Sunday, 13 April 2014

ouessant sheep painting

Monsieur L'Ouessant © Tracy Hall 2014
4.5" x 6.5" watercolour
We are recently back from a lovely break and above is a small painting I did of the Ouessant ram from where we were staying. Beautiful little things, apparently the smallest native sheep (even smaller than our shetlanders!).

We also had a terrific afternoon at a falconry centre run by Paul and Eleri Johnson in Brittany. Well worth a visit - a very informative, entertaining and hands-on experience!

Meeting Attila the eagle owl - with an attitude to match :)

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

mountain hares miniature painting

Mountain Hares on Hoy © Tracy Hall 2014
3" x 4" watercolour on Arches HP paper
My latest miniature painting is of two mountain hares on the island of Hoy in Orkney. One is in it's winter white coat and the other is shown just starting to change from brown. It was a bit of a challenge because of the receding stones...millions of them!

Although native to the highlands, apparently the scottish mountain hare was only introduced to Orkney in the early/mid twentieth century, which I didn't realise.

Monday, 27 January 2014

rspb big garden birdwatch

Not the nicest day here in the islands yesterday for sitting out in the garden to count birds, especially for wimps like me, so I sat by the kitchen window instead while the gales raged outside. This was because of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, which was over this weekend, encouraging people to record the birds they see over an hour. This is the 35th year of the Birdwatch and the results allow them to monitor numbers and trends and hopefully come up with some ideas to put things right. The starling, for example, is down 80% since the Birwatch began - and although we usually see lots of them here, not one showed up yesterday. The poor birds who did were clinging to the feeders for dear life before disappearing to find somewhere sheltered to hide. Can't say I blamed them! 

I didn't see any rooks yesterday, and attempts to sketch the sparrows swinging wildly on the feeders were hopeless. My fault, not theirs! So here's a recent sketch of a rook instead. I'm very fond of rooks.

The only interesting visitor was a pheasant - a few years ago we would never have seen any of these here, but now they are a regular occurrence. They are pretty, but absolutely rotten gardeners.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

florida miniature art show

The 39th annual exhibition of the Miniature Art Society of Florida opens next week on Sunday 19th Jan at the Dunedin Arts Centre in Florida. I'm very happy to have been awarded first place in Opaque Watercolour for my painting 'La Riviere D'Argent' (below) which will be in the show along with four more of my paintings.

La Riviere D'Argent © Tracy Hall 2012
2" x 3.5" watercolour on board
This is one of the largest international exhibitions of miniature art in the world with around 800 pieces selected. There is a Collectors Preview on Saturday 18th and demonstrations running throughout the exhibition which closes on February 9th. Its a great show and well worth a visit if you can get along.

Big congratulations to the hugely talented Tim Bowers who won Best in Show on his first time entering!

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