About nine years ago I had a birthday treat, we went to Gentleshaw Animal sanctuary and I got to hold and fly owls. Its amazing how light they are, they are all fluffy feathers. I think this is a Great Grey owl.
The sanctuary had bad luck a few years ago when a fire severely damaged some of the pens. It was a sad time, but they rebuilt. The staff are some of the Kindest people I’ve ever met. They treat all the animals with great care. They rescue animals from poor circumstances and help rehabilitate them.
Wonderful afternoon out, wonderful people.
The cat? He got in front of my sketch pad as I tried to take the photos of my drawings from yesterday. They are a large tree and workshop, a gate with a seated artist hidden behind it, and a stone figure half hidden in the bushes. These might make the basis for some new paintings as I work towards creating art for a new exhibition. I took a few photos too so I can use them to work out the colours.
I went out with Urban sketchers today and was at an old farm near Eccleshall to draw. I took a few photos. I need to take good pictures of my drawings.
The day was grey, overcast with great rushes of wind that you could hear soughing through the trees. Starting far way you could hear it rushing and pushing the tree branches. Rooks were flying and calling in the air, scooting about and apparently enjoying it. We even saw a murmuration of Starlings flocking in the distance.
I sat on a white metal garden chair, strong but cold. I ended up folding up my scarf to stop my bum going numb with the cold. Within a few minutes I was shivering and then I got used to it although my hands started to go numb with the chill. Luckily there was hot tea available. It was very kind of the artists that live there to let a crowd of about twenty urban sketchers come round and draw everything from trees to stone dogs.
I give you ‘Mikeowl’ made by wonderful blacksmith, Charis Jones, of Sculpted Steel. She’s based at Etruria Forge in Stoke-on-Trent. I bought it last year at a gallery in Eccleshall. I think it’s called Gallery at Twenty? It’s on our mantlepiece. The background is a plate my hubby coloured in and varnished at the Gladstone pottery. I thought it made a good backdrop. The thing that gets me is the spiral eyes. It’s just so cute!