Monday, 3 February 2014

Murmuration of Starlings.......and other things

I have had a great day drawing today, keeping warm in the studio with my cat, Snow for company. She decided that an old shoe box by the radiator was a good place for a kip.

Snow in a box!

I've been fascinated by birds for ages as regular followers will know. Today I've added a new one to my favourites list....the lovely spotty starling. Yes they can be noisy when there's a whole gaggle of them, but if you look closely they're beautiful birds. On walks around dusk you will see many of them doing their mesmerising patterns in the sky, called a murmuration. The other day we had a few visit our garden and watching them flit through the branches of the tree from my studio window was lovely.

My first picture started as an experiment using oil bars and oil paint sticks. I've had the the oil paint sticks for a while and have used them for a couple of things, but decided to give them another go. The oil bar was a sample from work, that I thought I'd try out and compare the two types. Oil bars take a while to dry so you have to be patient especially if you lay it on thick. The oil paint sticks are slightly more user friendly and dry in a couple of hours rather than days and can be used on fabric too!

Starling Dear- first step waiting to dry, Copyright Tracy Bidwell 2014

Once I was sure the oil was dry I then began to add to my image. I love geometric shapes and especially circles, so added some for a contemporary look rather than placing him in a garden setting. Mixing my two loves nature and science, well sort of!

Starling Dear, Copyright Tracy Bidwell 2014

For my next bird I've had a great time with my paint box and getting all those paints out that have felt a little unloved of late. Sitting with Snow for company a good tunes from my ipod I've had a great time painting this little guy, with all his spots and dots. I used a mixture of media from ink to gouache.

All the spots starling, Copyright Tracy Bidwell 2014

I'm now thinking how I can further develop these guys and the little grey cells are working on the next phase.

The piece I started over the Christmas period is now finished! Using a combination of hand and machine embroidery and introducing different stitches, needle felt, beads and paper, this piece is full of textures and I'm really please with it :-) Now all I need to do is find some where to hang it.

Dusky meadow, copyright Tracy Bidwell 2014


  1. Mmmm - looking good. Are you ever coming back to the NEC????

  2. Hi Anne, Thank you and I would love to come back to the NEC! It was a great experience and met so many lovely people. I now have a job in Newcastle at the Newcastle Arts Centre in the art supplies shop. It's great as I work four days and have two at home to create. Maybe when I have some more funding and more work I'll see if I can come down again.

    Tracy :-)