Sheep through a different lens…

We’re fortunate enough to live on the side of the Malvern Hills and from our kitchen we can see sheep in the fields just below us.  They usually seem fairly homogenous white blobs against the grass but the recent snow gave me cause to look at them again with my camera … and the result was a re-appraisal of sheep!

Against the snow they looked far more interesting with shades of grey and ochre in their fleeces and faces that were sharply delineated against the landscape – no longer bland and rather stupid looking but individual animals with interesting faces.  I watched them trudging down through the snow to get to the feed the farmer had left and they looked fantastic against the backdrop of the snow on the trees.

I decided that I had probably found the pictures for next year’s Christmas cards and was feeling rather smug.  Momentarily distracted by thoughts of my own breakfast, however, I went flying on an icy patch of snow!  Feet, rucksack and camera in the air – fortunately I managed to protect the camera so all that got hurt was my pride.

On a separate note I’ve just had some of my paintings printed up as greetings cards – I’ll post some pictures of them in the next week or so.SheepSheep (1)


The Little Owl in Compton Dando

Little Owl at Compton Dando

Little Owl in Compton Dando

2013 dawned bright and clear for a change after the weeks of rain that we’ve had recently! We were staying with family in the village of Compton Dando in Somerset and opted to go dog-walking to make the most of the sunshine. As we weren’t dressed for ‘bog-snorkling’ (the countryside is still extremely muddy at the moment) we stuck to the roads round the village. Liz, owner of Merry & Pippin – the dogs we were walking, suggested that if we kept the noise down as we approached an old electricity sub-station and watched a gap in the roof tiles we might see the resident Little Owl and, sure enough, there he was!

I did a quick sketch of the Little Owl when we got back.  As the smallest of the owls in the UK they are quite often seen during daylight and they squeak rather than hoot.  They are probably the most numerous of our owls although the RSPB suggests their numbers are in sharp decline (down 24% between 1995 and 2008). They do seem to be rather skilled at adapting to human habitation though and the one in Compton Dando will certainly have a ready band of defenders should anyone suggest knocking down the sub-station he’s made his home!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! We decided to do something different for this year’s Christmas card… We thought we’d aim for something more homemade after last year’s traditional ‘Snow on the Hills’ scene (if you haven’t’ seen it, it’s in the Gallery). The … Continue reading

Hi – welcome to ‘Chris Ashenden Art’,

This is me....

I’m Chris – an artist and designer who takes inspiration from nature.  I’m a reluctant blogger but I enjoy observing nature and thought I’d use the blog to share what I see and my thoughts about the natural world.  I’ll intersperse my musings with photos of my work (so if, like me, you get bored with words you can just look at the pictures!).