exploring the miniscule

     
 

Every spring, the Irises are one of the first flowers to pop their heads through the long grass around my pond, well puddle really. I have turned our front garden into a wildlife haven, where the grass isn't cut and there is no such thing as a "weed"! The pond is an old miniature version of a butler sink which we have recycled into a puddle which usually contains more frog spawn than water!!!

I get very excited when the Irises flower, I have the traditional dark purple blooms with yellow tongues. The shapes which they create with their petals are simply beautiful, and they attract many insects around the puddle! So I have created this painting to celebrate them and the darters and dragonflies that visit.

Iris'
2017
Oil on Board, 75x120 cms
   
     
 

I grow very few annuals, I prefer to grow perennials which need a lot less tending as they just come back year after year. But I must grow cornflowers and corncockles every year because I just love them. Of course, once you have grown them once or twice, they seed themselves everywhere, much to my delight, as I treat these stray flowers little happy surprises! These two flowers also last all season, it is only the first frost that finally kills them. I grow them at the very end of the garden and l like to see them wave their heads in the breeze and I have tried to capture this movement in this painting. They are set against a backdrop of a late summer storm clouds that have been bubbling up after a long warm summers day.

Looking up at the Corncockles
2017
Oil on Board, 40x125cms
   
       
   

Amongst the Iris petals is a close up of an iris, colours are based upon the purple and yellow iris with a lot of personal inspiration! The background is a colourful view of a garden behind.

My perspective of flowers is from the viewpoint of a beetle wondering around the petals looking for food. How do they see our world? How much of this miniature environment do we ignore or not see?

 

Amongst the Iris Petals
2017
Mixed Media on Board, 50x50cms
   
     
 

This painting is a study for a larger painting, the way in which I work is photograph, study, draw and do little oil studies. This is one such piece as I wanted to study the different angles of a sunflower before I complete the much larger final piece.

SOLD

Sunflower - Study in Oil
2017
Oil on Board, 30x42cms
   
     
 

My favourite flowers are daisies in the a field, a patch of lawn or a grassy verge. In June these areas that surround our everyday are filled with Ox-eye daisies bobbing their happy heads in the warm sunshine. I wanted to capture them in their beautiful but hidden state. They are bright white, but we don't actually stop and see them or notice the little honey bee using it crucially for its pollen. Instead we drive on immersed within our busy lives.

 

Field of Daisies
2017
Oil on Board, 60x60cms

   
 

I love the symmetry within nature and Dahlia's are one of the most majestic flowers that show this. They are one of my favourite to put in a vase as they last so long, however it is always tricky as where ever there is a Dahlia there appears to be an earwig!!! So I have added on here too, if you can spot him!

SOLD

Dahlias
2017
Oil on Board, 60x60cms

 

   
     
 

This painting is about the drama under the Daisy, a tiny Daisy on a lawn has other flowers that grow beneath in the grass. We only see the large landscape, the rolling hills and trees but hiding beneath our feet is a micro world of beauty.

SOLD

Under the Daisy
2016
Oil on Board, 122x40cms
     
       
Dahlia pink symmetry    

The symmetry within Dahlias are irresistible. These two paintings of Dahlia's hopefully show the precision in which the petals are arranged. The work is textured, as a lot of my paintings are to show that nature is not just what we see on the surface, but there is so much more that we do not see or realise.

SOLD

Dahlia #1
2016
Oil on Board, 28x28cms
     
       
dahlia pink symmetry     SOLD
Dahlia #2
2016
Oil on Board, 28x28cms
     
       
violas purple flowers pansy    

Violas are little gems in the spring that give us hope that the weather is soon to change. The flowers are small and glow from the grass.

SOLD

Violas
2016
Oil on Board, 50x50cms

     
       
scabious flower butterfly    

For several years I have been cultivating a wild garden which has ox-eye daisies and scabious. The Scabious on the left was painted from that garden and I have camouflaged the butterfly into the background because the insects flit between the flowers and as they turn their wings they are barely imperceptible it is not until you walk through the flowers that they all fly up in front of you and you notice the wildflowers that they have been visiting.

 

Scabious
2015
Oil on Board, 50x50cms
     
       
   

peony butterfly oil painting

This is a painting about camouflage not to the flower but the butterfly disappears into its background. It can just about be seen even on the compressed digital image. I want people to take a second look at my pictures and discover something new.

 

 

Peony
2015
Oil on Board, 50x50cms
    Close up of Peony
       
       
sky red buttercup flower    

This painting is actually based upon buttercups, which I made red, so that they are more vivid against the sky background. The viewpoint is that of a tiny insect looking up at the tiny buttercups in a field with the landscape and sky as backdrop.

 

Looking up to the Sky
2015
OIl on Board, 80x80cms
     
       
foxglove flower sunset bee    

foxglove flower bee

This painting is about a sultry summer evening, when the sun is setting, and the last few bees of the day are collecting the last of their pollen in the warm humid air. The foxglove is still flowering late into the season, growing ever taller and now has become too heavy for itself so you get the characteristic bend in the stem.

SOLD

Foxglove
2015
Oil on Board, 80x80cms
    Close up of Foxglove
       
prey daisy oil painting    

On the rear of the Daisy the prey is about to face the predator on the top side of the Ox-Eye Daisy

SOLD

Prey
2012
Oil on board, 80 x 40 cms
     
       
predator crab spider    

A crab spider perfectly camouflaged in an Ox-Eye Daisy lies in wait for it's prey.

SOLD

Predator
2012
Oil on board, 80 x 40 cms

   

 

       
       
spirals daisies    

All daisy type flowers whether they are huge sunflowers, or Ox-Eye daisies have tiny flowers that make up their yellow/orange centres. These open and release pollen, the open flowers create the fluffy edge to the centre. This is hardly discernible by the naked eye, but instead can be seen under a microscope.

I have tried to show in "Spirals" that these little flowers make up the interlocking spirals we see in the centre of daisy type flowers. This is a bee's eye view flying through a field of Daisies in June. Snaking through the bottom of the painting is some goose grass, a weed, but a geometric beauty because of the arrangement of it's leaves.

 

"Spirals"
2013
Oil on Board, 80x80cms

     
       
helenium oil painting flower    

I painted the Helenium on the left, taken from my garden, I liked the natural shape that the petals created, because the petals on the top left and right looked as though they were antennae themselves. Mirroring the insects that visit them, last year the Heleniums were covered in butterflies, so much so that I struggled to get a photo of my Heleniums without a butterfly on them!

 

Helenium
2014
Oil on Board, 50x50cms
     
       
bumble bee    

What can I say? But this is my love of insects, I love bees, and always have done! They are such delicate creatures, and we need them to pollinate for us. There are soooo many species in the UK, but they are shrugged off as yet another bee. This bee, is my species of bee, and is not meant to be any specific bee, but a celebration of all bees, indicated by the bright simple background.

 

Bumble Bee
2014
Oil on Board, 40x50cms
     
       
       
   

Beetles have replaced the stamens of the Aquilegia. The insects should not be overly obvious when you first look at them but revealed as you look closer. People generally shy away from insects but their relationship is imperative to the shaping and well being of our landscape.

 

       
Over Populated #2
2013
Oil on Board, 50x50cms