'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Blackbird and waterlily

Although I love the song of tui, morepork, and shining cuckoo, this fellow's music is my favourite.  He usually sings at dusk on the top branch of the Cupressus leylandii.  But now that we are catless for the first (and longest) time ever, the birds are coming slowly into the garden.  This one sat on the top of the strawberry pot for a long time, eyeballing me through the window as I painted, and finally after three minutes decided it would be safe to come down the last 50 cm and look for worms in the compost.  

This is what I'm painting, by the way.  What do you think of it?  It's much more photographic than I usually paint, but I just felt like doing a bit of the old ultra-realism.  The odd greeny-purple was a good challenge.  It's quite small: 28 cm x 19 cm.  I think it's nearly finished.  

It's based on some photos I took of the lily pond at Rudyard Kipling's home, 'Batemans', in East Sussex.


  1. It's beautiful.

    I've always wanted to be artistic. I'm not. I had to fill out papers this week to do some improvements to our place in the park. It required a sketch. They laughed at me! How hard is it to draw a picture of a trailer, a shed, and a tree? Aparantly quite hard! They thought my tree was a bicycle!

    Ah well, back to the proverbial drawing board I guess.

  2. Thank you Debbie.
    My trees used to look like clouds on sticks.

  3. Well I think that picture is fantastic. You are very talented... but also, if I might say, a little crazy - mixing days up and confusing day with night. Still genius has always existed close to madness.

  4. Thank you YP. I think.

  5. came here via the black box and what an interesting and beautiful blog. love the paintings - would like to see more... and the spiderweb - exquisite! thanks you

  6. Lovely blog yourself! Val. Thanks for dropping in so I could discover it. Sit out there on my stoep, smell the wisteria and tell me how you like your Roibos.

  7. Anonymous8.10.08

    I love it, and I love the colours! It's beautiful.

    And I love hearing about these NZ birds, as well as the more familiar Blackbird!


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