Sleeping Giants - Panda

February 10, 2020

Written in ‘The Annals of Five Emperors’, during the reign of Emperor Huang, some 4000 years ago, it is said that the mighty ruler would keep Giant Pandas for the purpose of fighting.  In an ancient Chinese legend, again dating back some 4000 years, it tells of how a tribal leader named Huangdi once wielded wild animals to defeat a neighbouring tribe.  Amongst the fearsome animals who bravely went into battle were leopards, tigers… and Pand

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Peacock Painting

February 05, 2020

Peacock watercolour painting -The DM Collection-Daniel Mackie

So this one has been a long time coming! All the paints out of the tin for this one! It took a long time and I was glad when it was done!

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Nice Weather For Ducks

February 04, 2020

Throughout history mankind has unfairly perceived ducks as being somewhat inferior to other animals.  You won’t find any duck deities, duck monuments, or duck legends.  Instead you will find an array of phrases which use the name for this fine bird; and it must be said, mostly in derogative terms.

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Puffins - Design from start to finish

January 30, 2020

Puffin painting in progress

Puffins are funny looking birds! I have been meaning to add one to the collection for a while but could not get the composition right.  Having two together seemed to be the solution.  That beak was the problem for me!  So a bit of heavy stylisation was  the way forward.

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The Whale and the Sea Slug

January 29, 2020

Being that whales spend roughly 90% of their time submerged under the waves, it comes as no surprise to hear that mankind have historically viewed them as very mystical creatures, and they are involved in many a myth.  Here's one involving a whale and sea slug; it’s kind of like a Japanese version of 'the hare and the tortoise'. 

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Peacock Superstition - Lucky or Evil?

January 27, 2020

Where there is great potential for things to go badly wrong you will find superstitions.  Whether it be on the battle field, the football pitch, or the farmland.  No more so is the potential for disaster more prevalent than on stage in the theatre.  And yes, no one usually physically dies, but a persons career certainly can!  So make sure there’s no whistling back stage, no wearing the colour blue, no performances of Macbeth, no mirrors, and certainly no peacock feathers!

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Pelican in Progress

January 16, 2020

Strange looking birds pelicans!  I wanted to simplify the shape and try and get some balance going on with the body and the bil

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A Pelican in Her Piety

January 15, 2020

To reach the afterlife in ancient Egypt you must first deal with the trappings of the underworld.  Here you will have to contend with various Gods, monsters, gatekeepers, and ultimately prove your worth to Osiris, the Lord of the underworld.

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Top 10 Woodland Animals- Facts and Stories

January 05, 2020

Here are ten interesting narratives about Woodland Animals with references to their place in our culture. Some are form ancient mythologies like the owls and their wisdom,  and others like the ‘The Fox and the Crow’. which tell us to be cautious of flattery!

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The Hare and the Moon

December 23, 2019

Why are hares associated with the moon? Hares are fundamentally nocturnal. Nighttime was once a very dangerous place and the moon was once believed to actually cause madness,

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Cats have nine lives?

December 23, 2019

In Turkish and Arabic traditions, cats have six lives. This contrasts with seven lives in Italy, Germany, Greece and Brazil. In most other countries the number is nine. There is an old English proverb that states,  “A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays”. this echo’s the fact that cats give their owners the most love when they are old- too old to chase mice!

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Black (and white) Magic

December 17, 2019

 

In a previous blog I spoke of the old beliefs regarding the fox fortuitously crossing one’s path, and I think we’ve probably all heard of the superstitions regarding black cats crossing your path too, but are there any other mystical path traversing beasties out there?  

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