Friday, 13 November 2009

Return of the Grizzly

Some of you may remember this guy from earlier posts. Grizzly bear fishing for salmon on an Alaskan river. I've had this canvas sitting at home for a few months now and have finally got round to finishing him off (I think). As I don't have any new exhibitions coming up for the rest of the year I've decided to take a punt and put the chap up for online auction. EEK! Don't do this very often but occasionally have made some good sales when I've least expected it, so what the heck. If he doesn't sell I may take him back to the easel and do some more work in readiness for the new year's round of exhibtions.

Anyhow, if you would like to check out the auction you can see it here - The Fisherman - Grizzly Bear

Sunday, 8 November 2009

A Not So Common Lizard

Discovered this little chap hiding under the draught excluder in the front room the other night - a very cold and sleepy common lizard
We've had a number of others of his ilk visit us in the wee small hours over the years, several of these have unfortunately turned up dead and once I even stepped on a recently deceased individual whilst I was heading for the fridge in the dark, but this is the first one we've managed to capture on camera. Admittedly the photo is pretty terrible, but it was difficult to focus the camera whilst holding the little guy at the same time! Anyway, you get the idea.
After the photocall he started to warm up a little so I took him outside to the safety of a small woodpile away from predators and small, determined dogs.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Interesting...(or perhaps not)

Talking as I was the other post about new identities and such like, thought some of you may be interested in a new blog which has recently appeared online. It's only just started so there's not much info up there yet. Also it's slightly off-topic as it's not directly related to wildlife art or wildlife-anything - in fact it's more of a travelogue-come community noticeboard really -but, hey, the author's a bit odd and it might raise a few laughs out there.

You can check it out at The Shanty Islander

Now back to my paintbrushes (new pics coming soon)...

Monday, 28 September 2009

Dogfight over East Moor

About a mile north of Hawkstor on Bodmin Moor is an area called East Moor. This is one of my favourite parts of the moor, littered with neolithic remains, ruined roundhouses and standing stones, including a fantastic stone circle called the Nine Stones, where during wetter months(i.e. most of the year in Cornwall) the stones actually stand in the middle of a pool of peat-stained water. Anyway, Sunday morning was beautiful and clear, so we trekked out over a beautiful domed hill (which the ordanance survey has imaginatively entitled "Ridge"). Avoiding a wandering gang of belligerent bullocks, we climbed the hill and reached the top to be greeted by the fantastic sight above us of an aerial battle between seven buzzards and five ravens. For maybe ten minutes they whirled about in the blue sky, tumbling rolling, clashing together then wheeling away. The buzzards flashed their talons,but the ravens, despite being outnumbered, definitely had the best of it - attacking and harassing the birds of prey again and again, all the time yelling their insults and generally driving the buzzards mad. Finally, probably deciding they couldn't stand any more hooliganism, the buzzards spiralled up higher on the warm air rising from the hill and eventually dispersed towards the distant bulk of Kilmar Tor. As for the Ravens, well they had a good laugh and flew off too. Typical corvids, all they'd wanted was a good scrap.

Friday, 25 September 2009

I have a new identity

Well, I've bit the proverbial bullet and changed the name of the blog. The old Joel Merriner Wildlife Art Blog had become a bit too industrial and utilitarian for my liking, and not really reflective of the mixed bag of content included here lately. Anyhoo, hope you like the new moniker, keep checking back more changes to come...

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Cornwall Wildlife Trust Art Exhibition

My painting "The Buzzard Rock" has such been selected for inclusion in Cornwall Wildlife Trust's Inspired and Wild touring art exhibition to take place this autumn at various venues across Cornwall

To quote from the CWT website -

"Cornwall Wildlife Trust is holding an exciting Art Exhibition this autumn, which will help to raise vital funds for the Trust as well as showcasing the wealth of local artistic talent from around the county. Entitled ‘Inspired and Wild: Celebrating Cornwall’s Art and Wildlife’, the exhibition will tour from 1st October until the end of January. The tour promises to be a fantastic way to raise awareness of the Trust’s work, and aims to display different interpretations of the wildlife and habitats it protects and conserves in Cornwall."

All work will be for sale with 40% of profits going to help fund the Trust's different conservation projects. Venues will include the The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Geevor Tin Mine, and the Cornish Studies Library as well as the CWT's own headquarters in Allet near Truro.

You can read more about the exhibition and the CWT's work at -

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Long live the Wood Wasp

Well the wasp reign of terror is at an end - the clear skies and cooler nights of the last couple of weeks have done their work and silenced the roaming worker wasps that had been plaguing our garden. However it's not all tragedy for buzzing types...

A couple of days ago I was down the road in Berrio Bridge, stood with a friend of mine discussing how yet another passing car had managed to smash a hole into the side of the 500 year old tudor bridge that spans the Lynher at that point, when a huge insect flew out for under the disturbed granite blocks and buzzed menacingly around our heads. It was very large, much bigger than a hornet, with vivid orange wings, abdomen and legs. It landed right next to me on the bridge and it's inch long ovipositor (egg laying gadget) was there for all to see. No doubting whatsoever, this was a Giant Wood Wasp (Urocerus gigas) or Horntail -a dramatic looking guy who would scare the life out of you as soon as look at you, but in reality is totally harmless. Doesn't even have a sting. In fact he's not even a wasp but actually a variety of sawfly.

But still, he looks good. What do you reckon? Click here

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The Lodger

Seems we may have an uninvited guest hiding somewhere in the house. Got up the other morning, followed my usual breakfast routine - cups of tea, baby's milk bottle(for the baby obviously), dog biscuits(for me), toast...hmm.
That's when I noticed it - a large hole in the bread bag, with a corresponding hole in the last slice of bread, plus crumbs and chewed pieces of cellophane all across the worktop. Obviously the work of a rodent of some description, far too neat and tidy for a rat, so had to have been a little house mouse. Kept a vigil but no sign of him in the last day or two however, so I'm thinking of scattering some flour across various likely approach routes in the kitchen to see if I can get some footprints to record. A humane trap then seems the likely way to go. Just hope for micey's sake he doesn't encounter the dog before me.

A house mouse, yesterday.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Reign of the Wasps

As the title of this post suggests wasps numbers around these parts are way higher than for many a year. One of our apple trees is literally Wasp City UK at the moment, with hundreds of the little critters buzzing and chomping their way through our nice braeburns. Any apples that fall on the ground are soon covered in with sometimes up to twenty drunken striped individuals stuffing their little insect faces. Seems the whole country is experiencing a bumper year for wasps, particularily right now when the worker wasps are no longer fed sugary treats in the nest so have to disperse to fruit trees, recycling bottles, and discarded jam jars for their fix of the white stuff. Still, weather is cooling fast now, and the choir invisible beckons...

Tis sad but at least I might get some apple pie this year.

Monday, 24 August 2009

The Gathering on the Hill

Buzzards were massing today over Caradon Hill. We must have seen at least twenty of them all at one time, rising on the thermals, tumbling through the air, calling to each other and some even exploding up out of the bracken when we passed by. Looked like a mixture of adults, this year's young now on the wing and possibly some of last years thrown in for good measure. Mix that in with a pair of wheatears, half a dozen ravens, a sparrowhawk being mobbed by four swallows and a Hercules transport plane flying past below where we walking and it all added up to a lively afternoon stroll.

Saturday, 22 August 2009


Took a little stroll into the depths of Hawkswood this afternoon. I may have mentioned this place before, -a large, and brooding conifer wood to the south of Kilmar Tor. It dominates this end of the Lynher Valley and looms over Middlewood as you drive down into our little hamlet. I only took a short walk, with the pup in tow, as rain was teeming down and the rest of the family were waiting nearby in a nice dry car, but enough to know I should go back again on a better day for some serious exploring.

The interior of the wood is very shady and carpeted with moss and clover, even the fallen logs are thick with the stuff and fungi thrive in the damp conditions. Sound is quite muffled and I could only really hear the occasional bird call. Here and there stand black barked and twisted decidious trees which look very strange amidst the lighter trunks of the conifers. I noticed signs of deer beneath some of these - there are supposed to be quite a number of roe roaming the Hawkswood.

I could also imagine other creatures moving through the trees -dark creeping figures with luminous eyes and cloaked Victorian gentleman with tall hats and no faces....

Hmm. Back to the car I think.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Latest artwork Herring Gull

I've just been doodling away on a little sketch-book style illustration of a herring gull sat among thrift flowers on a south western-esque cliff top. It's deliberately quite loosely painted as I've tried to capture a bit of the spontaneity found painting in the field. Planning on do a few more like this, maybe some roe deer or foxes.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Fly by Day

About two hundred yards down the road from here, towards the neighbouring hamlet of Berrio Bridge is a stretch of road which is shaded by overhanging trees. On a sunny day it is quite cool and with dappled patches of light here and there. I walk down their literally every day, usually about oneish in the afternoon (hey I'm a creature of habit) and for the last two days have been rewarded with the fantastic sight of a single pipistrelle bat flying up and down the road hunting for insects. Now we often see various types of bats around here, quite often in the evening around dusk, but this is the first time I've seen one hunting in broad, albeit dappled, daylight. The little guy performs all manner of aerial acrobatics, flying right past my head and even skimming just above the road surface. We've had a huge amount of rain and bad weather here lately so my hunch is this chap, being a bat and like most bats prefering not to hunt in bad conditions is making the best of the recent warm sun and piling in as much grub as possible. And good luck to him I say.

Monday, 20 July 2009

The Colour of Buzzards

The old common buzzard seems to come in a variety of shades and hues. I've seen very pale. almost white ones, brown ones, spotted ones and at the moment our neighbourhood is being graced with the darkest coloured one I think I've ever seen. I've seen it several times in the last few days and he or she is dark umber in colour, almost black, on top and charcoal grey under the wings, with a reddish chestnut patch on both shoulders. Seen quickly overhead it resembles a slightly bizarre raven until you get a proper look and then everything about it is unmistakeably buzzard.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Wildlife Art Company

I'm very pleased to relate that I've just teamed up with an exciting new illustration agency called the Wildlife Art Company -

"The Wildlife Art Company provides accurate and exquisite illustrations for publication.
Established by zoologist and author, Mark Carwardine, and run by natural-history editor, Rachel Ashton, who together have many years of experience in the wildlife-publishing industry, the agency was created in response to a demand for high-quality artwork of the natural world.
Representing some of the world’s best natural-history artists, we cover a huge range of species. We also take commissions for any specific image as required and offer prints, originals and sculptures, too."

Here's looking forward to some interesting projects in the future

Friday, 26 June 2009


The sun was out nice and hot this afternoon so me and the dog went for a quick blast up Hawkstor to get some exercise and some reference photos(me only, not the dog) for possible future paintings. Hawkstor is one of my favourite tors. It's only about half a mile up the lane and commands a stunning vantage point looking east towards Dartmoor in Devon, with the whole expanse of Bodmin Moor behind, stretching away to the west. It's also a great place to let the dog run wild, as the whole of the tor is set aside to nature, fenced off from sheep, which is allowing the native plant life to slowly return.

Anyway, we zipped up the slopes, scrambled over the spine of huge granite outcrops that crown the top and generally had a great time behaving like mountain goats. Buzzards quartered the blue sky above and everything was very green and lush. So, here are a few pictures.....

Approaching the crag

Looking west from the top, towards Trewortha Tor

Rain shapes and carving in rock

Looking east, Devon-ways

Thursday, 25 June 2009

National Exhibition of Wildlife Art

Just sent off my two entries for this year's National Exhibition of Wildlife Art -

Among the Ruins - Short Eared Owl
Face to Face - African Elephant
For those who don't know.... (I quote from the NEWA website)
"The National Exhibition of Wildlife Art is an open annual exhibition based in the North of England.
NEWA was conceived in 1994 by a group of artists interested in depicting wildlife, with conservation as one of their underlying concerns. A donation from the exhibition is made each year to wildlife causes such as the Wildfowl & Wetland Trust and The Wirral Barn Owl Trust.
The aims of the exhibition are to promote and display outstanding examples of wildlife art from both professional and amateur artists.
The huge interest generated by the exhibition among wildlife artists proved that there was a pressing need for this kind of event.
Our exhibition is staged at Gordale Garden Centre which attracts a constant stream of visitors, over 12,000 to our 2007 show. Our new website attracted an overwhelming 12,272 visitors who viewed over 190,000 pages. The website received excellent reviews, calling it the best on line gallery of 2007.
Due to this increasing success entries have risen with each subsequent year. 2007 again saw over 40% of the works on show sold, a very high percentage for any exhibition."
The exhibition runs from Friday 17th July - Sunday 2nd August. For further information, visit the website at (where you can also purchase works online once the exhibition is running)

Sunday, 21 June 2009

War without End

My dog hates flies. It's bad enough when he encounters them outdoors, in their natural habitat, but when they dare to come inside, into his territory, and then buzz around the house like they own the place, well that's enough to drive him totally mad. No matter what their size, from miniscule micro-flyette to huge horsefly, if he sees one ,or worse still hears one, then I'm afraid they must die! And if they can't be despatched instantly then he is forced to retire upstairs and sit under the bed grumbling until I have the offending insect removed.

There can be only one....

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Ships that pass...

Wonderful encounter yesterday evening, happened to be walking the dog through a field of wildflowers a few miles to the west of here, when I caught sight of a movement in the long grass to our right. A huge male fox, very black in the body but with a bright red head and shoulders, appeared trotting along parralel to us. I stopped and froze in true BBC wildlife cameraman style (luckily without Jake the dog noticing the fox's prescence) but the fox carried on a little further, veered left, crossing our path in the process, then pushed through a thick patch of campion and buttercups and disappeared into the woods beyond.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

War of the Peacocks

The peacock I mentioned a few posts back is still around, in fact he seems to have set up residence in Middlewood for the present and is using the fields, lanes and gardens around these parts as his own personal stomping ground. He's been spotted flying, or rather gliding, sitting on people's rooftops and calling in a very loud voice early in the morning. He's not fully grown, has the colourful plumage but only a half length tail. Rumour has it he was one of a trio of peacocks bought by someone "up the hill" recently. Apparently they bought two males and one female, never a good combination in peacock circles, and it seems this smaller guy has been ousted by the other male and sent packing. I feel quite sorry for the lad, he's obviously a bit lonely and just looking for a girlfriend. The other day I even witnessed him displaying at a bunch of jackdaws. Needless to say they were not particularily impressed.

As a footnote just this morning I saw the other male of the trio down here in Middlewood. He's a much bigger guy with a full length tail and looks like he means business. Mind you, if he keeps walking down the middle of the road like he did this morning he could come to a sticky end.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Grizzly Bear Painting Progress

My latest oil of a grizzly bear is still chuntering along. I've been working a little on his belly fur the last few days and for a change of scene will soon be shifting focus for a while on to the salmon. This is a sockeye salmon, depicted before the dramatic and bizarre change of form and colouring which happens at breeding time, and by the look of events unfurling in this painting I don't think this individual will be progressing to the spawning grounds.

I'll keep you updated with this picture as it reaches it's conclusion. It will be available to buy so any interested parties please email me for price etc.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Red Kite over Bodmin Moor

Lovely raptor sighting on Sunday afternoon. We were strolling up Caradon Hill near the moorland village of Minions, with dog on the lead and babs in pushchair when my attention shifted from the massive 600ft Tv transmitter on the top of the hill to a little mid-air skirmish between a bird of prey and a crow. The usual reaction would be "ah...the buzzard and the corvid, nature's most ancient struggle for power(!)" but the longer wings, distinctive forked tail and general demeanour of this raptor unmistakeably spelt Red Kite. Cornwall occasionally witnesses visits from this stunning bird, whose numbers are happily increasing these days, but I hadn't seen one since last year so this was quite a coup for our Sunday leg stretch. Anyway, dismissing the crow with a sudden lunge, the kite soared upwards then passed overhead and receded slowly into the far distance, heading out towards Stowes Hill and Sharptor beyond.

Red Kite (not the actual one, but a lookalike)

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Dartmoor Landscape Oil Paintings

As I've been nattering a bit about Dartmoor lately, I thought I'd include a couple more Dartmoor-inspired oil paintings for viewing. These are pleine air(on the spot) paintings produced a couple of years ago, fairly loose and impressionistic in style. They are both available to buy.

"View from Sheepstor"
Oils on canvas
10 inches x 8 inches


"Siwards Cross"
Oils on canvas
12 inches x 10 inches


Friday, 22 May 2009

Wildflowers Rule

There's a field across the lane from our house which at the moment is a total riot of beautiful wildlflowers. The colours are quite incredible and each time I walk through it I have to pinch myself to make sure they are actually real and not some elaborate landscape art installation. Buttercups cloak most of the field, extreme golden yellow, interspersed among them are speedwell and campion, in various shades of blue, purple and pink with bluebells fringing the edges as well as white spanish bluebells and a mixed strain of the two which manifest themselves as bright pink.

I aim to get some photos uploaded here and am toying with the idea of an impressionistic painting to preserve the scene for posterity (or at least until next spring when appear all over again)

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Dartmoor Painting for Sale

Whilst we are on the subject of Dartmoor, or at least we were several posts ago, here's a gratuitous plug for a small oil painting of said Devonshire moorland that I have for sale at the moment -

"February Frost - River Okement"

Oils on canvas

12inches x 12inches


If you are interested in purchasing this painting you can contact me by email at

I've another larger painting of Dartmoor, complete with newly-returned wild boar in the early fruition stages so watch this blog for details.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Passing Visit

As a post-script to the last post, an unusual visitor has just passed by our front room window - a very large, beautiful, brightly coloured, and noisy, male peacock. He strutted about for a little while outside, ignoring the barks of our dog and striding up and down the path with his long iridescent blue neck bobbing. Finally, having exhausting the avian delights of Middlewood he strolled off down the hill and disappeared from view.

Wildlife Impersonations

Not far from our cottage is a steep country lane leading up onto the moor and the slopes of Kilmar Tor and Hawks Tor. Near the top, the lane passes through Hawks Wood a thick, dark conifer wood full of moss covered boulders and fallen down tree trunks. Deer frequent the woods(plus their ticks), badgers, foxes and other wildlife. The woods also conceal a ruined warfarin mine - but I'll leave that story for another day. Moving swiftly on we (family and me) were standing in a small sunny clearing in the trees near the highest edge of the woods when we were surprised by the unmistakeable ,and very close, call of a cuckoo. Now you often hear these guys up on the moors, but they are a real pain to actually locate with your eyes, but this chap shot through the branches in clear view which was great. Doing my best Dr Doolittle impression (it must have been pretty good because my wife thought it was another cuckoo) I gave a couple of cuckoo-style calls back, but our friend was having none of this and flew off quick. However from some way away, up on the moor, came another call in reply to mine. I gave it a couple more goes, and each time there was an answer from this new mystery cuckoo . Then after a couple more minutes, not wanting to provoke a mass attack from irate male cuckoos I decided to call it a day.

Not a cuckoo

Friday, 8 May 2009

Stones of Dartmoor

Bank holiday weekend dawned with some warm weather and so we decided to pile into the motor and take a quick sojourn over the Devon - Cornwall border to the edge of Dartmoor, about 20 miles to the east of Middlewood. We drove up onto the moorland plateau under beautiful clear blue skies, accompanied by the sound of a tourist coach labouring asthmatically up the road in front of us and, more pleasantly, burbling skylarks above. Despite the sun it was still too cold and windy to take our little daughter(six months old) on a proper hike so we stopped in a layby just off of the B3357 to take a look at the Merrivale Stone Rows.

From what we could see there are three rows - two double jobs and a single. Both the doubles run east to west, but they are not parallel. The first one is fairly close to the road and it contains some 170 stones, including some very small ones. Further south is the longer row containing over 200 stones. Its eastern end is blocked by a large triangular lump of rock. The third row, the single one, is very short, not many stones and leading leading off to the south west.

Heaven alone knows what the rows are for, they are too low to be seen properly from ground level, although you could probably get a nice view from one of the nearby tors. One thing for sure, though, they were not designed for alien spacecraft landing strips, and anyone who tells me otherwise I'm afraid will be wasting their breath. I have read in a factual tome however that they may be aligned with the May rise of Pleiades, a group of stars the Greeks are supposed to have used to predict harvests, but whether that's true or not I don't know.

Nearby is one of the waymarking stones raised in the late 17th century when an act of parliament required towns at the edge of the moor to place markers to help travellers in bad weather. This particular stone is marked with a T for Tavistock/Ashburton.

Here endeth the history lesson....

Stones, stones, stones.........

Friday, 1 May 2009

Twenty Minute Deluge

As the title of this post suggests a sudden, and thankfully short-lived, flash flood hit Middlewood the other day. There we were just having eaten our tea and sat watching The Simpsons when an extremely heavy rain storm kicked off. Nothing too unusual in that, after all this is Cornwall, but within minutes the sound of gushing water had me looking out of the front door to see a dirty brown river flowing past our front gate. All sorts of crud was being washed down the road and the local drains, useless in anything more than an inch of rain were did nothing except sit and watch as the torrent swept straight over the top of their metal grilles. Farther up the hill a waterfall of alarming proportions had appeared out of nowhere and was channeling water down off of the moorland above, which then gathered extra power as it was shot down the road and into the middle of our little hamlet. Frenzied activity ensued as we all rushed out and tried to clear drains with spades, metal poles, brooms. Then almost as suddenly as it had appeared the waters subsided, reduced to a small trickle and then disappeared leaving a pile of stones and rubbish in it's wake. Drama over, we boarded up the front door in case of more water then returned to catch the end of The Simpsons. Nice.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Grizzly Bear Painting on the Go

Latest oil painting is coming along. I'm about midway through this one, plenty more work to go on the rushing water, the trout and the bear's fur. Good fun though, watch this space...
No home for this one yet, so if you are interested in purchasing feel free to contact me at

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Hitchhiking Wildlife

There we were driving back from the bright lights of Liskeard(!) the other day when out of the corner of our vision we spotted a small four-legged red chap poised at the edge of the road - a stoat. For a few seconds he loitered there, maybe thinking of thumbing a lift to Bodmin moor, or maybe just considering dashing across the road(dangerous), and then he turned super-quick, flashed his tail defiantly, thumbed his nose at passing motorists and disappeared into the hedgerow. Superb.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Follow in my footprints!

You can now Follow my bizarre ramblings on this blog by clicking on the handy little icon at the top of the sidebar

Ahh what more could you want.........

New wildlife art website on the way

I'm in the process of designing a new website which will showcase my past and present work, biography, creative process etc. I'm hoping to provide checkout facilities via paypal so people can purchase artwork direct from the site. Shouldn't be too long until it's underway and I will post links from this blog.

Grizzly Fisherman

Obviously (at the moment) we've no wild bears living in the UK any more - we have medieval hunters, farmers, landowners, trappers and bear baiters to thank for that - so the closest I've got lately to a grizzly bear has been via E4 channels Grizzly Season of tv programmes. Very interesting it was too and this has inspired my latest painting which will depict a very large grizzly bear fishing for salmon in a fast flowing alaskan river.

I'm at the underpainting stage of this one with the main bulk of light and shade blocked in using fast drying acrylic which gives a good base on which to build up the layers of oil paint I will be slapping on in the next few days.

Watch this space for in progress pictures, I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Elephant Painting Complete

"Face to Face - African Elephant"

Well elephant oil painting is finished! I'm pleased with it, I've tried not to go overboard with the detail as I wanted to give a slightly impressionistic feel to the background. This is a small scale oil - 10 inches x 12 inches canvas.
If you are interested in purchasing this painting just drop me an email at

Monday, 16 March 2009

Elephant oil painting part two...

Latest in-progress pic of my new elephant painting. Coming along nicely I think, especially enjoying rendering the gnarly old fallen tree in the background. Plenty of painting still to do on the elephant many wrinkles!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

New elephant oil painting in progress

Here's a sneak preview of my latest small scale oil painting of an African elephant. Early stages yet, just blocked in the basic colours in readiness for more detailed brushwork to come. Size is 10 inches x 12 inches
Should be finished in several weeks. Watch this space for further pictures. If you are interested in purchasing this painting just drop me a line at

Friday, 6 March 2009

Lizard RIP

A sad footnote to the previous visiting common lizard post. I came downstairs the very next morning and there was the little guy in the middle of the floor again but this time stone dead. How had he got there, how did he die? Who knows...I thought initially it might have been our dog but the lizard was totally unmarked, hadn't shed his tail and was simply deceased. Maybe it was just his time to go. A mystery.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

An Unusual House Guest

Had an intriguing visitor in our front room last night, a little common lizard sat on the slate floor. I didn't see him myself(although I have several times before and once nearly stood on him in the dark!) but my wife did. She watched him for a while but didn't fancy the idea of picking him up and taking him outside so he eventually sneaked under our sofa and vanished. As far as we know he's still under there, so we await his next visit...

Monday, 2 March 2009

Under the Bridge

Interesting little discovery the other day. A friend of mine who lives just down the road(about 200 yards) in a place called Berrio Bridge, directed me to an interesting little nest he had discovered under one of the arches of said bridge(a very picturesque and several hundred years old granite structure). It was made of moss, domed with a little entrance hole and perched just above the fast flowing waters of the Lynher. Ironically as I clambered down the bank to have a look, a dipper flew out from under the arch and sped down the river. Sure enough, it turns out this little chap was the owner of the nest. My mate assures me the nest has been there for a good while, so I can only assume a bit of a renovation was taking place in preparation for the new breeding season to come. Wouldn't be my ideal choice of location for a home hanging over the surface of a fast flowing moorland river, but dippers are made of sterner stuff than us, so long may they remain there I say.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Polar Bear Prints added

My oil painting "King of the North" has just sold, however I am planning on producing a series of limited edition giclee prints of this painting which will be available soon. If you are interested in purchasing email me at

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Giclee Prints Available

I've just recently started producing some limited edition giclee prints of my artwork. They are all fairly small editions ranging from 25-75 prints initially. At the moment sizes will be A4 but I'm planning on larger scale prints in the future.

Images available include -

"The Summoning -Timber Wolf"
"Sunset Lion"

"Afternoon Sunlight - Fallow Deer Buck"

"Among the Ruins - Short Eared Owl"

"Timber Wolf"
Every print is titled, signed and numbered by myself, and printed on heavyweight matte art paper. Framed prints can be purchased upon request.
If you would like to purchase a print email me at

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

More of that snow

Fantastic winter conditions have just hit us here in Cornwall, snow started about 4ish yesterday afternoon and resumed this morning. We even had a bizarre thunder and lightening incident which strangely didn't appear in any local weather forecasts (so maybe it was all in my head and I just imagined it....) Took a foray down the woods with the camera but the road was blocked outside of our little row of cottages so a trek up onto the moor would have been a major day-long -expedition so had to leave that again.

Note small furry critter in distance

Sunday, 1 February 2009

King of the North

Here's the latest image of my polar bear oil painting - "King of the North". Little bit of finishing work to do on it yet but I'm pleased so far

Thursday, 22 January 2009

And finally snow...

Cold snap on the moors around here continue with the first snowfall of the winter. Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor received a good covering last Monday. I got a rush of energy Tuesday morning, and charged up the camera in readiness for a foray up onto Twelve Man's Moor to get reference shots for some "winter-scene" paintings. However, as is often the case day-to-day work activities took over, the picture on the easel refused to paint itself and I told myself "I'll go up there tomorrow". Tomorrow came, car needed to go to the garage, weather warmed up and all the snow thawed out and came sluicing down the Lyner river on it's merry way to the English Channel. Damn!

What I might have seen - a fox enjoys the snow on Dartmoor...

"Vixen on Holwell Tor"

Oils on canvas

This painting is available to buy just contact me for details