Monday, 10 February 2014

Snow and urban birding

We have finally got our yearly snow. Only 2cm and only for a few days, but suddenly everything feels fresher, lighter and easier.

The day before yesterday I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and went out hunting birds with my camera. I stayed out for several hours until the cold and a very tired left arm from holding the camera drove me back home. What I really need to learn and work on now is to be able to focus fast on the birds with the lens in manual mode. When the birds are sitting in a tree, the auto focus doesn't know if it should focus on branches or birds. And it doesn't work with me just saying: no,no,no, the BIRD, not that branch!
Well, maybe one day there will be a voice-active lens that would be able to focus on anything you want just by giving a command. Then you would be able to hear me walking around repeating 'bird', 'flower', 'leaf', 'bird' over and over again…

I have seen 3 new bird species the last month: Oriental greenfinch, Yellow-billed Grosbeak and Naumann's Thrush. I hope to see them again while I have my camera with me!

Daurian redstart. I have seen this bird many times here in Rizhao, but this was the first time that I got a good picture of it.


I love the background to this sparrow.

Light-vented Bulbul. He was posing for quite some while for me, for once more curious than shy.

The quality of this photo is bad, I'm afraid. She sat very high up and I took the photo against the light. But when I zoomed in on the photo at home I realized that I have never seen this bird before, and look at that impressive beak!! It is a female Yellow-billed Grosbeak.

Then some studio updates as promised:

Here I have a Blue-and-white swallow and a Kestrel. The swallow is waiting for it's final layer of paint, while the kestrel only have it's first layer laid down.

A swan and a titmouse both waiting for more layers.


Two pages from my art journal with some ideas and sketches for sparrows.

More to follow soon.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

New year, New possibilities!

Happy New Horse Year everybody!

It feels like it has been a whole month of celebrating, first our 'normal' new year and last week the Chinese new year. We have had many parties with a LOT of fireworks! Living in China sometimes has big advantages…

The last weeks I been busy playing and getting to know my new tool, a canon EF 100-400 lens. I thought it was about time that I would be able to take my own reference material for painting.  And it is a huge difference being out with a lens like this, I am able to come so much closer to my subject of the moment, birds.

I have already been able to get a few nice shots, and they will soon find their way onto my canvases!

I am also very happy to show you a page from March issue of the UK art magazine The Artist. They have chosen one of my art journal pages as their editor's choice of the month! How great is that?

Next is a picture from the book 'Incite - dreams realized', with the spread open on my page. I got the book from Finland with one of my husbands colleagues, and I was so excited to finally be able to read it! Here I can also at the same time announce that I participated in the competition for the next book, 'Incite-color passions', and I was one of the winning entries. So, I will be published in the next book as well!

I have a lot of new paintings in progress to show, but that will have to wait until the next post! See ya!