I have a dilemma ..should I feed the birds or not? The logical part of me says no- native birds need to be able to look after themselves, feeding them only encourages the population to breed more than the natural food supply will support. On the other hand, when all the little finches line up outside the kitchen window in the snow and watch me eating my porridge.... Anyway, this handsome fellow - feeding himself , was originally photographed by Steve Attwood. (Thanks for letting me use your photo as a reference).
Last night our little school held it's annual Matariki walk. The children were all very excited, having made their own beautiful paper lanterns to carry. We all walked down to Lake Rotoiti - what a sight! A string of jewel like lights trailing along in the pitch black(we don't have many street lights). It was freezing cold and hard to hold the camera still- hence the special effects! When we reached the lake they lit some bigger lanterns which were released to sail off over the lake. What a beautiful way to start the New Year.
At the watercolour workshop I took last weekend one of the topics we covered was perspective. When I ran an earlier workshop I felt I'd dealt really badly with this. It's a subject which can reduce many painters(including me) to gibbering wrecks! . Why is it such a scary thing? I think it's very easy to turn perspective into a mathematical exercise ( I was taught by one tutor who spent ages drawing lines and angles to explain perspective, and the only thing it did for me was give me a headache!). I lay awake last night trying to come up with a simple explanation and here is the result:
Imagine that you're standing looking at a building. Remember that the (imaginary) horizon is always at your eye level and that the imaginary vanishing point is directly opposite you on this horizon line. If the wall of the building is facing you, any horizontal lines on it (guttering, roof ridge) will always be horizontal. If the wall is leading away from you, any of it's horizontal lines ABOVE your eye level will slope DOWN to the vanishing point on the horizon. Any of it's horizontal lines BELOW your eye level will slope UP to the vanishing point on the horizon. I still say it's best just to measure and compare what the lines are actually doing in relation to each other, but it's good to have in your mind what they should be doing. I hope this helps.