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artbykarieann
I am a part-time pet portrait and wildlife artist living in the deep dark forest between the Royal Forest of Dean, Herefordshire and the Welsh border. A beautiful and inspiring place to live and create pet portraits and wildlife art.
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Sunday, 31 January 2010

Cat Portraits, Charlie


Well things have been very slow going with the cat this week, sorry, I've become caught up in the website yet again. And sorry about the flash yet again too! As you all know from my last post I revamped the site and uploaded it, however I am now lost in cyberspace and having a very heated ongoing email conversation with my host and after they have kindly taken my money for a couple of years, I'm very disappointed in their speed of response let alone help in fixing things. I am beginning to lose my patience (I have very little) and have been looking for a new host who will be much more helpful in times of future disaster!


Also, after another violent snow flurry, we were able to get outside in the garden today. On Friday I popped into the village and within 20 minutes the snow had covered the road and cars were pulling up on pavements, it was bizarre, I've never seen it settle and cover so quickly, then no more snowfall! Unfortunately it froze overnight and yesterday was bitter cold and icy so the bunnies and guinea pigs stayed inside. Today was a different matter though and we all went out to play, including Willow above who as always...just wants to play football!!!


This is one of our golden appenzellar cocks we bred last year. These are funny breed and come in a silver version too. They are quite nosey and cheeky but will follow you all around the garden. Each of the golden cocks has been nick-named Elvis due to the 'hair quiff' and at the moment we have 3 of them, I never know which is which so I just call them all the same....Elvis! Good job they don't get offended!


And introducing the latest project, this is a dexta and Ronnie has been collecting spare parts for it from far and wide, spot his helpful hen trotting under the back of the tractor, you can just see her tail feathers. She loves working in the shed with him and has taken to pecking Gypsy on the tail when they come into contact!
I can also tell something is afoot, Ronnie has been reorganising his tractor shed which currently should house 4 tractors, 2 landrovers and 2 morris minors however, all of the tractors are out, plus the land rovers have been moved to leave additional space, one morris is now outside and tools have been tidied away so I guess we are awaiting delivery of some other vehicle! Oh well, we are more like Steptoes back yard now than a country cottage!!!

I'm off to set up my display tomorrow so I will take some photos to blog aswell. Then you will see I do actually manage to do some art every now and then!

If you like my work please take the time to leave me a comment or become a follower. If you would like to win a pet portrait of your dog, cat, horse or any other pet please see my new competition. The competition has closed for this year but there will be a new one in 2010. Join in the fun and vote for this year's winner by following the links here.

If you are interested in commissioning me please visit my pet portrait artist website or my wildlife artist website
Now visit my picasa photo album to see completed pieces of art.

Thanks for visiting!
Thursday, 28 January 2010

New Pet Portraits and Wildlife Art website



At long last I've uploaded my new style website for publishing and I'm quite pleased with the look of it but I'm having problems with links which is currently undergoing investigation by my hosting company so please be patient if you are trying to navigate around over the next few days.
Still framing portraits for my display so best get back to it!

If you like my work please take the time to leave me a comment or become a follower. If you would like to win a pet portrait of your dog, cat, horse or any other pet please see my new competition. The competition has closed for this year but there will be a new one in 2010. Join in the fun and vote for this year's winner by following the links here.

If you are interested in commissioning me please visit my pet portrait artist website or my wildlife artist website
Now visit my picasa photo album to see completed pieces of art.

Thanks for visiting!
Sunday, 24 January 2010

Busy framing pet portraits and wildlife art



I have been busy I promise! I've had some advice about the major issues with my website (thank you so much Alex) and decided to follow her instructions therefore I have been working all weekend on my website - see the snippet above. I've added commission guides to help with the buying process plus I've added a section about myself for clients and visitors alike to get to know what happens behind the easel! You all know I have many many animals but I guess that's about all you know so as time goes by more and more will be added to this section. I've also had a tidy up and used the same template now for all the pages and at last it looks more consistent although I'm having major problems with my links though, they have all gone haywire so until this problem is fixed I cannot publish, otherwise visitors could get lost!

Aside from this we have had quite a busy weekend, yesterday we rescued two geese who had been destined for the Christmas dinner table, long winded story but they were fostered for a while by the most unlikely couple (one is a ranger and despatches animals as part of his job) but he and his girlfriend took a shine to them and allowed them to run around in their garden. We have named them Bonnie and Clyde as they have escaped for a life in the country! They were transported home in a large dog cage and we must have looked a little odd with these two geese flailing about on the back of our truck through the rural lanes! We safely deposited them in the big pen with the other 14 geese and I stood inside waiting for mayhem and fighting, geese always fight at this time of year because of breeding but the female is a little small so I thought she may need a bit of assistance, however, they all greeted each other and set about making goosey noises with just a minor bit of feather pulling so I was able to take the video below to show you how they got on. Bonnie and Clyde are the grey skull cap but mainly white gander and the small pure white goose who stayed by his side.

video

Also today was reasonably warm so I left all of my rabbits and guinea pigs out in their pens as I framed and stringed up portraits ready for my display which I will be putting up the week after next. I also checked on our geese and they are all very happily ignoring each other which is amazing.



Anyway as I was sorting out my website I came across this photo of Willow, this was during one of my visits before she came home with us, wasn't she tiny?!? Plus I'd forgotten how she stared at me everytime we went to visit and that was why I chose her, I almost changed my mind to a huge long fur sable dog but I stuck to my guns just because she had eyes only for me...



she's a heartbreaker, the problem is she has grown to an immense size and from what I can gather, she still has about 6 months of growing to do.... how much is that dog food?!?!



and still the eyes stare at me...
As for Charlie the cat, the portrait has progressed since the last update, she is now sat in a stone window, I say sat but she has not legs so the update would look very bizarre but I will take a shot very soon.

If you like my work please take the time to leave me a comment or become a follower. If you would like to win a pet portrait of your dog, cat, horse or any other pet please see my new competition. The competition has closed for this year but there will be a new one in 2010. Join in the fun and vote for this year's winner by following the links here.

If you are interested in commissioning me please visit my pet portrait artist website or my wildlife artist website
Now visit my picasa photo album to see completed pieces of art.

Thanks for visiting!
Thursday, 21 January 2010

Close Encounter




At last, I've had a close encounter with some wild boar. About 10 or 12 ran in front of our truck as we went around a corner yesterday. What happened next was not what I expected at all, this group were all about 6 months old apart from 2 piglets and 2 older sows. The little ones went down over a bank but the rest stayed close to the ridge or even on the road and they watched us in the truck and they did begin to come closer to our vehicle, this all took a few minutes and they were not frightened or worried about us at all, Willow was looking out from the window and she did grumble at a very low pitch for a very long time but even this didn't move them on. It was only when they had had enough that we proved too boring in our truck and they all trotted down over the bank.
I have no idea what would have happened if we had been on foot and I'm not sure what Willow would have done, she has seen deer and made a move but has stopped and laid down when I told her to and allowed the does to run on without chasing them but she was very disturbed by the boar so who knows!
We worked the bank they had been mouting on today and although there were lots of signs of them, they were not to be seen thankfully and Willow was very occupied chasing sticks we all threw for her. These particular boar are only about 6 months old and probably only a third of their final weight and size but they still looked mean to me!

Charlie's portrait is coming along nicely, I will post an update soon but I have been networking our computers and moving everything for my new art/computer table I am collecting tomorrow and I will at long last have a dedicated area to work from so I'll take photos of that too but it may take a while to sort out.
Aside from this we should be collecting two 'ex-christmas dinner' geese on Saturday as their buyer couldn't face eating them after all so we are adding them to our flock which will then total 16 geese! More photos to follow of the feathered flock!

If you like my work please take the time to leave me a comment or become a follower. If you would like to win a pet portrait of your dog, cat, horse or any other pet please see my new competition. The competition has closed for this year but there will be a new one in 2010. Join in the fun and vote for this year's winner by following the links here.
If you are interested in commissioning me please visit my pet portrait artist website or my wildlife artist website
Now visit my picasa photo album to see completed pieces of art.
Thanks for visiting!
Thursday, 14 January 2010

Cat Portraits, Charlie




Just to prove I had been working on this cat portrait, I used a black background behind the drafting film for contrast tto show the chest area but this will not remain in place once the cat portrait is complete.



And here is Dobbin the Robin, waiting patiently by our truck at breaktime for any spare morsels of food.
Our road was horrendous this morning, we had to dig our drive out very early this morning just to get the truck up onto the track then we ran the gauntlet onto the main road, luckily things are starting to thaw now but looking ahead we are due 3 more snow storms next week but as the weather reports can't even predict the weather an hour in the future, I'm thinking this may not come to pass as it's becoming a bit patience sapping!
If you like my work please take the time to leave me a comment or become a follower. If you would like to win a pet portrait of your dog, cat, horse or any other pet please see my new competition. The competition has closed for this year but there will be a new one in 2010. Join in the fun and vote for this year's winner by following the links here.
If you are interested in commissioning me please visit my pet portrait artist website or my wildlife artist website
Now visit my picasa photo album to see completed pieces of art.
Thanks for visiting!
Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Cat Portraits, Charlie


copyright Karie-Ann Cooper 2010

Meet Charlie. Charlie is 13 or 14 and is now relaxing in her later years. She used to be a prolific hunter but is now more often than not, found in one of 3 places; the window sill where she can gaze outside and also keep her eye on her canine companions; her owner's bed where she likes to curl up at night keeping her mum's feet warm on these cold winter nights and finally on the wooden rack shown in the reference image. From here she can watch over her garden but also quickly make an entrance into the house (an old cider mill) when she feels a chill or a catnap brewing!

Well the weather was half right, half wrong, the snow storm started 6 hours early and lasted for 18 hours instead of just overnight. We are now coated yet again in a thick white blanket and depending on which weather report you chose, we are either freezing and creating more ice-rink roads for tomorrow or melting! I think the reporters are just trying to cover all bases and then they can't be accused of getting things wrong!
We spent most of the morning uncovering the electric fencing again and I also cleaned out all of my bunnies and guinea pigs, no doubt they are going stir crazy as the lawn is under about 8 inches of snow and I think my guinea pigs would sink below the surface. As a bit of respite for them they were each allowed a run around in the bottom of the shed (the rabbits) and the guinea pigs came up to the house to watch television from the comfort of the sofa. I daren't let them run around the floor as they aren't used to electric cables and could take a little nibble of one!
And so to relieve your boredom....no snow pics today, instead Sooty and Sweep are putting in an appearance and saying hello!



Sooty



Sweep

If you like my work please take the time to leave me a comment or become a follower. If you would like to win a pet portrait of your dog, cat, horse or any other pet please see my new competition. The competition has closed for this year but there will be a new one in 2010. Join in the fun and vote for this year's winner by following the links here.
If you are interested in commissioning me please visit my pet portrait artist website or my wildlife artist website
Now visit my picasa photo album to see completed pieces of art.
Thanks for visiting!
Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Wildlife Art, Tiger and Dog Portraits framed



I've now completed the tiger painting in general, I've not decided what to do with the background but I have bought an airbrush kit so it may come into play. The thing is I've never used one before so it will take a lot of trial and error before I'm brave enough to use it properly. I'm not even sure if I can use it after the wildlife art has been completed or whether I should have used it first!



And the group dog portrait is now framed too so I thought I'd just let you see it finished off completely. Unfortunately the light has caught on the left side again but it's unavoidable under the current daylight bulbs I have to use.

Still lots of snow hanging around and we are due another heavy snow storm tonight, whether or not it will arrive is another matter, those weather reporters need shooting, they can't get it right for love nor money!




If you like my work please take the time to leave me a comment or become a follower. If you would like to win a pet portrait of your dog, cat, horse or any other pet please see my new competition. The competition has closed for this year but there will be a new one in 2010. Join in the fun and vote for this year's winner by following the links here.
If you are interested in commissioning me please visit my pet portrait artist website or my wildlife artist website
Now visit my picasa photo album to see completed pieces of art.
Thanks for visiting!
Monday, 11 January 2010

Wildlife Art, Tiger



Another update of my latest piece of wildlife art, almost done now, there is a slight glare over the tiger's head but you get the basic idea.
And here are a few pictures from work today, just to show how rotten it was working outside all day in the cold and wet, Willow seemed to enjoy it even if no one else did! (She must be mad!)









If you like my work please take the time to leave me a comment or become a follower. If you would like to win a pet portrait of your dog, cat, horse or any other pet please see my new competition. The competition has closed for this year but there will be a new one in 2010. Join in the fun and vote for this year's winner by following the links here.
If you are interested in commissioning me please visit my pet portrait artist website or my wildlife artist website
Now visit my picasa photo album to see completed pieces of art.
Thanks for visiting!
Sunday, 10 January 2010

Wildlife Art, Tiger



I did say I'd been getting on with my wildlife art! I've been so sorely disappointed with the weather today, we were supposed to suffer heavy snowfall which would have prevented us going to work tomorrow, but I had hoped the very large amount of remaining snow would melt to make our journey into work easier, instead it's the thick compacted snow/ice which is all the way down to the main road. We took all of the dogs down to the road to see if things had improved and although the main road is much better, we still have to fight our way out and take the big dipper ride down the steep track to get out. As a result, I've been sulking, I've updated my website and got on with this tiger painting and moaned and mumbled at myself that tomorrow will be horrendous, wet and cold!

Anyway here is the obligatory snowy picture from today's walk, look at that road!!!



And a little video of my dogs in the snow

video

I do apologise it's not very interesting but my batteries went flat and I did cuss a bit too!!!
If you like my work please take the time to leave me a comment or become a follower. If you would like to win a pet portrait of your dog, cat, horse or any other pet please see my new competition. The competition has closed for this year but there will be a new one in 2010. Join in the fun and vote for this year's winner by following the links here.
If you are interested in commissioning me please visit my pet portrait artist website or my wildlife artist website
Now visit my picasa photo album to see completed pieces of art.

Thanks for visiting!
Friday, 8 January 2010

Wildlife Art news and more snowy pics!

You will be pleased to know the artwork is still underway, I've been working on the tiger wildlife art painting and it is taking shape however as per usual the lighting is pretty dismal so I have no update picture to offer, instead I have a few more pics of the local scenery which is still under cover of the thick and now frozen blanket of white snow. We have suffered another flurry this evening and depending on which channel's weather report you listen to, we are due more flurries tomorrow and a heavy fall on Sunday and Monday or just the Sunday/Monday version with Saturday being just freezing temperatures. We have now given up trying to second guess what happens with the predictions and just do what everyone else is probably doing, turning on the outside light and watching the snow fall! The two exits out are down very steep narrow lanes and anymore snow is just a nightmare waiting to happen. We've already found a car wrapped around a road sign at the bottom of the one way and we are quite reluctant to join the dented car/truck brigade anytime soon.
Anyway, as you can guess, dogs being dogs, just love the snow, Willow thinks every solid lump of snow is a ball to toss up and catch, Zac the spaniel loves to roll about in it and Gypsy, although suffering with the short leg syndrome and struggles in the deep drifts, will not leave our sides and stays out faithfully as we refill chicken water bowls until she is shaking with cold. We have tried to put her inside the house by the fire but she has smashed through the cat flap so many times now it's just not worth the effort!
We did actually make it into work today only to be told to go home, the main road was as bad as our track and I was very grateful to make it back in one piece.
So, here are the photos I promised, no doubt most other blogs from England, Wales and Scotland feature snowy pictures, but mine are mine and they belong on my blog!



This is the view from the side of our house. All of the fields belong to farmers and we could hear their trucks beeping as there was no other traffic whatsoever today.



A snowy tree in the woods behind my house


And the main track, for once it looks almost standard, but beneath the snow it's just forestry track! The tracks are from the tractor on the farm next door, and Gypsy did appreciate the tyre tracks to run in!

If you like my work please take the time to leave me a comment or become a follower. If you would like to win a pet portrait of your dog, cat, horse or any other pet please see my new competition. The competition has closed for this year but there will be a new one in 2010. Join in the fun and vote for this year's winner by following the links here
If you are interested in commissioning me please visit my pet portrait artist website or my wildlife artist website
Now visit my picasa photo album to see completed pieces of art.
Thanks for visiting!
Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Wildlife Art, tiger



As promised here is the first installment of the tiger I have started. I love big cats and tigers and leopards are my favourite. I would like to fit in more wildlife art and I think big cats are wonderful subjects. This is still very early days and there is a lot more work to do before this piece of wildlife art is completed so stay tuned for more news soon!

It snowed quite a lot over night and we have about 9 inches of snow, there is a new severe weather warning for our area for the forthcoming freezing conditions which are due in tonight and will not prove very helpful at all!
Anyway we have been busy outdoors until lunchtime and we walked a fair few miles out to the main road but this is also closed so we won't be going anywhere very soon!



Obviously our crew helped us attend to all the chickens and although he hates having his photo taken, Zac is very pretty and always look good on film!



And Willow it seems loves snow, although she does stand out a bit!



Anyway, this was the start of our 2 1/2 hour trek down to the main road....



....which was delayed slightly by the continuous dog fighting!

If you like my work please take the time to leave me a comment or become a follower. If you would like to win a pet portrait of your dog, cat, horse or any other pet please see my new competition. The competition has closed for this year but there will be a new one in 2010. Join in the fun and vote for this year's winner by following the links here.
If you are interested in commissioning me please visit my pet portrait artist website or my wildlife artist website
Now visit my picasa photo album to see completed pieces of art.
Thanks for visiting!
Tuesday, 5 January 2010

A day of snow and ice



Today was good and bad, we finished work early due to the severe weather we were having and are still due to have which was good, unfortunately for us, we live so far away from any main roads it was already too treacherous to drive home so we had to park up our van and walk home along the track shown above to our house. Having said that it wasn't that bad, we'd stopped at the chip shop and bought some chips which we ate as we wondered home!



 As you can see no one had been there before us on our trek! Willow bravely led the way and I only fell over once, landing on my knee and hopping all the way home!!!



And here is our house not long after the snow began to fall, the flakes were getting bigger and stickier!



And why did the chicken cross the road! My two wildlly viscious killer dogs just watch as a hen saunters by across the garden



So I decided to take some more photos and here are my two trusty assistants who check lighting and focus at every turn!



Not forgetting Gypsy who does suffer in the snow due to her lack of height, she seems to sink with every paw step!




Here is my beautiful Zac, he's a bit of a snow baby and he eats it, rolls in it and runs around in it! Isn't he handsome!



And finally some of my geese out in the snow, they skate more than waddle in this weather, the other half were wise and stayed in their shed all huddled up in the straw. Clever birds!

And going back to art, I have indeed tried to keep to my intentions of producing more art work, I've actually started a new wildlife portrait and will blog that next, just to keep you in suspense! I've got some more 'portraits to do' images to add and will do that next just to keep you all up to date.

If you like my work please take the time to leave me a comment or become a follower. If you would like to win a pet portrait of your dog, cat, horse or any other pet please see my new competition. The competition has closed for this year but there will be a new one in 2010. Join in the fun and vote for this year's winner by following the links here.
If you are interested in commissioning me please visit my pet portrait artist website or my wildlife artist website
Now visit my picasa photo album to see completed pieces of art.
Thanks for visiting!
Sunday, 3 January 2010

Dog Portraits, Willow, Gypsy and Zac


Hooray!!!!! I've actually finished this dog portrait now, at one point I thought it would end up on my ever growing pile of half finished work, I keep telling myself I will go back to them but I think we all know that will not happen so perhaps I need to clear them all out so I don't feel so guilty about them!
Anyway, this was quite a large dog portrait and it did take some effort to fill it in, pencils do not have the greatest coverage, in fact it's akin to using a ball point pen I think so I'm pleased will my staying power at least.

And news on Cyril....
Just for you Liz, unfortunately Cyril escaped just before Christmas leaving his sparring partner Shizzle behind and made a mad dash after bouncing from the head of the lady looking after him. We've spent almost two weeks looking for him, I travelled quite a distance each day due to holidays to look for him and feed Shizzle, but it seems Cyril has decided he's a wild animal after all and would rather be in the trees with his kith and kin. I was devastated at first as was the lady who was taking excellent care of him, but all said and done, this was eactly what was meant to happen, it just happened before we planned it. For a couple of days I had terrible thoughts about him starving to death as he'd have no store of nuts but I work for the Forestry Commission and they have a never ending battle with squirrels as they chew the bark from trees for food, well there are trees everywhere so there's no problem there, then I worried about the snow, well who heard of squirrels being wiped out because of snow! Cyril was nice and fat before his break for freedom, in fact probably fatter than any wild squirrel so I should imagine he's living the life of Riley now and finding himself a girlfriend for the spring. We have left all manner of squirrels traps and nuts out for him just in case he does decide to put in an appearance but I'm very doubtful now as he is a wild creature after all.
All in all I think that he's had the best start, he was he size of an egg without fur when the cat delivered him to the door step without much chance at all, so after I fed him up and Alex has looked after him so well I'm confident he's chewing on a beech tree somewhere!
If you like my work please take the time to leave me a comment or become a follower. If you would like to win a pet portrait of your dog, cat, horse or any other pet please see my new competition. The competition has closed for this year but there will be a new one in 2010. Join in the fun and vote for this year's winner by following the links here.

If you are interested in commissioning me please visit my pet portrait artist website or my wildlife artist website
Now visit my picasa photo album to see completed pieces of art.

Thanks for visiting!
Saturday, 2 January 2010

Dog Portraits, Willow, Gypsy and Zac



Apologies yet again for the poor photo, although the weather has improved the lighting is awful. It's not my fault honest! Anyway, this is where I've got to and the end is in sight now, thankfully.
I've actually learnt a few things doing this portrait
1. Never leave a piece half way through, I mixed up colours as a result and it did take a concerted effort to 'fine tune' them all
2. Never use the back of drafting film, I know a lot of others do, but all of my leaves were on the back, it was supposed to give a distant quality but it made them look very flat so I went back over them all on the front anyway, what a lot of work that was!
3. Derwent studios give a kind of painterly effect on drafting film. I used them on the paving stones and they do look like watercolour (apologies to all those professional watercolour artists out there, I expect you are shouting at my post now)
4. Never try such a bold background again! I think I'd go back to paper for another portrait of this size and complexity, then for the background I could use pastels and cover the space quicker.
5. Don't do a background so intricate and monotonous next time, those leaves felt like being lost in the jungle!
6. Never work with outsized portraits again, I had to search high and low for a frame and then it was a very long winded job to get a mount cut, and I wanted a double mount plus it's slightly too small, that'll teach me!
7. Give up the day job, I can't remember when I started this portrait, I think it was July last year, I know I've done many things in between but this is ridiculous, I need to give up my day job to increase my work rate!
8. Leave portraits until a pet is fully grown, Willow was only 7 months old when I took her photo, she is now coming 14 months and looks much more grown up, I feel I need to do another portrait of her to keep up to date!
9. Forethought! If I'd have known I was going to put them on a patio I would have liked to add watering cans, plant pots etc but I just beavered away without any planning, I will spend more time with the next one sorting out the compostion rather than just going for broke!

So I'd best get back to it, I have to go back to the day job on Monday and I would like to get things finished by then and start something new to put up at my display, tell you more about that soon.

Hope you all had a happy New Year! Oh and well done so far Oakley in the voting for a custom pet portrait, keep up the good work Bonnie!

If you like my work please take the time to leave me a comment or become a follower. If you would like to win a pet portrait of your dog, cat, horse or any other pet please see my new competition. The competition has closed for this year but there will be a new one in 2010. Join in the fun and vote for this year's winner by following the links here

If you are interested in commissioning me please visit my pet portrait artist website or my wildlife artist website
Now visit my picasa photo album to see completed pieces of art.

Thanks for visiting!
Copyright (c) 2008 -2010 Karie-Ann Cooper. All rights reserved. All images, words and text remain the copyright of Karie-Ann Cooper. All artwork on this blog is protected by copyright law and must not be used, copied or downloaded without the permission of the artist