Starting to think about @openstudioscornwall which will now be taking place at the end of August. In my virtual open studio on a couple of days it was all about Barn Owls against busy abstract backgrounds as I was thinking about the way in which they and other wildlife has to navigate our noisy modern world…

My paintings are often informed by poetry if not directly responding to it…

Here is And Owl by Ted Hughes

Floats, a masked soul listening for death.
Death listening for a soul.
Small mouths and their incriminations are suspended.
Only the centre moves.
Constellations stand in a we. And the trees very still, the fields
very still
As the Owl becalms deeper
To stillness.
Two eyes, fixed in the heart of heaven.
Nothing is neglected, in the Owl’s stare.
The womb opens and the cry comes
And the shadow of the creature
Circumscribes its fate. And the Owl
Screams, again ripping the bandages off
Because of the shape of its throat, as if it were a torture
Because of the shape of its face, as if it were a prison
Because of the shape of its talons, as if they were inescapable
Heaven screams. Earth screams. Heaven eats. Earth is eaten.
And earth eats and heaven is eaten.

#virtualopenstudio #openstudios

Their feathers are becoming iridescent, I went to their release site today…the clock is ticking for my time with these beautiful creatures but I will never forget this amazing experience…and I will gladly wish them well on their journey into the wild and miss them when their time comes…just waiting for that weather now… a couple of days of dry and calm…

Yesterday swift awareness week began, I will try to post more about it over the coming days
#swiftawarenessweek #swiftawareness #30daychallenge #britishbirds #bto
#swift #wildlife #lovenature #farmlandbird #humananimalrelationship #wildbird #wildlifepainting #enjoynature #enjoynaturesbeauty #enjoyingnature #naturelover #contmeporarypainting #birdlover #birdsofinstagram #native #art #artwork #originalart #picoftheday #wildlifeillustration

From my previous post… this is the end if the poem by Ted Hughes … so often so desolate… I love his poems and hate them all at the same time
In a kitchen. The moustached goblin savage
Nested in a scarf. The bright blank
50 Blind, like an angel, to my meat-crumbs and flies.
Then eyelids resting. Wasted clingers curled.
The inevitable balsa death.
Finally burial
For the husk
Of my little Apollo –
The charred scream
Folded in its huge power


Swifts by Ted Hughes

Fifteenth of May. Cherry blossom. The swifts

Materialise at the tip of a long scream

Of needle. ‘Look! They’re back! Look!’ And they’re gone

On a steep

Controlled scream of skid

Round the house-end and away under the cherries.


Suddenly flickering in sky summit, three or four together,

Gnat-whisp frail, and hover-searching, and listening

For air-chills – are they too early? With a bowing

Power-thrust to left, then to right, then a flicker they

Tilt into a slide, a tremble for balance,

Then a lashing down disappearance

Behind elms.

They’ve made it again,

Which means the globe’s still working, the Creation’s

Still waking refreshed, our summer’s

Still all to come –

And here they are, here they are again

Erupting across yard stones

Shrapnel-scatter terror. Frog-gapers,

Speedway goggles, international mobsters –

A bolas of three or four wire screams

Jockeying across each other

On their switchback wheel of death.

They swat past, hard-fletched,

Veer on the hard air, toss up over the roof,

And are gone again. Their mole-dark labouring,

Their lunatic limber scramming frenzy

And their whirling blades

Sparkle out into blue –

Not ours any more.

Rats ransacked their nests so now they shun us.

Round luckier houses now

They crowd their evening dirt-track meetings,

Racing their discords, screaming as if speed-burned,

Head-height, clipping the doorway

With their leaden velocity and their butterfly lightness,

Their too much power, their arrow-thwack into the eaves.

Every year a first-fling, nearly-flying

Misfit flopped in our yard,

Groggily somersaulting to get airborne.

40 He bat-crawled on his tiny useless feet, tangling his flails

Like a broken toy, and shrieking thinly

Till I tossed him up – then suddenly he flowed away under

His bowed shoulders of enormous swimming power,

Slid away along levels wobbling

On the fine wire they have reduced life to,

And crashed among the raspberries.

Then followed fiery hospital hours tbc.

I have been doing a lot of extra research on top of expert guidance from West Cornwall Wildlife Rescue, about these little chaps and about best practice for rehabilitation and release… there is a lot of mixed advice, but all very interesting, so now time to widen their diet and get that flying and feeding thing up to scratch… for me I have to learn to let go at the right moment! … They are so amazing each has a completely different personality one is a bit more juvenile in appearance than the other 2 and still needing more feeding on the beam. They are also training me and very adept at communicating with me ,this is what happens when you offer food and they are full up… they turn their back on you 😂 brilliant and perfect could not be clearer ❤❤❤ #westcornwallwildlife #wildliferescue #wildliferehab

Tales from Hillside Farm may not be just sheep this time…and u wonder who my bird of the month will be?
You can still get June’s Free of course… alongside the Swan bird of the month ebook. If you subscribe before the next one is out (end of next week) you will also get the introductory book in this series and my part 1 of Rare Breed Sheep they all come to you as a pdf download via the link in my profile

#sheepstories #onthefarm #ebook #freeebook #free #illustratedbook #illustration
#illustratedebook #illustratedlife

Over the moors with Crows … when my little visitors vacate my studio which I think will be pretty soon I will get back to painting those birdscapes…. This one is on my website if you would like to see it in more detail link in my profile and a link to the West Cornwall wildlife rescue group I am supporting
#westcornwallwildliferescue #wildliferescue #artforcharity #artforconservation

This painting is called After the Rain… when the clouds clear, everything is lush and there is often a particular vivid green in the landscape and a darkness to the moorland still saturated, I felt this began to capture it. With crows of course! . . . . . Now on my website, part of the #artistsupportpledge and 30% to west Cornwall wildlife rescue volunteers to help build more aviaries, for vet treatment and feeding hungry rescued birds… More information on my website and a link in my profile to their website.. . . . . . #fundraisingsale #artforsale #wildliferescue #westcornwallwildliferescue #crowart #crow #abstractlandscape #landscapepaintingcornwall