My Journal

Here you can find my journal where I record thoughts, activities and anything else that I feel drawn to share.

Please come back from time to time and take a look.

I’d love to have your thoughts as well, so please feel free to get in touch.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than one seeks.” John Muir
The capacity to care is what gives life it’s most deepest significance.” Pablo Casals
Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” Frank Lloyd Wright
Autumn Memories Woodland track

2020

May 8th, 2020

New order for cards keep popping in. A nice surprise and thankfully I don’t need to visit the post office to deliver those items.  Have also received a Coaster Gift Set order from the US plus an enquiry re: a print. Thank you to all for your continued support.

May 7th, 2020

Just made a cup of tea and whilst sleepily gazing out the kitchen window, across the front garden, I was delighted to see two greenfinches plucking the seed heads from the little flowers growing in the shorter grass. Lovely that we have a pair living here after that awful disease killed so many. Also saw a couple of Dunnocks, Blackbird dad feeding his fledgelings, Nuthatch, Blackcap, Blue Tits and Pied Wagtails. The Pied Wags are busy collecting food for their youngsters tucked away in the nest close to our bathroom window, well hidden in the Wisteria. The chicks must be quite big now as we can hear them chirping away, when we step outside. A lovely, peaceful sunny morning.

April 24th, 2020

Busy day, but a good one, much of it spent doing bat work and it is still early days for my little bat. I collected more anti-bios from the vet and a colleague has kindly provided me with extra batty food to tide me over - should she pull through. We agree that my little bat either has a fractured hip or broken leg, or possibly a dislocated knee or hip. Under normal circumstances she would be x-rayed, but with the C19 situation this isn't viable. So far she is doing well, but from her injuries she has definitely been cat attacked as she also has tell tale pin prick holes in both wings. Only time will tell whether her injuries will heal.

When I collected the meds from the vets and met up with my colleague to collect more bat food, she  mentioned she was also collecting a Serotine bat that had been cat attacked. This bat was also in a bad way.

Please keep your cats indoors, or in an outdoor pen with somewhere for them to shelter.. and/or take them out on a leash. Any female bats that are cat attacked, especially at this time of the year, are more than likely pregnant which means the impact on bat numbers, when killed and maimed by already well fed cats, is even greater.  Nevermind all the other cat fatalities: songbirds and their chicks, voles, shrews, moles etc. It is not fair on our already threatened and diminishing wildlife. Please keep your cats indoors and give our wildlife a chance to raise and feed their young without being hammered by cats.

April 23rd, 2020

Am bat rescuing again. 🦇 The poor little Pipistrelle bat has been cat attacked.  I was sadly unaware that a kind lady had tried to contact me yesterday. This morning I received the message to say she had found a bat on her driveway and had placed it on her flat roof overnight. The bat was still there this a.m.  I rescued the bat, she was shutting down and didn't look good.... I realised there may also be a problem with her right leg. I managed to give her fluids, painkiller, some rest, then more fluids.... and am delighted to say she's just eaten some food   She has definitely perked up... so far so good. Fingers crossed that she will be okay.  In the picture, she has chosen to snooze on the warmth from the heat pad attached to her faunarium.

April 3rd, 2020

A quick update to say that am now back in my Studio.  My recently dry cleaned curtains have been  rehung; the water stains almost removed.  I was basically waiting for another downpour of rain to see whether or not the repairs to the leaks had worked, but as no rain has fallen since the work was done, and as more dry weather is ahead of us.....I decided to just get the place shipshape again. Cleaning done and everything is now back in place.  It has been a busy week and it is great to be able to move around without having to climb over boxes of stuff.  I've even managed to do a bit of drawing.   Meanwhile my lovely husband has been working in the garden.  Turf has been laid, overgrown shrubs cut back and weeds removed.

My heart goes out to those in Wales and up north still struggling to get straight after the floods at the beginning of the year. Covid 19 has really taken all media attention away from the nightmare of the situation they all found themselves in.

Wherever you are in the world.....Stay Safe Folks!

March 17th, 2020

Hi there and thanks for stopping by.

Well this is all a bit surreal and definitely an uncertain time, especially for all artists and small businesses. As many of you are already aware....the storms unfortunately took their toll at my studio. The studio windows; already in need of repair leaked lots...hence my studio has already been closed for over a month.

Thankfully all artwork is safe... and as I am a one-man band: the only member of staff: and live and work off-the-beaten track etc...luckily am still able to visit my little studio every day to draw and paint without fear of contact with the coronavirus.

So this is just a little note to say, I will still be continuing with my day to day activities. If you wish to message me please feel free as I will still be corresponding with customers, and as long as allowed, I'll still be posting any orders as well as keeping my fingers crossed that things will get better sooner rather than later.

Stay safe and strong folks and I wish you all good health.
Su

March 16th, 2020

Brian came home at noon and we decided to take girls for a walk. Work this am and afternoon together in the sunshine... brilliant! Spotted a buzzard's nest high in a tree and then 3 buzzards flying above. One, we think it was a youngster, was calling continually. Suddenly a peregrine appeared and flew at one of the buzzards. They circled together for ages. Fantastic aerial display and exciting walk. Our peregrines are back.

March 15th, 2020

When we have rain or drizzle, I regularly check the village road, our driveway and local ponds.  The activity in the village seems to be slowing down, but sadly tonight there were 3 more dead on the Tollard road.

February 18th, 2020

After years of rescuing frogs and toads in the rain and dark, and carrying them to the village pond to stop them being run over, am now to be registered as a Toad Patrol Site with Froglife. Yay! Apparently, I'll be insured and will collate and share my data each year and hopefully this will help our froggies and toads in the future.

If you wish to help our amphibians too, there are many groups across the UK that would love to see you. https://www.froglife.org/what-we-do/toads-on-roads/tormap/

February 14th, 2020

Toad and Froggy Love

Late dinner tonight as I was waylaid on the way home from the Studio. A mild, rainy p.m and there were toads on the road throughout the village; all heading to the pond. Many sadly were already squashed by cars, but I managed to rescue 35. Then rescued another 30 from the track on the way to our cottage. All so vocal and so cute - and it so sad that we drive our vehicles without a care - wrapped up in our own little worlds. Whether it be frogs, hedgehogs or badgers, we need to be more aware of our wildlife folks, wherever we are.


Over the coming weeks toads and frogs will gather en-masse in ponds across the UK in order to go about their noisy and often boisterous courtship. Their numbers have halved over the past 30yrs due to increased traffic on our roads, changes in farming and land use, habitat destruction and loss of ponds. 😞

 

 

January 23rd, 2020

An order for a 'Robin in Snowdrops' print at the beginning of January and two orders today. Well, I'll be jiggered. A good start to the New Year!   Many thanks to my 'New Year' customers. 

tiny-coast
270pixeyWhite-Rhino-Print.
January 17th, 2020

Wishing You All A Happy New Year!.

Just a quickie to say that my hubby had to have an operation at the beginning of January. Am pleased to say all is well and he is making a good recovery, but it is for this reason that my Studio has been closed. All being well I will be back in my little Studio on January 20th.

December 25th, 2019

I cannot believe we are in December already.... the year has flown-by.  Just a little note to say Many Thanks to you all for your support over the past 12 months.  It has been a super busy year, with lots of interesting visitors, good conversations and lots of laughs.  There have also been many changes: starting in January with redecorating/rearranging the studio, the addition of new signs during spring, website changes, new artwork and the addition of an Eco Corner, selling my new eco-friendly products.

Thank you to you all for popping-by to say Hi and wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Look forward to seeing you all in 2020. x

l1
October 24th, 2019

Lots of good things going-on.

LESS PLASTIC
6-7 years ago, not wishing to contribute to the destruction of our remaining primary rainforests and the extinction of our orangutans, along with all other Bornean wildlife: mammals, insects, birds, plants etc... I started to eliminate palm oil from our food cupboards at home.

For the past 35 years I have purchased eco-friendly products, but the problem with this is that they too often contain palm oil and, even if not, they are only available in recyclable plastic containers.  We have enough plastic in our home as is, without me purchasing more.  So I've recently made the changes and am really appreciating the results.

My household cleaners now consist of: bi carbonate of soda, citric acid and vinegar!  They are causing no harm to the environment when thrown away and  are also septic tank friendly.  Am amazed at how much easier they are to use; I honestly thought it would be a hassle, and the best bit is that they work even better than my previous eco -friendly products - plus they're a darn sight cheaper.  Why I didn't make the changes sooner I don't know. As has been said: "People don't resist change. They resist being changed".

PALM OIL
A few years ago, another change I made was to purchase palm-oil free soap for home.  Initially it was really tricky to source as no one was interested, or the few producers that I could find stating palm-oil friendly were unwittingly using palm-oil derivatives.  Eventually I found a couple of palm oil free soap-makers, and for the past few years have been selling palm oil free soap in my studio. I've always enjoyed displaying other artists work at the studio: woodwork, glass, jewellery etc.... and it is great to hear so many compliments re: the soaps, variety of scents available, and to see so many folk wishing to make the world a better place.

GREETING CARDS
At 16 yrs of age, I had a part-time job working in a Greetings Card Shop.  I enjoyed it and, as an aside, we bizarrely sold cacti too.  Little did I realise that one day I would be producing my own cards. Initially, I printed my own greetings cards, but then found a company that reproduce my cards beautifully - the only downside being that my FSC friendly cards were all wrapped in cellophane and/or polypropylene bags.  Polypropylene is meant to be recyclable but the majority of Councils recycling polypropylene are few and far between.  I reluctantly sold my cards wrapped, until it dawned on me that all the greetings cards in the shop in which I worked as a teenager, were all unwrapped.  You picked a card, selected the envelope along with it and all was fine!  So.. I've been giving visitors to the studio the option of wrapped or unwrapped cards.  And as mentioned above, people resist being changed.  Hence, am making a stand.   My cards from now on are unwrapped and plastic free!  As an aside, I also like cacti - and to this day have a couple of unusual prickly plants on my windowsill.

On a more recent note, I was delighted to discover a newly-formed group formed called Naked Cards.  Apparently there are now a number of small independent card artists and manufacturers that feel exactly the same as myself and are doing likewise.  To those refusing to make the change - We Need Less Plastic and More Fish in Our Oceans!

WEBSITE
One of the lovely coincidences in life.  I was in need of website advice and thanks to some lovely ladies that popped into my studio a couple of months ago, I was introduced to a  local web designer and there are now a few new website changes going-on behind the scenes.   It never ceases to amaze me how many lovely folk I get to meet and the interesting conversations we have.  To have been introduced to someone friendly, reliable and that knows about websites was fortuitous - just what I needed - and hopefully my search engine website presence will be greater from here on in.

ECO KITCHEN PRODUCTS
Back on the eco-theme - a couple of years ago I realised that the plastic toothbrush  I used at 8 years of age, and all subsequent toothbrushes, are sat in a landfill site somewhere looking exactly the same as the last time I used them.  The thought that everything plastic I've ever used: is still knocking about somewhere, is horrific. At that time, I had no idea that my green kitchen scrubbers were also releasing micro-plastics into my washing-up water, the ground and our waterways, on a daily basis.

Another lovely coincidence.  A couple of years ago, I read that loofahs were extremely useful and environmentally friendly, but I didn't know how they could be used or even where to get them.  So one night last year, I finally got around to researching growing my own loofahs.  At the studio, the following day, a gentleman walked in and said: 'I grow and sell loofah products!'  I couldn't believe it!  He was a great guy, we talked for ages and I learned lots about loofahs.

After much research: I have been using a variety of loofahs in and around home for a number of months now - and will never go back to using the supermarket micro-plastic-containing scrubbers.  It is lovely to know that every time I wash up at home or at the studio, I am not polluting the planet and when my lovely scrubbers finally need replacing, they are  biodegradable. I can just pop them in the compost bin or on the compost heap.

At Larmer Tree Studio, alongside my artwork, I now sell Loofah Kitchen scrubbers and a few other Eco-Friendly products.   As odd an addition as it may seem, it fits; am also following my heart and it makes sense to continue.  I love our natural world and wish to protect it.  I am also a Wildlife Artist, Natural History Illustrator, as well as a keen conservationist.  I love drawing and painting our wildlife: animals, birds, plants and we need to protect our environment for our wildlife to thrive, and for own well-being.

END OF SEASON
This summer has just flown by; it has been good fun, an education, filled with lovely and interesting people, and a breath of fresh air!  At the end of October, Larmer Tree Gardens close for the winter months. I will still be here at Larmer Tree Studio tho', so if you are passing-by it would be lovely to see you - you are more than welcome to pop in.

Washing-Up_200
coconut150
September 2nd, 2019

An extremely busy and lovely End of the Road Festival weekend. Many thanks to all who popped by to say Hi. Such good laughs: so many smiles, such interesting folk and such good conversations. 🙂 Lovely to see you all ...and safe journey home. x

August 29th, 2019

The Larmer Tree Gardens have been a hive of activity: heavy machinery, people, vehicles all over the place for the past week. Have also been busy in my little studio prepping prints, cards etc in anticipation of today.. the start of the fest.. It has been a busy, exciting and successful couple of weeks.

August 26th, 2019

Over the past few months, in order to gain more space at my Larmer Tree Studio; have been busy rearranging. 🙂 Due to family health probs. I never had the opportunity to get cracking, but this weekend we finally assembled my mitre saw, purchased a couple of years ago... plus Brian installed brackets for my moulding in our homemade garden studio, at home. I've now transferred all my framing gear. 🙂 Sorted!!! and it feels great!!

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s128
August 22nd, 2019

I was recently contacted by the Editor of 'Salisbury Life' magazine and asked if they could use my artwork, 'Peacock at Larmer Tree Gardens', as a feature in their shopping section of the magazine called "Ed's Choice". The editor said quote: that this is where we focus on a theme and choose beautiful items that can be picked up locally.

It was super to be invited to display my artwork in the magazine. Also brilliant to receive a 'Peacock at Larmer Tree Gardens' fine art print order this afternoon.

sallife200
pea200
June 17th, 2019

I can see my Hooded Vulture!!! My artwork is now on display in the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.  Each artwork raising funds whilst also raising awareness of conservation issues and the plight of the 678 endangered bird species..

sskiesweb
June 10th, 2019

Over the past weeks have been designing bits and bobs.  I recently collected my new signs for the stand outside the studio. As the stand was looking tatty Brian kindly made a new wooden stand for them. Looks a treat now.  Have also printed my artwork of the Larmer Tree Temple and now have postcards available.  Will pop them in my online shop asap.

ltt200
May 24th, 2019

Studio finally open. Still work to be done behind the scenes, but my old studio/gallery area is looking bright-white and ship-shape.

Have received visitors and had some lovely comments re: my studio being magical, special, and likened to an Aladdin's cave.  🙂 Have met some lovely folk including a lovely couple from Vancouver who purchased fine art prints. A super way to start the season and great to have more artwork in Vancouver; along with my wolf book commission in 2006 from Prof. Muisiani, at Vancouver University....plus my Hooded Vulture and White-winged Wood Duck artworks being on display at the Vancouver Ornithological Congress in 2018.

Thanks to all for popping-by my @natureinart Studio @TheLarmerTree.

March 2nd, 2019

Work in Progress.

My new, and as yet unfinished Snorting Zebra artwork, can be found in the SHOP...Original Art section.

March 2nd, 2019

Over the past two months, I have been labelling each and every product in order for them to integrate with my new Cash Register system.  I've also been working on a pastel portrait of a 'Snorting Zebra', whilst also slowly bringing my Esty pages up to date.

A couple of weeks ago we had a power cut and when the power was restored it knocked my pc for 6, so have been computerless for a while.  We now have surge sockets installed at home and in the Studio.  Then last week my router at the Studio packed up...doh!! Thankfully it too is in the process of being replaced.  Meanwhile, the Studio Gallery is completely upside-down as am about to start decorating.  It is definitely in need of a face lift...as am I! 😉 Busy days.

January 30th, 2019

Santa Claus gave me a new, more spacious studio, with a brand new work island. Am loving it...it's brilliant... and super to be able to move around my new work space with ease.  Thank you Santa Brian x
Will post photos soon.

January 1st, 2019

Happy New Year Folks... Have fun!!

December 20th, 2018

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to All.  Thank you also to friends, family and all who have supported my Larmer Tree Studio and artwork throughout 2018!  Wishing you love, peace, joy and goodwill!

December 12th, 2018

09.00
Hi folks, just a quickie to say that I removed certain products from my Shop back in November.  The reason being: Wraptious request that the five designs entered into the Wraptious competition are not  displayed on any other products, on my website or elsewhere, until the competition is over.  Fingers crossed that Wraptious like my work and  that I am Shortlisted.  To win would be a  dream come true...  and if I am successful, in the New Year there will be a much wider range of products, produced by Wraptious, available here on my website, and from Wraptious themselves.  Really exciting times and fingers crossed.

22.30
I've just received the news that I've not been selected.....I came close... but it wasn't meant to be. It was definitely worth a shot, and I just wanted to say a Huge Thank You to All who voted for me.....your support was so much appreciated.  Thank you each and every one of you. x

December 10th, 2018

Last push for help re: being selected by @Wraptious If you haven't already, PLEASE can you vote for me on this site:

All you need to do is click on the Blue Like Button + if you can, then please click Like on each of my products. Today is the final day.

November 28th, 2018

Just received this message.....Coo! & wow!!!

We are writing to inform you that we are very pleased to celebrate your commitment and contribution to the AFC's mission, by featuring you as the December, 2018, recipient of the Artists for Conservation Foundation's monthly conservation award.

The AFC's Conservation Artist Award is awarded monthly to honour an AFC member who has demonstrated a combination of artistic excellence and an outstanding contribution to the conservation cause. Other recipients of the monthly award have included Robert Bateman, Guy Harvey, John Banovich, and David Shepherd, to name just a few. At the end of each year, recipients of this monthly award will be considered for the annual Simon Combes Conservation Award.

Congratulations on this, and on all your work in using art to further the conservation cause. We hope to see you in Vancouver one year.

November 15th, 2018

Hi folks, I've entered another competition..this time for a cool little firm called 'Wraptious' and I need as many Votes as possible, for my 5 designs, on the page link below.

It won't take 2 secs, and would be really appreciated as it will help bring my artwork to the attention of this company.

The lucky winner is accepted into the Wraptious company; who then produce other artworks by the artist, and make them available via their website and at shows etc...which would be utterly and absolutely amazing!!!!.....A fantastic opportunity.

If you can, please vote... and thanks for your support.

 

Dr_q8S2XQCI2Mo5
November 7th, 2018

Have dusted-off my bat cape.  Received a bat rescue call this morning. Unfortunately he was found yesterday a'noon but thankfully he looks okay, so fingers crossed.

It turned into a wildlife morning as en route I rescued a pigeon from the middle of the road. Spotted a lovely heron sat in the pond, in the rain. 🙂 And couldn't believe it when a beautiful, large, healthy fox ran across the road in front of me. All such brilliant sights, but sadly, for the fox to be out mid morning probably means only one thing..... rotten, hunting souls are about.  Couldn't see any hounds in the vicinity so am hoping he stayed safe. Bat hosp. is also now set up and batty is lethargic, but cosy, warm.

October 31st, 2018

I did it!! Just had an amazing evening meeting fellow artists. The Dorset Art Prize organised by Bournemouth University attracted 100's of entrants from all aspects of the visual arts: sculptures, textiles, photography, digital, animation, ceramics, drawing, printmaking - with the presentation of awards at Poole Museum.

The final award of the evening, 1st prize, £1,000 for the 19+ category winner..... and my name was called out.... I couldn't believe it. 🙂

Met Sandy and David afterwards, two lovely talented artists. Congratulations to you both also and look forward to catching up again soon.

Thank you Ellie and the panel of judges too. Coo!!! Still in shock lol!!

x
1brighter
October 25th, 2018

As a member of Artists for Conservation I was invited to portray an endangered bird species, to be donated, to form part of a mural mosaic: featuring all 678 endangered bird species of the world.

The 100-ft installation formed the artistic centrepiece of the 27th International Ornithological Congress, and the unveiling was at the Artists for Conservation Festival this August in Vancouver, BC. I portrayed two artworks: a Hooded Vulture and a White-winged duck. Today, I was delighted to discover that my Hooded Vulture has been included in the ReMax footage from the festival, and is also displayed on the AFC website. Chuffed to bits!

AFC5a
afc2a
October 14th, 2018

Lovely to see them, but can't believe am still harvesting Sweet Peas.

sw
October 14th, 2018

Updating websites sure is a rigmarole.  Another late night tweaking text, uploading new artwork, transferring bits, so many photos .....do I keep or not keep? Hmmm.. dilemma. So much to learn too - thanks for your help Clive.

web
October 11th, 2018

I’ve been keeping an eye on some young Parasols mushrooms for a few days, and on the way home from walking the girls took the opportunity to investigate further. Hence Brian had mushrooms, egg and chips for dinner, and I just love mushrooms, egg and toms on toast.

If heavy rain hadn't been forecast for the next few days, I would have left them be, but didn't want them to go mushy mushrooms on me. I didn’t harvest all and they were taken from different areas.

mushrooms
October 9th, 2018

Had another lovely experience today.  A friendly Italian gentleman visited my Studio and we chatted at length about my artwork, environmental concerns and his business.  Amongst other things, he has a large Gift shop in the Bournemouth area - selling his family wines and a number of environmentally friendly products.

Am always keeping an eye open for environmentally-friendly products and prior to last night growing loofahs had never crossed my mind before. Whilst rummaging on the internet I decided to investigate how to grow my own loofahs.  It transpired that this gentleman was out and about promoting his new product...environmentally friendly home-grown Loofahs!  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  It was such a coincidence and I was definitely interested, and purely from what I'd learned the previous night was able to converse about certain aspects of his product.

It transpires that most loofahs sold are shipped in from China: where they are bleached whiter than white, and not only are they of inferior quality, but also the production is extremely harmful to the environment.  Looks like I may be selling environmentally-friendly loofahs in the not too distant future.  🙂  In the meantime, the gentleman is also extremely interested in art, and has other artist friends in various parts of the world.  Whilst chatting, he also expressed an interest in perhaps displaying my artwork locally.  It was a great meeting, and I learned lots.

l1
l3
October 3rd, 2018

Yesterday was a drizzly, grey, blustery and surprisingly busy day at the studio. I normally wouldn't have opened up as I was also busy trying to sort my new website - but I knew that family were in the area and would be popping by to say Hi.

It was lovely to see them, and not long after they had left more people popped in: including an English lady and her Chinese friend. Two of my artworks are now going to China, and one to Hampton in London. 

To hear an English person speaking Chinese...is impressive, I also didn't realise what a beautiful and musical language it is. When I mentioned this, I learned that they were actually speaking in Mandarin. A really interesting and good day.

Today is a lovely, warm, sunny day... and surprisingly there isn't a soul about. lol!!I It is funny how things works out.

October 2nd, 2018

After Saturdays adventure to purchase a birdbath from the middle of nowhere... my lovely birdbath is now in situ at my little studio.

birdbath
September 30th, 2018

Been a bit busy this a'noon organising the rescue of a hedgehog. Received a message saying that it was in a garden, 10 miles away, making strange gurgling sounds, walking round in circles, ears and neck covered in maggots. Person that had found it put it in a bucket and took it in last night and then put it out again this a.m. Thankfully they phoned me this a'noon and thankfully it was still in the garden.

Hedgehog now with an expert Hedgehog rescuer. It transpires he is 4 weeks old and has had the tip of his nose strimmed off.  Thankfully no maggots, but many fly eggs have been removed. Pain killer administered. Going to the vets first thing in the a.m, maybe pts, not sure. The carer says he can’t ever be released back to the wild tho’. For now he is tucked up warm, safe and sleeping.

The carer said throughout her life, hedgehog casualties have seldom been due to wildlife predation, and are more often than not due to total lack of thought and care from humans, and total lack of responsibility re: their dogs. She believes that hedgehog numbers are decreasing because of this.

September 30th, 2018

Cider makers were busy in and around the barn today. With so much activity I was keen to check that all was okay with my Greater Horseshoe Bat.

A pretty sunset and lovely evening made even more perfect with these calls as he flew off to feed. It was lovely to find that he was still there, and to see him.

September 29th, 2018

Went to buy a birdbath today, from a little cottage in the middle of nowhere. Ended up having a lovely lunch at The Saxon, in Stratton. Highly recommend: old pub, good food, lovely atmosphere. Then into Dorchester and to the Museum. Glad we did as it’s going to be closed for a couple years for alterations. Lots of interesting fossils and archaeological finds. Had coffee and cake close to this magnificent clock, and then home again to snuggle with the girls.

clock
me small door
September 23rd, 2018

Yesterday I took the girls for an extremely wet and windy walk. I was keen to get back in front of the fire but enroute decided I should take the longer path in order to check the barn where the GHS bat is living. Reason being, that last week I discovered someone had inadvertently shut the barn doors and locked him in. I decided it best to go and check, and as it transpired, am glad I did.

There was a chap in the barn draining the huge beer barrels. The barrels have been there for a long time, but I had no idea they contained anything. He was as surprised to see me, as me him. After the initial exchange of: 'what are you doing here type questions' we both realised all was well, and had a good chat about bats and the estate etc. Apparently he lives in a village 5-6 miles away.

On our doorstep we have many apple trees, as well as figs, pears etc.. and last year the gentleman was invited to make cider. Hence he was in the process of emptying the barrels ready for next weeks new harvest and pressing. I enquired as to where the cider was sold and he said that it wasn't. It was purely for personal use. We chatted further and then said our goodbyes.

Half an hour later there was a knock at the door, and stood in the pouring rain was the same gentleman bearing gifts... a large sealed bag with a tap on it.  Last night we sat supping the most deiicious golden home-made cider. 

It is funny how things work out. If I hadn't made the effort to check the barn door for the bats, our paths would not have crossed. Before leaving he also very kindly assured me that he had left the top barn door open for the bats lol!! Bless him. A lovely meeting.

September 22nd, 2018

Peace, Love and Blessings on the Autumn Equinox.

autumn leaves
September 22nd, 2018

A message on facebook from a dear friend Rahul.  It was a great big pleasure Rahul and thank you too, for being a lovely buddy.

'Me with a Special Greeting Card of my Tawny Eagle Artwork on it  Thank you so much Didi Su for this lovely & memorable Gift'

Rahul
September 27th, 2018

PALM OIL UNDERCOVER
This is a list of just some of the names companies disguise 'palm oil' under. There are more than 200 names. 'Palm Oil is in an estimated 50% of all products on supermarkets shelves, from food to detergents to cosmetics.'

We invite you to look at our list of alternate names for Palm Oil on our site. Unless there is mandatory labelling it’s very difficult to recognise it in your purchase

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September 19th, 2018

The discovery that adult mosquitoes and dragonflies that have accidentally ingested plastic, whilst as larvae and living in aquatic watersystems, are inadvertently passing plastic contamination to species: birds, bats etc that normally wouldn't be affected. It hadn't crossed my mind ... but it isn't just our oceans and marine species that are being contaminated. Our waterways are filled with microplastics so it makes sense that they are going to enter all food chains including insects, and any mammal or bird that feeds on them. It really is bad news.

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September 14th, 2018

A fb photographer recently mentioned 'image theft', and suggested protecting photos/artwork with a site called Pixsy. I'd not heard of them before and after searching for info. and reviews, I signed in.

I was shocked to discover a number of my artworks being used in a number of countries, by various companies/individuals, without my consent.

The process with Pixsy is easy, and you don't have to pay for the image search. The monthly fees kick-in if you wish for them to chase-up the removal of your artwork, and request payment for use of, on your behalf. Sounds good on the face of it, but the reviews re their success rate were mixed.  If anyone has more info on this company or any other companies providing a similar service - would appreciate your thoughts.

This is text from a 'mother of two' who appears to think it is absolutely fine to use my 'Baby Orang' artwork, without my consent, in order to earn herself a little extra cash... hmm!

'Hello and welcome to my store! I am a wife and mother of two looking to supplement my family's income through my CafePress store! I hope you ejoy your shopping experience and come back often!

_cute_baby_orangutanmonkey_
September 10th, 2018

A heartwarming sight, my lovely girls snoozing after a good walk....but with one eye open lol!! The monkeys don’t miss a trick. Just noticed I haven’t dusted outside since the fest. hmm..the staircase should be black.

girls
May

Over the past few weeks I have been looked after beautifully by my husband whilst recuperating from my op.  The past few months have been extremely busy what with replacement windows being installed at home, carpets fitted, decorating, plus the op. etc.  Have not wasted a minute tho’ and whilst off my feet have been organising a brand spanking new website, plus new design eco-friendly greetings cards: produced on environmentally friendly paper, and new products displaying my artwork: all to be included on my new website. Exciting times. Watch this Space!



April 19th

Unfortunately my Studio will be closed for the next few weeks and any orders received will not be processed during this time. I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and will contact you regarding orders and enquiries, as soon as I am able.



April 18th

Brian saw a housemartin fly across the front of the cottage yesterday, and this morning, as I sit in my Study, I can hear the familiar chattering of our feathered friends outside my window 🙂 Our housemartins have returned!!!! 🙂 It’s super to see them darting back and forth as they select their nests, and to have their company again. Welcome home ‘Little Ones’.



April 17th

Spent today packaging both my Hooded Vulture and White-winged Duck artworks.  Both artworks are now
winging their way to Vancouver.  The  Artists for Conservation ‘Silent Skies’ 100-ft installation, featuring all 678 endangered species of birds of the world will form the artistic centrepiece of the 27th International Ornithological Congress at the Vancouver Convention Centre in August 2018.  As am going to be out of action for a while and time was running short….it was a bit of a rushed job.  Hence my White-winged Duck is just a quick sketch, and many thanks to photographer Andrew Watts for allowing me to use his photo.

I chose to portray my White-winged Duck as if he had just landed; his white wing coverts and bluish-grey secondary feathers still half-open and in sharp contrast to the dark, swamp forest where, in a secret tree
hollow he will roost for the night.

The White-winged Duck is most easily seen at dusk when returning from a slow-flowing river, or stagnant wetland feeding ground; his diet consisting mainly of seeds, small fish, insects and aquatic plants. This species was once distributed widely across north-east India and south-east Asia, but sadly their numbers have declined due to habitat loss and hunting.

The White-winged duck is a large, dark, forest duck with orange eyes, an orange and black mottled bill and orange-yellow legs. His underbody is brown, with a contrasting head and upper neck speckled with white. The wings when opened are white and the breast and upper body a glossy-green black.



April 15th

Have finally finished my sketch donation: White-winged Duck. https://flic.kr/p/J8wZMJ



April 16th

Received a request for an interview from a family whose daughter wished to ask me about my art and conservation work, for her school project and presentation.  Have just spent a lovely hour with Esmé and her family, at my Larmer Tree Studio, at the Larmer Tree Gardens. Good luck witih your project and look forward to seeing your artwork Esmé – Happy Painting!

With our migrating birdies on their way back to us, this a.m I decided to purchase a woodcrete Swift box. Each year we are full of anticipation as a couple of Swifts fly around the cottage and investigate our wooden boxes, but 🙁 never any takers. Hopefully the new style box, entrance below, will be more to their liking. Can’t wait to see what happens. Watch this space!! 🙂



March 30th

As chocolate eggs go on sale in the supermarkets, stop and think about the decisions you make this Easter.  Palm oil is a key ingredient in many products including Easter treats. The production of this ingredient is one of the leading causes of deforestation.

As chocolate eggs go on sale in the supermarkets, we urge you to stop and think about the decisions you make this Easter. Palm oil is a key ingredient in many Easter treats. The production of this ingredient is one of the leading causes of deforestation.If you are giving a gift this Easter, please consider opting for something environmentally friendly, such as our online orangutan adoptions. These adoptions help to rescue, care and rehabilitate orangutans in desperate need – the victims of the palm oil industry. To adopt, visit: https://www.internationalanimalrescue.org/adopt-orangutan?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Easter_2017&utm_content=Easter2017_videoThe adoption packs include a personalised certificate, a photograph, a soft toy and a fact sheet, as well as exclusive updates on your animal’s progress. They make wonderful gifts and can be purchased as postal packs or online printable packs. Please note that digital packs are sent immediately to the recipient, so if this is a gift it may be best to put your own email address as the recipient and then forward the email later on. To adopt, visit: https://www.internationalanimalrescue.org/adopt-orangutan?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Easter_2017&utm_content=Easter2017_videoShare this video far and wide to spread the word. Thank you.

Posted by International Animal Rescue on Friday, 31 March 2017



March 29th

Of the 2,174 bottles and cans collected, there were 230 dead animals inside – one for every ten discarded
containers.  This is why you should squash flat every can of drink that you have finished, before placing it in the recycle bin. Thankfully this little vole was rescued, but 1000’s are not so fortunate. Whilst seeking shelter, many little critters get caught in empty bottles and cans and are unable to get out again. A friend,
Brian Robertson, kindly rescued this little chap.

 

 



March 23rd

‘Tis the little Celandine. William Wordsworth.
Lesser Celandine on the woodland track to Larmer Tree. One of the first flowers to appear after winter.
Heart-shaped leaves and bright yellow star-like flowers; providing an important nectar source for early
insects and queen bees emerging from hibernation.

 



March 22nd

Can well believe storks were frozen solid in Bulgaria. Can well believe storks were frozen
solid in Bulgaria. Last week, after being out overnight in the freezing rain, our rescued peacock
chicks, now fully grown, experienced similar. Unable to move: feathers frozen with ice, we were able to 
catch them, carry them close to the cottage and feed them by hand. Late in the day the the peacocks started to thaw out slightly.  They were very miserable and cold tho’. 🙁  Feel very sorry for all the wild birds. We have numerous feeders and have been filling them every day.  This month we have seen so many different bird species visiting our garden: birds that would not normally venture into such close proximity of humans.

 

 



March 14th

So sad to hear about Stephen Hawking. A courageous, brilliant man. A remarkable life.
“We have but one planet and we need to work together to protect it” – Stephen Hawking.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreathes;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
(William Wordsworth)



March 12th

RSPB Love Nature have received their first swallow sighting reported from Harrogate, North Yorkshire today – there were FOUR captured in the photo. Keep your eyes peeled and record when you see our Summer Migrants arrive.



March 9th

View from my Studio. ???? What a murky ol’ day.

 

 



March 8th

Happy #InternationalWomansDay! Celebrating Gladys Mantle who, as one of the first animal rights activists on the Quantocks, saved a young deer from a stag hunt 70 years ago to the day – a little known hero and an inspirational woman. Good on you Gladys and all the other women who work so hard protecting our endangered birds and mammals around the world.



March 3rd

Moorhen & Bramblings under the feeders today. ???? Have counted 22 species drinking and feeding in our garden over past 3 days. Fear I may have become a tad twitcher’ish‬.



February 14th

Exciting start to the week. Am experimenting with an idea for another drawing….maybe a full-body portrait of an Amur Leopard. ????   .. hmm…I’ll see how it goes.♥ & big furry hugs to everyone on this extremely cold, wet and windy Valentines Day. xx

 



February 1st

Didn’t realise I had received one.  Found my AFC certificate whilst uploading my new
Artists for Conservation site.

 

 



January 31st

After updating my Artists for Conservation website, have also been updating my Nature In Art website and diary.  As a trial run….have decided to place each recent artwork or WIP on my home page.  Thought it might good to let visitors see what I am up to, at a glance.



January 30th

Just found this too.
Lovely to have been acknowledged along with fellow AFC members that donated to the Explorers against Extinction event, at the Royal Geographical Society, in October last year.

AFC Artists and Royal Geographic Society Fundraiser for Wildlife

On October 12 through 15, Several AFC artists are lending support to a major conservation fundraiser. Participating AFC artists include: Stephane Alsac, Guy Combes, Carrie Cook, Gary Hodges, Kate Jenvey, Karen Lawrence-Rowe, Ann London, Clive Meredith, Jeremy Paul, Pollyanna Pickering, Craig Roberts, Geraldine Simmons, Su Shimeld, Jonathan Truss and Paula Weigmink. Following is the press release describing the event.

http://www.artistsforconservation.org/blog-entry/afc/afc-artists-and-royal-geographic-society-fundraiser-wildlife



January 29th

Whilst rummaging for something else… just found this…..
My bat artwork accompanying an article in this prestigious magazine

British Wildlife Magazine ~ 2003
Greater Horseshoe Bat – Pen & Ink drawing
Wildlife Artist – Susan Shimeld

Artists for Conservation are in the process of updating their website and Signature Members have also had to update their pages. I have been beavering away, and this link is my new ‘Artists for Conservation’ Gallery.

http://gallery.artistsforconservation.org/artists/1522



January 28th

I have recently completed my ‘Hooded Vulture’ artwork, and am donating it to be autioned at the Silent Skies event in Canada.  Silent Skies is an international collaborative super-mural mosaic featuring all 678 endangered species of birds of the world, portrayed by AFC Signature Members. The installation forms the artistic centrepiece of the 27th International Ornithological Congressin Vancouver at the Ornithological Society.  Funds raised will will support bird conservation and environmental education.



January 18th

Couldn’g believe this mornings news.  Apparently one of the wolves at the UK Wolf Conservation Trust has esacaped.  Stay safe Torak. Poor thing must be wondering what the hell is going on.  My greatest fear is that someone might be trigger happy, as with the  Lynx that recently escaped from a zoo in Wales. The Lynx was shot dead.
http://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/news/15858446.Wolf_escapes_from_sanctuary_in_Reading__police_currently_on_site/

Great news. Wolfy is home safe and sound. Thank goodness.
Am pleased to say that Torak was found safe and sound 8 miles from the Trust.  He went through a field of sheep and harmed none of them. He crossed countryside and was later spotted in woodland, but continued to evade capture. Eventually one of the handlers was able to walk up to him, place a collar and lead on him, and he was returned home safe and sound.


I met the wolves when I was invited to illustrate a book, ‘A New Era for Wolves and People’, written by Dr. Marco Musiani, a Professor at Calgary University, Canada. I was kindly invited to visit the Wolf Sanctuary in Reading by Denise.T in order to meet and sketch the wolves. I met the team and made some good friends. I was also introduced to the lovely Torak, Mosi, Mia and their companions. For further info. and photos please see my Conservation Links Page.


This is a photo of my meeting with Mia and Mosi. Great ambassadors for the species and an amazing and beautiful experience.



January 17th

Have received an email asking if I would like to participate in this years Sketch For Survival.

Below is the advert posted on their Facebook page. If you enjoy sketching feel free to join in
and help stop Wildlife Crime.Pencils at the ready – #SketchforSurvival 2018 is back!

Are you a professional wildlife artist or someone with a high profile that can help us raise awareness about threats to endangered species while also helping to raise funds to combat wildlife crime? We’d love your support! Please share! #explorersagainstextinction http://www.sketchforsurvival.co.uk/ Our Lives Matter – artwork by Siobhan Barlow, Sketch for Survival Collection 2017. Deadline for 2018 submissions: 31 July.


January 11th

Vultures are declining at an alarming rate for a number of reasons. Vultures have been demonised over more recent years and we are now inadvertently killing them in huge numbers. Not only are they are persecuted for being vultures; they are electrocuted when they hit high voltage lines across the worlds steep valleys and canyons. They die due to lead poisoning from carcasses that have been shot and left by hunters. Drugs such as diclofenac/antibiotics/chemicals can be purchased over the counter, in large quantities, across Asia and Africa. Farmers medicate their cattle and when the cattle die, the chemically-contaminated carcasses are just dumped. The vultures do as they have for 100’s of 1,000’s of years; they clean-up the carcasses for us, but sadly end up dying a slow, painful death from ingesting these chemicals. Vultures eggs and chicks also fail due to chemical poisoning. We need vultures. Watch and share the video, and sign the petition.  Please watch this video and sign the above petition.

http://www.banvetdiclofenac.com/en/act/
Please watch this powerful and informative video and sign the above petition.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuFCvTd53Yk&feature=share



January 4th

Slowly progressing with my artwork..titled Silent Skies, to be donated and installed as part of a collaborative
mural at the 27th International Ornithological Congress, Vancouver.

 



January 1st

Happy New Year Folks. 🙂  Wishing you All Good Health and Happiness for 2018!

At bit of random but important info. to start the year. Soaring numbers of turtles are washing up on UK beaches. Storms are causing the reptiles to become stranded along our coastlines. I didn’t know this so thought I’d share.

Anyone finding a stranded turtle, should not attempt to put it back in the sea. It may be still alive + returning it to sea will kill it. Instead take to a cool, sheltered place, away from the sea + report it immediately to one of the numbers on UK Turtle Code. @mcsuk https://www.mcsuk.org/news/turtle_washed_up

“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.” Plutarch

Links to Journals from previous years:

Telephone:
Mobile: (+44) 07963 514614
Studio: (+44) 01725 516388


email: su@natureinart.com


Address:
Larmer Tree Studio,
Larmer Tree Gardens,
Tollard Royal,
Nr.Salisbury, Wiltshire,
SP5 5PY, United Kingdom

© 2020 Susan Shimeld

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