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Chalk hill hares

Two of my favourite recurring themes have been swirling around my head and made their way onto paper again: brown hares and the Uffington white horse.

White horse brown hare (pictured left) was a special commission that I made over the Christmas break. I enjoyed making it so much; I love the freedom of putting together a random combination of all those stripes, spots and swirls in lots of different bright colours to try to make a coherant whole.

So I thought I do another.

brown hare in the grassAs I hadn’t painted a whole hare for while I thought I’d do a little study portrait of one in preparation for it: Brown hare in the grass.

Once I was happy with him I could crack on with the larger composition.

I wanted the blues to be more turquoise  – brighter and lighter – than I usually use, so I chose a manganese blue instead of my usual French ultramarine for the sky , more the colour of the wings of the chalk hill blue butterfly, which I have included. So here it is Chalk hill blues, brown hare, Uffington white horseChalk hill blues.

The spots, dots and swirls are based on British and Irish prehistoric rock art designs. The animals shapes in the ‘field’ immediately above the hare’s ears are references to prehistoric animal figures carved into rocks in Sweden and Norway, which one day I hope to see for myself.  The figure of the Bronze Age Uffington white horse reminds me so much of a giant Scandinavian petroglyph.

Chalk hill blues will be exhibited in my forthcoming Artweeks exhibition in May.

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