Friday 3 January 2014


Watercolour - Jez
This is my first entry to the Three Muses challenge, where the topic is COLOUR ME HAPPY, and these are the colours that make me happy - yellow and orange.  There is some grey in there because we have to accept that into each life some rain must fall, and without a little sadness we wouldn't know what happiness is.  But it's happiness that keeps the wheels of life turning.  Painted in watercolour, and the border was added on Photoshop.

I couldn't resist trying a couple of digital colour changes - interesting, but I much prefer the vibrant yellow and orange, those are my happy colours.

It's also my first entry to Moo Mania where the challenge is BIRDS, and drawing or painting birds is something I really enjoy.  Here is my sketchbook page of Flamingos:

I don't know if you've ever spent time trying to draw flamingos from life.  If not you've missed a treat.  Flamingos have an attention span of about 3 seconds, which I swear they reduce to 1.8 seconds as soon as they see a sketchbook and pencil.

They're in constant movement, twisting, bending, preening, feeding, squabbling and generally having a go at any other flamingo who dares to come near.  At Martin Mere there are two separate flocks of flamingos, one group is Chilean flamingos, and I don't think I've ever noticed where the others are from.

I'm fascinated by their knobbly legs, flexible curving necks, and 'mud-pie' nests - and in the spring their fluffy grey chicks on their long skinny legs.  I just wish I could capture a good image of them, but it's a question of scribbling down at least part of a posture and hoping they might just take the same position once or twice more, so it's a matter of jumping from one part-sketch to another.

Apologies for the dark photograph, because although we've had some gorgeous sunny days and blue skies over Christmas and New Year it's not been quite good enough for a decent photo.  We've been so lucky over the holiday period with our weather in this area of North West England.  Over great areas of Britain, coast and country, there have been huge winds, gales and rainfall and people have been flooded more than once, and without power for days on end, even on Christmas Day because so many power lines have been down.  On this morning's farming programme, which we listen to in bed at 5.45 am (very early risers!), the farmers said the fields are so waterlogged that the rain which was forecast again for today and another few days  has nowhere to go - it can't drain off the fields because the rivers have already overflowed and just can't take any more water.

So my thoughts are with those whose Christmas, New Year, lives and homes have been so terribly affected, and if anyone reading this has suffered from those problems I do hope things start to improve for you a little soon and will be thinking particularly of you.

Linking to Moo ManiaThree MusesPaint Party Friday and Manon's Paper Saturdays


  1. I love your original watercolor .. those are my favourite colors to .. they make us happy - doesn't they?
    Great to play with the colors digital! So you can find out much more combinations for further artwork!
    Your flamingo drawings are just wonderful!
    Thank you for supporting MOO MANIA CHALLENGE Jez!
    Happy 2014!


  2. Orange and yellow are wonderful colours, full of life and light, and I have a lot of these colours in my apartment. I have never tried to draw a flamingo, but I can imagine that it's difficult! Have a great week, Valerie

  3. I love your study of flamingos and your lovely description of them! I have never drawn flamingos from life and they do sound challenging! I do wonder what the Chilean flamingos think of our stormy weather, bet they are not that impressed! Glad you are keeping dry.

  4. Love the orange and yellow colours best. Tbe sketches of the flamingos are gorgeous. They are one of my favourite birds, but you are right they are restless birds! Hope the weather improves for you.

  5. Welcome to the Three Muses, Jez, so happy to see you here. Your 'happy' colours are my happy colours too ... joyful and full of life.

    I hope your Christmas and new year were amazing.

    We are under yet another storm here in the UK ... I keep my fingers crossed for those on low land and by the coast. Thank you for your kind thoughts, my friend.

    1. What I didn't make clear in the post was that we live in the north of England fairly near the coast, where the bad weather has been hitting people hard as well as in the South, but just where we are seems to be a little micro-climate that always has its own weather pattern. I have adjusted that now. Hope your area is safe.

  6. I like your happy colours, and as always it's interesting to see how you play around with different colour choices, the blues and grey make this a much cooler piece, but the happy colours really give it joy and the addition of the squiggly line in black really gives it movement and energy.
    Love your Flamingo study, you really have captured the lovely curvacious lines of these wonderful birds! x

  7. I do like your abstract colour picture, great idea, and I agree with you that the original is the best.
    Super drawings of flamingos too, that couldn't have been easy.

  8. Love your fave colors and the thoughts behind the bit of grey Jez. Nice photo play too. Your sketch page of flamingoes is really fab!! No way I could sketch something that moves so quickly-yikes. Happy PPF and happy 2014!

  9. Love the colour challenge art but I really love the flamingos! They look absolutely fabulous! Super sketches.

  10. When I was a kid I orange painted furniture with yellow accessories. In the 70's I had a spare room with orange walls and yellow furniture, then in the 90's again a powder room was painted orange with magenta yes I love this combo too! I love all the color changes too!! Great flamingo sketches too!

    I've seen the flooding on the News...heartbreaking.

    Glad you are choosing the happy!! It really is a wonderful choice, that anyone who every loved us would want!!

    Big hugs from Canada!

  11. I love your Happy colours, they remind me of sunny days and blooming flowers. The way you have made the cogs and coloured the edge grey before moving back to a bright colour adds so much to the narrative which is so honest and heartfelt. Your flamingo's took me back to when we did the summer of colour challenge. Juan and Fred Flambingo Dancers Extraordinaire and the wonderfully witty poem. (I wonder how they're getting on!)

  12. Those colors jump off the page and are happy indeed. I agree, a little gray is a reminder that the happy would not be there without it. Your flamingos are fun. love their flamingo feet and their long red legs. Happy creating in this New Year.

  13. Jez, hope you have a happy and creative 2014!Thanks for bringing me to life. Your art is magical, my friend!

  14. I too love the yellow one the best. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. I appreciate it. I like your flamingo sketches even if they move too fast to get any good drawing done. Yes, I'm sorry to hear how others are suffering too. I hope it gets better soon.

  15. LOVE your flamingos - I think you did a fabulous job capturing the movement and "aliveness" of these amazing birds - good job!
    I've been becoming a bigger and bigger fan of orange and time has gone on - it seems to be one of my favorite colors these days - I've always loved gray (I'm weird that way) so your color combo is speaking to me!

  16. Happy New Year to You Jez!!! I think I must be one of those flamingos. I just can't keep still either. I am glad you missed all the horrid weather over the holiday period! Orange and red are my happy colours too. ManonXx

  17. Orange and yellow make me happy too. You did a great job on the flamingos.
    Have a nice Sunday

  18. have a colorful and happy year, jez! i enjoyed your writing and sketching about flamingos:)

  19. The flamingo sketches are wonderful. I can't imagine how you can sketch them so well given their constant movement. Funny thing: I've never been an orange person, but I, too, have been on an orange kick for about the last year. Can't for the life of me figure out why!

  20. I must admit (because one of my fave colors is fuchsia) that I love the pink one, lol. It matches the leather purse I got for Christmas!! You did that on purpose, right? hehehe. And what a great idea to draw flamingos, I love the knobby knees too, then the pink just makes them well, perfect, lol. I drew a heron, knobby knees and all last year, gotta do a flamingo! great idea. :o)

  21. Happy New Year Jez,
    I think your entry is incredibly clever. I love the colours which has surprised me as I normally like blues and not orange and yellow. It must be your artistic talent that has swayed me...hehe
    Now I never knew that there were flamingos at Martin Mere? We nearly went there on day over the Christmas holiday, as we were quite near staying with my sister on the Wirral. Imagine we could have been watching the same flamingos and not having a clue that each other were there ;D
    Sketches are great...I think you're very brave to attempt such a movable object. I struggle with a lump of wood!!!
    Like you, we seem to miss some of the worst of the wet weather here on the North East coast but as you say there's a lot of suffering out there and my heart and thoughts also go out to people involved.

  22. We've been very lucky, we live on as small island off the coast of Kent so you would think being surrounded by the sea we'd fare badly but have only real seen a few downed fences and TV aerials. However driving to pick Craig's Mum up over Christmas and New year was a different matter. She lives in Hastings and the drive there was littered with felled trees, flooded fields, so much damage. Never seen anything like it. It does make yo think and appreciate what you have.

    Love both your art works Jez.

  23. Happy New Year, dear Jez!
    Glad you keep dry at least, you've enough other things to worry about! But my thoughts are with the people who suffer the floods. And in the winter!
    Your happy colours are wonderful and the flamingos are great! You could take a few photos to do some extra work on the drawings when you get home.
    All the best for you and your husband for the year 2014!


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