Here you will find art inspired by nature... wildlife, trees, sea scenes and more. I create miniature paintings on pebbles, rocks, marble and sea slate. I'll be writing about the many things that inspire my art, and also about important wildlife and environmental issues. I have an art site which is updated with several new paintings a week. I also make jewellery from sea glass which is for sale in the Tiddu shop and blogged about on my Tiddu blog.

Nature Reclaiming Buildings

I've only just realised how long it's been since my last blog post! Crikey! I wouldn't blame you if you thought it had been abandoned! Apologies for my lack of posts. I have been very busy creating art and jewellery as always! Yesterday we went for a walk through Singleton Park, Mill Wood, Clyne Valley and the beach. In Clyne Valley we stumbled across a building that has been abandoned for much longer than I abandoned my blog! So long in fact that nature has reclaimed it! There are trees growing inside the building as well as on top of it! Plenty of ivy on the walls and many other plants growing inside or on the building. According to a local man we spoke to, this building used to be an old brick works. Apparently, Clyne Valley Brickworks closed in the 1950's.
An ivy covered tree growing inside the building
Trees growing inside the buidling
Tree growing on the building

We also came across two pill boxes from World War Two. There is a pill box on either side of the cycle path which used to be an old railway line. Nature has reclaimed these too. One of the pill boxes has trees growing on top of it.

Crocuses in Singleton Park
Love nature! Making a little bit of art in the woods!
It was lovely to see all the daffodils and crocuses blooming. Yesterday was surprisingly warm considering it is still only February. I'm so excited about spring and being able to get out and about more with the warmer weather and longer days!

Gull on a Worm's Head!

We have been having some lovely weather lately, so I have been making the most of it and getting out as much as I can. I recently went to Worm's Head, Rhossili. It's only possible to get there at low tide. The meadows on the island looked stunning! So many wild flowers amid the long grass. I saw a few seals resting on the rocks. I also saw a sea gull nesting on a clifftop surrounding by flowers. It looked so beautiful against the backdrop of the blue sky. So much so that I had to paint it. I think many people are not so fond of seagulls... but maybe that's when they are in the towns. Personally, I like them. I like them even more in their natural habitat... the cliffs by the sea. I think I might have to create a few more seagulls by the sea paintings. I have been painting quite a few sea scenes lately... I'll post some pictures in the next blog post.

Caw Blimey!!!

I have been creating a few paintings of some of my corvid companions. The corvid family includes crows, rooks, ravens, jackdaws, jays, magpies and choughs. There are many of these wonderful birds that frequent the beaches, cliffs, parks and woods in my area. Over the past few years I have become quite familiar with some of them, and they have become friendly with me too. They recognise me whatever I seem to wear and even recognise me when I'm on my bike! I've only painted crows and a raven so far. But watch this space as there will be many more paintings to come. Here are a few paintings on slate and one on a quartz pebble:

Cawing at the Moon: Slate Painting
Quartz Crow

Rainbow Raven: Slate Painting

Driftwood Crows: Pebble Painting

Inspiration Fairies

Fairy on a Swing: Miniature Slate Painting
I have been inspired to create some more fantasy paintings lately. In fact I have so many ideas whizzing around my head I just cant paint fast enough! The more I paint, the more the ideas come. I miss out on painting many of the ideas because they appear as an image in my head and sometimes they disappear as quickly as they appeared! I wish I had a photographic memory so that none of the ideas could escape before I've had time to get my paintbrushes out! I do write as many ideas down as I can as well as making sketches. But the best ideas come when I'm falling asleep at night or not long after I have woken up, so they don't make it to the sketch book. It seems the inspiration fairies are both night owls and larks! I do wish there were more hours in the day to paint all the paintings I want to paint!

The Owl and the Moon

The Owl and the Moon: Painted Pebble
I think maybe I am a little obsessed with painting the moon! And owls! But there are much worse things to be obsessed with! And a perfectly round pebble such as this is perfect for painting the moon and an owl on. I love finding these perfectly round but flat pebbles. This is just one of my many owl and moon paintings. You can find more on my art site. The theme is the same, but all the paintings are different. The owl above is a purple and midnight blue owl. I have also created some owl and moon pendants with smaller perfectly round pebbles.

Another Tree and Moon Painting!

Like Trees that Meet in the Night: Painting on Slate

I love trees and I love the moon. I love watching the moon through the trees. Maybe this is why I paint so many tree and moon paintings! I don't think I will ever tire of this theme! All of my tree and moon paintings are painted from my imagination. This miniature slate painting is of two cliff top turquoise trees. One tree is cradling the moon, whilst the tree on the opposite cliff is reaching towards the moon. I called this painting 'Like Trees that Meet in the Night'. The title of this painting is inspired by the familiar saying 'Like Ships that Pass in the Night'. You can find more of my tree and moon paintings on my art site.

More Miniature Art Pendants!

Here are some more miniature paintings that you can wear! More to come soon!!

Starfish on the Shore

Admiring the Moon

Flowers by the Sea

Lighthouse at Sunset

Twisted Tree Island

Guardian of the Moon
Embrace the Moon

Mermaid and the Seahorse

Orange Flowers by the Sea

Purple Seascape

Red Poppy

Red Squirrel

Seahorse in a Turquoise Sea


Water Lillies
These painted pendants are available to buy in the Tiddu Shop . More pendants will be added soon!

Stop the Badger Cull!

The badger is a wonderful animal yet is has been used as a scapegoat for many many years. The badger has been accused of spreading TB amongst cattle. There is no compelling scientific evidence to back these accusations, in fact it could be that cattle transfer the disease to badgers. Yet despite this the UK government is about to embark on a 'cull' of badgers. The word 'cull' is a nicer way of saying 'mass murder'. The plan is to allow free shooting of 70% of the badger population. However, even the government's own science adviser, Lord Krebs, has said that the cull is a crazy idea, which would not solve the problem and that there would be no way of monitoring how many badgers had been killed. He advised the government that the best solution would be to vaccinate cows. However, this advice is being ignored. The BBC article about his statement can be found here on the BBC News website.

Team Badger, which is a coalition of the largest animal welfare groups in the world  strongly oppose the cull and an official petition has been created. The petition has 98,224 signatures at the time of writing this blog post, which means just under 2,000 signatures are needed to reach 100,000. This is the amount needed to possibly prompt a debate in Parliament. If you live in the UK, please support the anti cull campaign and sign this official petition. If you have signed other petitions opposing the cull, please sign this one too. Thanks! Team Badger are hoping to collect one million signatures, so please sign anyway if the 100,000 target has been reached! 

Imagine if this magnificent creature was made extinct... this is a likely scenario considering that it would be impossible to monitor the amount of badgers that have been killed and how many are remaining. Not only would it be sad, it could also have a devastating impact on crop farmers. Badgers eat insects, insect larvae and small rodents. If the badger population decreases, of course the number of insects and small rodents will increase which could have a devastating effect on food grown by farmers! Nature created intricate eco-systems. When one creature is taken away from that eco-system it has an effect on everything else in that eco-system!

It is unlikely that the badgers are passing the TB to cattle, particularly considering there are only a few thousand badgers in the UK, yet there a millions of cows, it is far more likely that cows are spreading the disease amongst themselves. Cows are often kept in poor conditions. They are often injected with steroids and hormones as well as being fed unnatural food... all of these factors can weaken the immune systems of cows making them more susceptible to catching diseases. Even if all badgers are murdered in Britain, the problem will still remain. Of course, then it will be too late. So please, farmers and government, stop using the badgers as scapegoats and find the real reason for the spread of TB and the real solution! This is the only way the problem of TB in cows will go away.

Here are a couple of cartoons I saw on facebook:

Close Encounters

I try to spend as much time in nature as possible, and I love it when I encounter wildlife. The other day I was out walking when I noticed a young rabbit was munching on grass in front of me. He was no more than a metre away!  I often see rabbits when I'm out walking but usually they run for cover as soon as they see a human. This little rabbit didn't seem to notice me though at first. Eventually he looked up and noticed me. He looked me in the eyes for quite a while, completely unafraid, but inquisitive. He eventually decided I wasn't a threat and then carried on eating!! I was so close that I could see every marking on his fur in detail. I just wish that I had my camera handy so I could have taken a photo. I decided not to fumble around in my bag for the camera as I didn't want to scare him away. I will have to paint him from memory instead. I can still see all his markings in my mind's eye! What a cutie he was!

I also saw three choughs, which I was rather chuffed about as they are very rare birds. Above is the chough that I was closest too. I really do need to invest in a decent camera. . I could see him much more clearly in real life! My camera tends to make things seem further away than they actually are... even with the zoom facility on! His red legs are just about visible in the first photo. Choughs are members of the corvid family. Sadly there are less than 500 pairs of choughs left in Britain.
A Harvest Mouse (not the actual one I rescued) (Photo by Hecke)

I rescued a harvest mouse the other day too. He was motionless at the bottom of a stone style. When I bent down to see if he was still alive I noticed his whiskers twitching slightly. I had to move him before he was squashed under the feet of passing walkers. At first he played dead in my hand... he probably thought I was a predator, poor thing! After a few seconds though he started crawling about on my hand. His eyes were only half opened so he was either ill or very tired! I moved him to a place close to where I found him so he could find his way home, but well away from the footpath. When I went to place him in the long grass he seemed reluctant to leave my hand... he kept trying to crawl back on too! What a gorgeous little creature! I didn't take any photos, I was too busy trying to find a safe place to leave him. I hope he survived! I think I might do a series of harvest mouse paintings inspired by this little fellow. They are such adorable creatures! Watch this space!!!

Some More Hand Painted Miniature Art Pendants

Here are some of my latest miniature paintings on pebbles. They have all been hand painted onto smooth, small pebbles and then they have been wire wrapped... miniature wearable art! There are many more to come to so keep posted to see future creations! You can see more of my hand painted pendants on my art site:

Kingfisher: Hand painted miniature art pendant
Woodpecker: Hand painted miniature art pendant
Barn Owl: Hand painted miniature art pendant
Embrace the Moon: Hand painted miniature art pendant
Butterflies on the Beach: Hand painted miniature art pendant
Lighthouse on the Rocks: Hand painted miniature art pendant

Meadows: Don't Mow... Let Them Grow!

A wildflower meadow, Swinethorpe

  © Copyright Richard Croft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
I've always been a big fan of meadows. Meadows are teeming with life... plants, animals, insects and birds. Meadows are a feast for the senses... so many scents, sounds and textures, not to mention the beauty of the variety of different flora and fauna. So why are humans so obsessed with constantly destroying these wonderful, vibrant havens that so many creatures depend on to create nothing but clumps of dead grass? Apparently it is supposed to look 'neat'! It doesn't look neat to me! All those clumps of dead grass look quite messy, It amazes me that some people would prefer to look at a lifeless piece of land rather than a colourful meadow of wildflowers full of butterflies, bees, dragonflies, ladybirds, birds, hedgehogs, rabbits, deer, dormice, frogs, foxes and more! Some meadows are home to some rare species of flora and fauna yet they are destroyed regardless.It takes time, energy, fuel and expensive machinery to mow a meadow, which not only is a pointless task but it is also a deadly one. Sadly, thousands of insects, birds and mammals are killed every time a meadow is mown. These creatures die for the sake of man's obsession with land looking 'neat'. Compare the photo above to the photo below... I know which one I prefer!
A meadow that has been mowed and is now lifeless
Agriculture and buildings have had a devastating impact on meadows over the years, to the point where there are few meadows remaining. Of the few that remain, many are needlessly destroyed in preference of 'neat' land. This is one of the reasons why bees are struggling to survive as a species. Bees need flowers! They need many flowers! Flowers that are not genetically modified or laden with pesticides. Humans are dependent on bees to pollinate the flowers of food plants and trees. If bees disappear, humans will struggle to pollinate all these flowers themselves! It also saddens me that some children have never seen a wildflower meadow! If meadows continue to be constantly destroyed maybe some people will never see meadows at all. This is such a shame because meadows really are amazing places to be, especially for children - they are great places to learn about wildlife and they are also great places for children to play. Considering the rarity of meadows today, it is important that the few remaining meadows are preserved and new meadows are created. If not, then some British wildflowers and wildlife will disappear forever.
Children enjoying a meadow,  Maidens Cross, Alvanley, near Frodsham

  © Copyright Neil Kennedy and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The obsession with mowing doesn't stop at meadows though. Many people are obsessed with mowing or strimming their lawns. I have seen people destroying beautiful lawns full of daisies because they were 2cm too tall to look 'neat'! They fill their neighbourhood with the angry sounds of strimmers and leaf blowers first thing on a Sunday morning to achieve their desired 'neat' look. They will then water the grass so it grows again so they can spend their next weekend repeating the process! Really... where is the logic in that? I am not lucky enough to have a garden, but if I did, I would prefer to listen to the peaceful sound of buzzing of bees pollinating flowers than the annoying buzzing of a strimmer destroying all the flowers! If I was lucky enough to have a garden I would create a wildlife haven. I would sow wildlflower seeds and create a miniature meadow of my own, then I would sit back and watch the butterflies, birds and bees enjoy the flowers. I would enjoy the peace and quite of the absence of angry killing machines. Then I'd probably create some miniature paintings of the many visitors that frequent my miniature meadow.

Wildflower Meadow: Hand Painted Pebble Pendant
You can find out more about the importance of wildflower meadows, what's being done to protect them and what you can do to protect them on the Plantlife website. There is also information on the Plantlife website about growing wildflowers and creating your own wildflower meadows. Here are some miniature wearable art pendants I've created that are inspired by wildflowers and meadows...

Blue Poppies: Hand Painted Pebble Pendant
Red Poppies by the Sea: Hand Painted Pebble Pendant
Sunflower Meadow: Hand Painted Pebble Pendant
A Meadow of Daisies: Hand Painted Pebble Pendant