Sunday, 3 January 2016

Wheatear Miniature Bird Painting

Wheatear © Tracy Hall 2016
Watercolour 2" x 4"
My first painting of 2016, completed over the Christmas break, is a miniature of a Wheatear pausing on a rusty old farm machine (reliably informed it was once part of a reaper!). I'm not sure whether this is a normal Wheatear or the Greenland variety but, whichever it is, I photographed it in our fields last May and it was a real pleasure to watch. Such a beautiful little bird. It was nowhere near the reaper at the time of course but I'm sure it would have perched there given the chance!

Talking of pleasure, we saw in the new year here on our little island in the company of lots of whales who stayed feeding for four days. There were Humpbacks, Minkes and apparently Orcas as well, although we didn't see them. Others got some absolutely beautiful photos and videos but this is the best I could was actually more fun to just watch them (and boy was it cold!). Such a privilege. These were taken from my parents' garden and, despite looking like they are in black and white, it is actually full colour - it really was just that grey a day! There were also gannets galore and countless other seabirds, as well as some rather worried looking seals. Quite the spectacle.

Humpback Whale in Scapa Flow
Birds having a great time
Some not enjoying it as much as others...

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year wherever you were, and wishing you all a peaceful and happy 2016.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Great Yellow Bumblebee Painting

Great Yellow Bumblebees on Kidney Vetch and Sea Plantain © Tracy Hall 2015
 3" x 4" Watercolour on Arches
My latest painting is a small work painted in the miniature style featuring two Great Yellow Bumblebees. It was a special commission and the bees needed to be larger than life size. These bumblebees used to be found throughout the UK but are now very rare, only surviving in the far north of Scotland and the Northern and Western Isle Isles. We are lucky to still have them here in Orkney and I've been able to get some decent photos of them in the garden over the years, but for this painting they had to be shown on a bunch of Kidney Vetch (or woundwort) and Sea Plantain.

We only get a few species of bumblebee here in Orkney, but I can never remember what they all are and get hopelessly mixed up, but even so I still love taking photos of them in the summer - then trying to identify them (or more usually asking Tim Dean, who did the Orkney Book of Birds with me and is a walking encyclopedia). Then of course I forget again....!

The Royal Miniature Society Exhibition is now over, but don't forget if you didn't get a chance to see it in person that the whole exhibition can be seen online - RMS 2015 Exhibition. You can also still see the Hilliard Society 2015 Exhibition and purchase enquiries are welcomed by both throughout the year.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Royal Miniature Society Exhibition Opens

The Royal Miniature Society 2015 Exhibition 
The Royal Miniature Society annual Exhibition is now officially open! Over 500 pieces of miniature art from artists all over the world, most of which are for sale, are on display at the Mall Galleries in London until October 25th. For the very first time this year, the exhibition is also available to view online and you are welcome to get in touch with the Society for purchase inquiries from October 26th onwards. 

This was no small undertaking and a team effort extraordinaire in a very tight time frame; I would like to thank Roger Phillips, Roz Pierson and all the helpers who did such a splendid job of the photography which in turn made my contribution of putting it all together relatively stress free!

I am also absolutely delighted to share the news that my painting of the House Sparrow (shown above) received The Prince of Wales Award for Outstanding Miniature Painting. Completely gobsmacked actually.

Do get along to see the show if you are in London over the next ten days, it is well worth the trip.