22 October 2014


I have finished a new painting. It's chalk pastel on board, and considering it's my first one for 3 years, I think it's a good start.

He's called Hunter. Your opinion would be appreciated.

8 October 2014


I have started to paint wildlife again, and feel that I am home.

However, I do have one major obstacle - access to the wildlife in the first place. Seeing them in their natural environment would be one way to do it, of course, but heading off on safari whenever I need inspiration can be more than a wee bit pricey. Zoos are also an option  - Edinburgh Zoo isn't too far, nor are the Highland Wildlife Park and Blair Drummond Safari Park.

Edinburgh Zoo Website

These are always a worth while visit where I can get good sketching done and the occasional decent photograph, but I find them limiting for a multitude of reasons, not least the emotional wrench I feel at seeing caged animals, no matter how well looked after.

This is where I turn to the internet. I trawl through thousands of stunning photographs, professionally taken, of gorilla after elephant after tamarin monkey after giraffe with sun drenched vistas or dripping jungles in the background. All of them incredibly inspiring, but all of them copyrighted and belonging to the photographer; so I turn detective and track down the owner.

Asking permission is always high on my list. I feel no guilt about painting from photographs as I can't always come face to face with the animal I wish to capture, but I feel very uncomfortable using someone else's work to produce my own without their knowledge. Sometimes they say no, sometimes they don't reply...

...And when I get a yes, I get to work.