Ridley Newsletter - May 2004
the last newsletter Jill and I have relocated to Comrie near Crieff
in Highland Perthshire on the edge of the Trossach National Park.
Unfortunatley our plans for the self-build house did not come to fruition,
however we have been lucky enough to find another house in a splendid
location rich in wildlife and surrounded by stunning scenery. Already
some of the regular sightings from our garden have included roe deer,
brown hares, red squirrels, ospreys, woodcock and red kite.
The house was originally a weaver's cottage, and provides me with
a much larger and more efficient working space. We have plans to further
improve the layout of the house and garden which will keep us busy
for a few years!
New Contact Details
Rossal, The Ross, Comrie, Crieff, Perthshire
Scotland PH6 2JU
Telephone: 01764 670 695 (UK) +44 1764 670 695 (International)
Tawny Owl Chick
Tawny owls have nested using an owl nest box just beyond
the end of our garden.
Buck and Fox Gloves
Hills above Comrie
|WORK IN PROGESSS "ON
|At the moment
I am working on a large painting depicting brown hares after a fresh
fall of snow. For a while I spent every fine evening studying the
local hares. Now the spring grass is getting too long for a clear
view. It was easy to see in excess of twenty hares every evening,
in one particular field there are usually at least a dozen. I can
now recognise some hares individually and my knowledge about their
behaviour has increased as a result.
Back in the studio, beginning with small doodles of compositions I
worked on layouts with single hares but with my visual memory so packed
full of hares I was drawn to compositions involving multiple hares.
My final composition depicts a regular occurrence, the huddled hare
is a doe not interested in receiving any attention. Behind her is
a dominant male shunned but in attendance and enter foreground a new
young buck. I'm trying to capture the body language of each hare.
I tried lots of branches covered in snow in the foreground, but it
looked busy and in the process of trying to frame the hares started
to look a little contrived. I prefer the feeling of space in the attached
design, the foreground is replaced by flowing snow drifts and the
busy texture of snow laden twigs is reserved for a fragmented strip
just beyond the hares. The horizontal banding further back in the
composition is a trick that works well combined with movement across
a composition. The far distance is a line of treetops just visible
above the hilltop. I'm just beginning the actual oil painting.
You can view progress here: On the