more of these twiggy concoctions obsessed my painting mind before and after christmas

so I need to get them down in the blog before I catch up on the late winter landscape ….

though for me they are still partly about the landscape and the time of year

oak twigs with leaves still slightly green when I brought them indoors

and alder cones and catkins … and the old viburnum berries glowing in the light. in this reversed succession of painting method you can see that the leaves’ original loose tranparent painting ended up being how I left them in the finished painting. so often less is more!

then I found this fieldfare in the lane, killed by a glancing blow from a car no doubt. too beautiful to leave for scavengers, and utterly paintable. I’ve always found dead birds very alluring, and drawn or painted them when the opportunity has arisen.

a chance remark made me think about putting the sad corpse into a bigger more ambitious still life

and these rose hips have been calling! they are from a species rose growing outside a friend’s garden, against the wall. we don’t know what the rose is called. also I got another spray of darker red ones from the other side of their gate, and we know this is “Cupid” a hybrid-tea.

I’m planning to try to propagate this one from cuttings – the twigs have sprouted new shoots even in my vase.

having a corpse in your still life is an old dutch tradition, I think – the reminder of mortality.

the glass vase itself came from Richard Scott’s antique shop in Holt

it’s a lovely object in its own right, and makes the twigs (also hydrangea stems) more interesting to paint

I had to move the drawing of the bird around in the foreground. the canvas is 100cm wide and 80 tall, so a slower paint ….

a more ambitious effort, and not a painting for the faint-hearted or small house, I think!