Monthly Archives: December 2021

November Update

Bored Chimp!

Time rocketing by! I cant believe we are in the final month of the year. Two years impacted by the Covid19 pandemic with signs that it will continue with new variants.Assuming, of course, that the Omicron variant is not a means for the government to control our lives.

I was reasonably productive, certainly not up to the level I would like to see, during the month with a total of 20 paintings completed, of which 5 were acrylics (on paper and on canvas). The other fifteen were watercolours, mainly birds (or their heads!) with one landscape and a floral to provide a bit of variety.

Chimpanzee – above. The photo on which I based the painting (acrylic on 1125 gm/m2 paper, 50 cm x 40 cm) was taken at Curitiba Zoo (Brazil) about 18 years ago so not sure if this old boy is still around. He didn’t seem too happy but the zoo is quite a good one with good space for most animals. Some big cats at that time were in cages far too small, while the lions had good living environments. I’m not a huge fan of zoos … I prefer that animals should be protected within their own habitats

White-tailed Goldenthroat

The White-tailed Goldenthroat headshot was prompted by the first return visit to my garden by one of this hummingbird species in at least 3 years. I have regular visits by Plain-bellied Emeralds (daily) and Fork-tailed Hummingbirds (weekly) and hope the Goldenthroat will return soon.

I decided that I wanted to paint bird heads again so cut the remaining A3 sheets into 29.7 cm x 30 cm squares which will allow me to paint a few. The end cuts will be used to create small 12 cm x 15 cm paintings – birds, landscapes or whatever, using the remaining stock of watercolour paints. I am running short of some key colours that will prevent me from doing much.

Gwanghwamun Gate

Gwanghwamun Gate, Seoul, South Korea. Watercolour on 42 cm x 29.7 cm paper based on a photo I took in the mid-1980s. The gate has since been refurbished after the Japanese Government building, that stood behind it, was demolished in 1995/6. The gate seems to have been extended as part of the refurbishment. 
One of the hazards of painting in constant 30+ degree celcius temperatures is that the paint dries almost on the brush. I never seem to be able to paint fast enough though perhaps a looser impressionist style needs to be employed. I usually paint with the easel set near vertical (75 degrees) but reckon things can be improved with the paper nearer to horizontal ie 15 degrees.

Brassy-breasted Tanager

Brassy-breasted Tanager (Tangara desmaresti). This tanager, among several other tanager species, can be found in the southern Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil. I saw these on the Graciosa Trail near Curitiba – feeding on berries of some kind – and have painted this on A4 paper showing the entire body of the bird. . 
Watercolour painting on A3 paper cut square.

European Goldfinch

European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
A colourful European bird that I have seen in Cyprus and Sicily. While there have been a few reports of sightings in the south of Brazil I suspect they are either mistaken or of caged birds that have escaped. Painted in watercolour on A3 paper that I have cut to 30 cm x 29.7 cm

Sun and Moon

The Sun and Moon painting is in acrylics on a 20 cm x 30 cm canvas commissioned a while ago though delayed in completion for a variety of reasons.


The Mona monkey (Cercopithecus mona) is also known as a Mona Guenon. Although from Ghana/Cameroon I saw this one at the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad when I lived there. It is a good zoo with plenty of space for the animals though I always feel sorry for big cats as they never seem to have enough space when compared to their natural habitats.. 
Acrylic on 1125 gm/m2 paper, 50 cm x 40 cm

December will see me painting watercolours on a daily basis until I exhaust my supply of paint – that is being carefully eked out to last as long as possible. I shall then work on acrylics on canvas until my canvas supply (I have 8 canvases) is also used up.

December is a holiday month and a time when I have a number of admin tasks to complete. My agenda has been worked out until the year end with the last couple of days set aside for planning (as well as I can) my activities for 2022. I feel organised but my plans are usually just a general guide. A least I have a massive To Do list ready to attack.

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