Art inspired by nature

Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa
Dear readers

Firstly, the book review of “Know me like me follow me”, mentioned in my postings on Blog Catalog and Twitter is on my “Librarything” widget, on the right of the page. I do feel this book could be beneficial for anyone wanting to get their blog more widely read.

At art group this week, we are moving our equipment to another building, from the cricket pavilion where we meet, as the cricket season has begun, and this takes most of the session time. So, by popular request this week, I am going to include some wildlife, but in mostly in relation to painting as this is an arty blog.

Many art group members turn to their own gardens for inspiration, and I am no different. I have always done this and, indeed, my A level art project was on the Dutch flower painters of the 18th century. My painting “Tribute to the Dutch Flower Painters” can be viewed via my Flickr widget on the right, in the “Inspired by Nature” set (where you can also see my other nature-inspired artwork). I began this large painting in my teens, then put it on one side for many years, although my mum kept asking me to finish it, so she could put it on the wall. I finally completed it when I joined the art group – I had it done within a month – only for it to be too large for my parents’ house, so I had a smaller print done, which they have put up instead. Most of the flowers are from their garden.

My “Poppies” painting was difficult - the flowers kept wilting once picked and put in a vase. Maggie at art group has the right idea - painting her poppies while they were still growing outside, and you can see the results on the “Artists of Derbyshire website”. Painting flowers and plants is not easy and takes time and practice. I start by drawing the shape of the plant, adding a bit of detail, then carefully adding colour – I used to worry about doing this in case I messed it up, but not nowadays.

The “Butterflies” painting began with a butterfly I photographed in our garden. The great thing about painting is that you can make the subject look more attractive than in real life, especially when photography is not your strong point. Butterflies in particular tend to look a bit scruffy after a time, but in a painting you can make them look perfect again (or you could use Photoshop, but that’s another story).

We have a large garden, backing onto fields. There used to be two ponds, but they were filled in by our predecessors when they sold the house to us. We are now reinstating one pond as our son is old enough to be safe around it. We’ve lived here three years, and every year, frogs have made their way to our garden to spawn. They have to negotiate a busy road or fields, but still they come. Next year, they will find there is actually a pond for them, so they will be in froggy heaven, and there will be a slope at one end to make it easier for wildlife to get out. The pond should also help attract dragonflies, which we also get occasionally. Bearing in mind how popular Maggie’s lily pond paintings are, I am going to insist on having some lilies in ours.

I feed the birds all year round, and mostly we just get sparrows, starlings and blackbirds, in spring we have two or three nests in the hedge at the end of the garden. We also get robins, greenfinches, bluetits and pied wagtails occasionally, none of which hang around for long enough for me to photograph, and the black pheasants (though, being black, they might not photograph well). We also had an unidentified bird, which is on my Flickr “Wildlife” set. Does anyone know what this is? Finally, a hedgehog often visits us at night - a shy creature but we sometimes hear it snuffling.

Bye for now


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