Happy Monday... even in January!

I know to be happy on a grey, Monday in January in the middle of winter is a rare thing, but I was happy... and still am :D
I've started my new online art course and it has certainly hit my mojo button.
As I've mentioned before I was a little lost over the last few months and had virtually stopped drawing/painting completely. (Maybe missing Muffin had hit harder than I thought)
But Lilla at Make Art That Sells has reignited my passion.
This weeks assignment was right up my alley.
Drawing the contents of your bag.
It's amazing once you take a look into it, just what it can reveal about you.
So I have a few sketches of various items, but I decided to take this bottle of perfume to another level...adding colour.
The bottle is now unfortunately empty... hint hint to hubby!

Alien JPG.jpg

(Alien by Thierry Mugler)

I've also another reason to be happy today (well actually I've got many things to be happy and thankful for, but for this arty post lets keep it to art) and that is because I've been featured over at Paint Party Friday!
How brilliant is that?
I was so surprised as I went to catch up with the link and there was my Chef Chook! 
(There's also some cute roe deer photos included too...click here if you'd like to see)
Hardly a masterpiece, but it was the first fun piece of the year.
Something to get me back into creating art... and I'm thrilled to be highlighted.
Thank you both Eva and Kristin

I'm off to empty my bag (heaven knows what I'll find hidden in the depths) and to carry on sketching.
I think I'm getting to like this and it's a great start to the New Year.
Have fun everyone and thanks for visiting.

TGIF....It's been quite a week!

Well as they say...that was the week that was! 
Drama, storms, biblical signs and wailing banshees.
I kid you not peeps.
But before I natter away, I have finally (well nearly) finished the cacti and succulent watercolour I started after my trip to the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens.
I think I just need to tweak and add a few shadows and that's it. 
Here's the result... which is an amazing feat considering all that's being going on around here.

This photo is sort of the calm before the storm...quite literally.
The thunder and lightening arrived and the rain came bouncing down.
Why I thought to go out without a jacket on... I have no idea. 
Perhaps I was under the illusion that it was summer. 
No wait a minute...it IS summer! 

Maybe that's why I'm painting cacti and succulents?
Subconsciously I'm wishing for hot temperatures and more sun! 

I also missed a dental appointment due to my new mobile phone, that I haven't mastered yet.
The memo's and diary are still blank, hence missing the reminder, but I'll get there. 
Thankfully, I wasn't in any pain...my appointment was just for a brush and polish.
I didn't even twig when I got a phone call....mainly because I didn't recognise the new ring tone and didn't answer the call; wondering why someone didn't answer their phone.
Numpty!
I know...but in my defence as I said, it's been quite a week.
For those followers of my Instagram and Facebook I apologise that I may be repeating myself here, but I feel I have to share this lucky chooks near miss.
Say hello to Annie...whose very lucky to be here today.

Not more than an hour after I arrived home from a lovely weekend in Edinburgh...my hubby shot up from working on the laptop shouting 'FOX' whilst dashing for the door in record time, kicking off his flip-flops (thongs) to maximise his speed.
His cries were ear piercing and certainly frightened me!
I had no idea that he could either move that fast or get such volume and pitch to his voice!
Thankfully, the fox was terrified too, as the wailing banshee advanced.
Annie, who was joining in with her own squawks as she was dropped from the jaws of the fox, made off to hide in the corner of the patio...then more squawks came from the top end of the garden. 
More feathers flew and my hubby cries changed to rather colourful language (maybe he thought he was near enough away from me...or the circumstances certainly called for it)
Chickens were flapping and squawking all over the garden... it seems that we had far more than just four chooks. With the fox's escape under the conifer bushes and over the wall, we began to carry out a roll call.
Annie...yes, but traumatised and injured.
Bertha...present... (maybe too heavy for the fox to carry?)
Winnie...present (although hiding behind the rose bushes)
Flo? Flo? FLO?
Oh no...Flo was nowhere to be seen.
Only a mass of feathers were floating all around the garden and so with heavy hearts and sickly stomachs, we assumed that Flo had been taken.
I was so mad because I'd been telling hubby that he was being too blasé about them being free to roam, especially when he wasn't in the garden with them...but I had to back off because I knew he was so upset and guilty.
We scooped up Annie and checked her over...four puncture holes either side of her spine seemed to be the extent of her injuries. We've later found out that her leg is injured, as she now has a limp.
She's full of character and we're hoping that she has a lot of fighting spirit in her too.
She's recovering each day so we're hopeful she'll be fine.
Meanwhile the others were put in lock down!
Later as I was trying to calm my stomach with deep breaths, washing down the patio
(no blood... just feathers, bird seed and of course poop due to the fright).
A few minutes later my hubby called me to come and look.
I knew I couldn't take any more carnage, so declined, but he was insistent.
As I walked towards his voice and along the path...there he was holding Flo!
His favourite and with a huge grin to prove it.
She'd ran and just missed being grabbed by the fox (her lack of tail feathers are a new testament to her near miss and will be this seasons attire...basically minimal).
Phew... so now they're all together rallying around Annie and safe within the 'folly' walls.
They'll get a taste of free ranging (of sorts) by being in their movable run and we'll reposition it every day...but at least we know that they'll be safe and that's the main thing.

I hope you have had a better week and a brilliant weekend lies ahead.
I think I'm going to lie in a darkened room ;D
Happy Friyay Everyone.

A Giveaway... Mother and Baby A5 Print

 Well here we are once again...Friday.
It's been yet another sad week, having to say goodbye to Zac, but he was a fun loving little chap, so we're going to have a little fun today. 

I've decided to have a 'giveaway' but first for those who wanted to see the completed watercolour painting of Muffin from last week.
Muffin...Pup and Pooch.

I'm still not sure if it's actually finished and I must admit I learnt so much during the painting of this one. I think you might be able to see...from the puppy to the pooch... there's quite a difference.
I'm carrying on with my ink drawing of the Tiger, but I didn't want to post unfinished work...yet again. I'll hopefully finish it and let you see the outcome next week.

On to the fun stuff... THE GIVEAWAY

You may or may not know that there's a giraffe named April, who is about to give birth in a Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York any day now, and she has a live webcam on her to capture every moment.

I painted a Mother and Baby whilst I have been watching the live footage and I've decided that if you would like to enter the giveaway for an A5 print, then please leave a comment at the bottom of this post.

If you'd like to enter the prize draw through Facebook, then once again press like and leave a message there.

I hope to have Muffin draw the lucky winner, as she did on my last giveaway.
Here's a clip if you'd like to see that. Click here
(Oh my... doesn't she look cute, so young and fluffy too)

All names entered into the draw will go into a 'hat' (or spread over the floor for Muffin to walk over... with her taped paw, and hopefully one name will stick to her paw)
The draw will close as soon as April has her baby, so hurry and enter...she's looking like she could produce at any minute. 

I shall be linking up with the Paint Party Friday today, to carry on having fun.
Have a great day and thanks for visiting.
Good Luck to all who are entering the draw.

Blue Tit Watercolour

Yay, it's Friday once again. 

One more week nearer to Spring, although when I look out of the window today, I can see lot's of spring-like images out there. 

After completing a successful RSPB Garden Bird Count last weekend, I decided that I'd add another bird to my current trend of painting the visiting birds in my garden.

I decided that I'd paint one of the UK's most popular birds... 'The Blue Tit'
Here's are a few photo's of the process

We have an amazing amount of these little cute birds visiting us. 

We've also recently stuck a perspex feeder onto our kitchen window and they are now coming to take the peanuts from it. 

Oblivious to anyone standing at the kitchen sink!
Not that I want to spend much time in the kitchen sink.
I'll try and get a photo at some stage.

With thick fog outside there was nothing for it, but to enjoy finishing my painting yesterday.

Here's the top 10 results of my own personal count thanks to the RSPB's feedback.
I was pleased because I actually counted 15 different species in that one hour of the count.

Oh yes, and if you would like to see my finish painting of the Firecrest from last week... click here
Okay the sun is shining this morning, so I'm off to enjoy the outdoors. 

I'm linking up with Paint Party Friday.
If you'd like to see some amazing artists from around the world, why not click on the above and enjoy some fantastic art and inspiration.

Have a wonderful weekend whatever you get up to I'd love to hear about it.
Thanks for visiting.
Bye for now