The tiger in the background was adopted as a 2 week old orphan and never learned to 'speak cat'. She was terrified of any cat who came near her (she really is a neurotic little madam, still).
So we adopted the little panther in the front after about a year - a kitten of about 8 weeks, thinking it would be company for her and give her confidence.
She was petrified of him - it took weeks for her to adjust and I was seriously worried that it would never work. This is when the fear was subsiding but the jealousy was huge. She did NOT like him sitting there considering coming on my knee!
photographs of north Devon, copyright Vivien Blackburn:
Clovelly harbour, above and below
The main street in Clovelly
I could happily spend a week here sketching and taking photographs and never leave the village. The 'street' is incredibly steep and the cobbles are huge, needing sensible shoes. As you zig zag down the hill there are fantastic views down onto the harbour and along the coast.
Fishing nets and floats, Ilfracombe harbour. photograph copyright Vivien Blackburn
The colour and pattern of the nets on the harbourside caught my eye. It was a family holiday, so no chance of stopping to paint them, though I would have loved to.
Sometimes it's just the abstract pattern, shapes and colours that are interesting.
This was taken with my first digital camera - a 3mp Fuji. I wasn't sure how I'd like digital compared with film as I was used to my Olympus SLR and full control of depth of field and aperture/speed. I found myself hooked and though I haven't parted with my beloved SLR it languishes in a drawer. Since then I've upgraded to a better camera, not SLR but with a huge zoom range and higher spec with manual/auto control. I love the ability to see images immediately, to choose simply which ones to print and to sort into 'best' and the rest :>) in folders.
I've added links to the photographers I particularly like in the sidebar - do take a look.
Doisneau and Cartier Bresson I love for their underlying wit and ability to spot a 'moment'.
Stephane Compoint is a contemporary photographer - do look at his images of the building of the bridge at Millau. If you don't like heights (like me) some of the images will turn your knees to jelly with vertigo.
Bill Brandt for the superb moody lighting and composition and sense of place,
The harbour at Clovelly in Devon, photograph copyright Vivien Blackburn
A photograph taken a couple of years ago on a visit to the north coast of Devon.
Clovelly is an old fishing village built into a steep hillside, with a steep cobbled pathway winding down to a lovely little harbour. I was disappointed on the way there that it was misty and that we wouldn't be seeing it in sunshine - in actual fact it created a wonderful soft light and really added to the atmosphere. I like the photos with their soft subtler colours and atmosphere :>)
The harbour at Clovelly, photograph copyright Vivien Blackburn
The beach there is covered with huge rocks and these have been used to build the harbour and houses and cobble the streets.
May in Sennen Cove. photo: copyright Vivien Blackburn
I've got hundreds - no thousands of photos, some of which I occasionally show on my painting blog. Anita has started a photography blog, where she intends to show a picture a day. I thought it was a great idea.
This won't be a newly taken photo every day, most will be from the vast stored archives I have, mixed in with the new.
I've always had an interest in photography, mainly for its own sake as I prefer not to paint from photos. I included photography in my degree - the university had a wonderful state-of-the-art darkroom in the media department.
The same issues interest me in photography as in painting - light, mood, sense of place, texture, colour and pattern. The arrangement of elements or fields and hedges make wonderful abstract patterns.
The first one I share has to be Cornwall. This one taken on an intensely blue day - vivid blue seas and sky and the fisherman surrounded by gulls :>)
I'm interested in painting the light and colours of landscapes as they change through seasons, the time of day or weather.
Seascapes feature strongly in my work as I love the coast, a love which developed when I lived near the sea as a child in Cornwall, Scotland, Malta and Gibraltar - each place with its special light and colour.
I realise too that I love the edges of things - for instance the coast, where the sea meets the land, the edges of woods where the trees meet the open fields.
I paint in most media and experiment with digital imagery - as a creative process related to my painting but also creating work that exists in its own right.
Another interest is photography, mainly as something in its own right, as I only rarely paint from photographs. The same elements interest me here as in my painting.
Apart from painting and photography, I teach art to adults and have all the normal preoccupations, trials and tribulations of women with families ... and cats.