Start to another year . . . .

And surely it is going to be better than the last annus horribilis. . . . (Although I feel it may be a lot worse yet before the situation starts to improve here in the UK). . . . At last GOS is feeling a bit more like his old self and the NHS here have started on the immunisation programme locally. . . so watch this space. Optimistically, I have purchased all my vegetable seeds for the coming season, potted up a variety of cuttings/thinings for my daughter in law and await delivery of the seed potatoes. I want to do some more clearing in the veg patch but it’s far too sticky under foot again.

The weather has suddenly got colder and we have had a little snow at our level. Although, the tops are really white, and have been like that for the last couple of weeks, as the hard night frosts have stopped any thaw. Ice on the paths and lane have been treacherous some mornings. However, today it is raining again and the temperature is several degrees warmer. GOS spends a lot of each morning splitting logs for the wood burner which keeps us toasty warm – too warm on occasion when it really gets going!

There is a rush of birds to the bird table at the moment and I have to fill the peanut holder up daily. We have quite a few species visiting; robins, blackbirds, nuthatches, the occasional woodpecker and various types of tits. A flock of about a dozen long tailed tits (I have mentioned before) are regular visitors. They are really noisy and comical – hanging at all angles on the feeders. Great entertainment when standing at the kitchen sink doing chores as the bird table is in front of the kitchen window.

The sheep are also think they are hungry. Although they are extremely fat, well-fed and healthy, they bleat imploringly whenever they see me in the hopes of more treats. I took a photo of them recently and was so taken with the shadow patterns on the snow I decided to do make a painting of it. Surprisingly, the chickens haven’t gone off lay as expected before Christmas and I have a surplus of eggs.

Acrylic on canvas. I’m considering this for my next year’s Christmas card? ?

There are some Jacob Sheep moved into a field down the lane. They have the most exotic, fibrous coloured coats and ridged horns.

Our new neighbours

I read that the Jacob was kept for centuries as a “park sheep”, to ornament the large estates of landowner. They have been bred in the British Isles for several hundred years. Sheep of this kind are little different from the modern breed and have been shown in paintings from about 1760. These are small and lithe, about half the size of my large, lumbering, commercial breed.

Quick pastel sketch

So – there may be more sheep paintings on the way….. more especially if I’m stuck inside due to bad weather.

6 thoughts on “Start to another year . . . .

  1. Love the sheep painting for a Christmas card!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello MCL,
    Happy New Year, and a definite thumbs up for both the latest artworks as potential cards – for Christmas or otherwise – really lovely, even if we are die hard friendly sheep fans! Fiona – the real artist in our household – is very impressed! What a great way to beat the January/Covid blues – a burst of creativity, well done!
    Best wishes
    Julian

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks both. Happy New Year 🌱🌱🌱

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your sheep painting would make a lovely Christmas card! Beautiful work.

    Liked by 1 person

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