Feeling owlish

An Owl painting I did a couple of years ago. They are intriguing birds. Their ears are set at different heights underneath all their feathers so that they can differentiate which side their prey is on. Their wings are silent as they fight through the air, making it hard for animals to know they are being hunted. Sharp talons for gripping and hooked beaks for tearing into their prey make them a top predator. Beautiful but deadly.

Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut leaf today. On a sapling. The leaves are larger than a man’s hand, deeply segmented and split into seven sections. The tree will grow very large and when it starts to flower it will grow large white flowering bracts. Then in the autumn it develops nuts called Conkers. These are encased in a spikey shell that you have to peel off. This is the thing that children make holes through and then use to play the game conkers. Basically each person has one of them. They drill or pierce the nut with a skewer fron the top to the base. It is then threaded onto a string. Two children / people stand opposite each other. One holds up their conker and swings it at the other one. If it hits it can either knock the other conker or split it. If it doesn’t break the other person takes a turn. The conker is called a “one-er” if it survives. Each time it doesn’t break the number goes up, so “two-er” and so on. Some people bake conkers or soak them in vinegar to strengthen them.

So basically when you hear about a game of conkers that’s what it is. The trouble comes when you try and get them off the trees. We have a row of them on the main road. Children throw sticks and stones up at the branches to get them down which can be a hazard if you walk or drive underneath them.

Jay painting

When you have problems with shaking it’s difficult to paint details. This canvas is about 2 inches by 3 inches and the Jay in the central window pane is less than an inch high. I tried hard to paint the details. I think I did OK but it’s not perfect. But hopefully it will be a nice little gift…

Nature

Cherry in blossom

Our cherry tree blossom has come out in the last few days. I decided to draw it for our #bandofsketchers prompt today. The word was Nature. I’ve seen some bumble bees around the lovely flowers. Felt pen and black ink fine line pen. It would also fit if we had a Spring prompt.

Art for sale

A few paintings and some cards for sale at the cafe at Etruria Industrial Museum today. Its great to have another venue to show my work and as its open to people travelling along the canal I hope they will be seen more. I put in images based on nature but I may have the opportunity to place other works there soon. I’m obliged to my friend who is volunteering at the museum who invited me to take my work there.