tell. Feeback from anyone prepared to look is welcome, the more the merrier. Let’s hope I am going into a purple patch so to speak to reflect my chosen colour !
as a site has taken form this week too. The designs on this page are offered to be commissioned either as they are or with slight changes and at a variety of sizes. Todays ACEO continues with the mouse and cherry theme….The Getaway.
Dogs – Cuteness for Attention?
Bulldog lovers may love their breed but put a bulldog alongside a long eared spaniel or a doe-eyed retriever and the cute looks of the latter two will generally speaking attract more attention than Mr Saggy face. Assuming all things are equal this reaction to looks is just not fair, poor old Mr Bulldog he really is just as nice on the inside, after all beauty (or one’s saggy face) is just skin deep. But if you like attention cuteness is a useful attribute.
Squirrels – Cuteness for Survival?
Last night I saw a nature programme about Britain and a topic they covered was about our native Red Squirrel. The Red Squirrel is under threat as a species since a few Grey Squirrels were imported here in the 19th century from North America and were released by gentry of the time to the wild. The Grey has now eradicated most of the Red’s population down to small areas of Great Britain mainly because of a disease carried by the Greys that the Red cannot survive. The narrator of this nature program was vehemently against the Greys describing them as many do here as tree rats, because they are the cause of what could be the total eradication of the Red Squirrel from Great Britain. The Red Squirrel has all the attributes of cuteness. His ears are fluffy, his tail is especially bushy, he is very colourful and characterful; straight out of children’s picture books from the 1960’s. My concern was raised about how we determine the criteria of favouring one species over another. Since the Grey would have to be completely eradicated in order for the Red to survive ultimately without human intervention, the only other action that could be taken would be a constant monitoring of areas where there are surviving Reds, culling of Greys as and when necessary. If no action is taken then the Red’s will just disappear from our country altogether.
Should the grey be penalised because it is successful at surviving here? Should evolution be allowed to run its own path even though humans have accidentally swayed the natural route of development for a species. Perhaps we should strive to put things back to how they naturally had been as implied by the programme, on the other hand it is concerning that the criteria by which one species is allowed to survive may actually be subjective with the mention of romantic notions of childhood, the species’ good looks and above all a good dose of cuteness.
Badgers and TB
Badgers have had a lot of bad press recently and if you read the literature online you will find no scientific evidence to support a cull action against Badgers. It is not known if Badgers are responsible for the rise in TB in cattle, and it is not known whether a cull would have the desired effect of ultimately reducing TB in cattle.
A pilot cull starting around now by Natural England. This week our local newspaper announced that farmers were pulling out of the cull and so it was no longer viable.
Let us hope that all the hypothetical talk about Badgers being responsible for TB in cattle has not made the public fall out of favour with them at all.
I had an enquiry a few days ago from a lady in California who had been searching for a wedding present for a friend and had come across the painting of mine of the Owl and The Pussy Cat Dancing.
This is the second time for me that this image had been associated with weddings, strangely I had never gave it a thought when I designed the scene last year. It all seems obvious now, after all there is love, a ring and a wedding described in Edward Lear’s narrative.
I came across articles about some couples’ desire to have the poem read out at their weddings but in some instances were concerned about the word “pussy” and the number of times this word would be read out and whether nudges, winks, snorts and sniggers might be set off amongst the wedding party.
Those that went ahead with the Owl and Pussycat “theme” at their wedding would have small pots of honey and quince and gold wrapped chocolate coins and so on amongst the decorations of the day. Perhaps they would drive off in a pea green boat. If you had a real sense of humour I fancy a cat tail from out of the wedding dress and maybe a few feathers for the groom would not go amiss!
And sadly as does happen with some enquiries even though they appear to be a dead cert, the lady interested in my painting backed out even though I kept her informed daily of the making of a mount, sorting out packing and postage costs and so on. Apparently the recipient of the gift had changed her mind, and she signed off the email by thanking me for understanding 😦
Oh, and then suddenly I found out a print had sold off Etsy! So there you go that teaches me a lesson about the way I market my work in terms of originals and prints!