caralockhartsmith

stories and illustration

Robins in the Conservatory

Been working in the studio most of the hours I can manage, and when taking necessary breaks from painting something rather fragile that needs not to be overworked – or underworked either – I watch the birds out of the window, eating the seeds, bread and apples put 0ut for them.  I call “birdies” in rather an idiotic way when I put out the seed, but it does please me when there is a kind of rustle and quiver in the nearby trees.  The hornbeam hedge has been cut down to its minimum, so the birds at the moment prefer the bushes with more shelter to wait until I have gone back into the sutdio.  I was playing some Handel very loud so I turned it down to not frighten the “birdies”.  There are two robins that come, each bird has its own way of taking food.  The blackbirds are very unafraid of people compared to other birds, but they don’t eat much in public, they seize something and fly into the shadows with it  The sparrows cluster together, there are either 15 or none at all.  I think some of them are dunnocks, which I believe is a different variety altogether.  The robins however are on the qui vive the whole time, they kind of pounce at things. They perch on the wooden edge of the raised beds and look every whichway. I like the splash of colour that they bring to what has been a spell of grey gloomy weather.  Anyway, inspite of the sun coming out this evening and there being a spectacular brief flowering of pink and peach clouds, following a sudden flowering of blue sky and piled up white clouds, I don’t have the time to go out “walkies”, so instead decided to look into my expansion drive to find some old photographs of two robins that flew into the conservatory (aka glassy lean-to) a couple of summers ago.  I only managed to get both robins together in one shot.  Anyway, the colours are cheerful.  And … the first snowdrops are out in the garden.  Can spring be far behind.  In the Borders, probably.  All the same….

January 19, 2014 Posted by | Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Christmas: Morning, Tweed River

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December 26, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Birds in My Room

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Julia’s Bird

I wondered how many images of birds I could discover in my room.  The bird with the crown is a panel by glass artist Julia Davies, who lives in Berwick upon Tweed.  I find her work beautiful. This bird is in the window, together with this jug which was given to me by my cousin Lucy, and which should have dried grasses in it but doesn’t at the moment:

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Lucy’s Jug

This box belonged to a friend of mine, Helen Harris, who died of leukemia:

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Helen’s Box

This peacock scarf was bought by Tony, my husband, from a shop that used to be in Coldstream, selling objets d’art from France.  I don’t know whether it is French or not.  One day I will have a neat black top and will go out with him looking a tad elegant with this scarf draped round my shoulders (elegance is not my usual mode).  In the meantime, because I find it gorgeous to have around, it is hung over the back of a chair upholstered in red velvet, a chair which goes way back in my husband’s life, and which  I suspect has been witness, if chairs can witness, to many interesting events.

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The Peacock Scarf

These birds were a wedding memento from my friend, Jennifer:

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For a Wedding, from Jennifer

The little chinese bird in its circular frame cost me £3.50 in a charity shop.  On the other hand, the original Aboriginal painting I bought for £1.25 is downstairs. That too has a wonderful bird on it.

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Embroidered Bird

This plate, which I think can be counted as representing a kind of bird (well, sort of), has been in the family for as long as I can remember, and somehow I ended up with it, travelling from Cumbria to Sunderland (in many different flats there), and from Sunderland to the West Country, and from the West Country to Berwick upon Tweed, and thence to Coldstream.  I think it is a kind of Portuguese Wyvern, though I am sure that isn’t a recognised description at all:

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Old Portuguese Plate

I start hunting for birds, and find more of them on the big fan:

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The Big Fan

and in the picture I did of the table in the porch (the conservatory manque)outside the kitchen, where objects accumulate week by week.  The cockerel is a largish bird that was bargained for over two years by my husband before a price was agreed. It precedes me in the household. The hat is Tony’s hat, he has more hats than any man I ever met, probably more hats than any man in Berwickshire, with the possible exception of members of the aristocracy, who probably have hats in their back rooms and cupboards that have not seen the light of day for many years:

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Tony’s Table

There are ducks on my make-up bag:

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The Make-up Bag

And peacocks on the brass calendar:

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The (Rather Optimistic) 100 Year Calendar

Finally a few books:

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Birds on Book Bindings

This little robin was so low down I nearly forgot about him.  He was a present from another Robin, a friend, for whom I have painted robins and hares:

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Robin’s Robin

And finally, cheating, a little cushion that was given to me.  If angels aren’t birds, or birds aren’t angels, then… well, whatever.  Peace and Love.

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Goodwill to All

May 3, 2013 Posted by | Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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