Animal Artist ~ Diane Young

Every Picture tells a story – paintings of realistic and stylised animals


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Red and Gold

Red and Gold are a favourite combination of mine, as are the colours Prussian Blue, Ultramarine and Alizarin Crimson.  Red, Gold and Blue shine out from traditional Egyptian wall paintings,  paintings from the renaissance, and religious paintings. Many colours are featured in the decorating of elephants for festivals yet I have been drawn to the deep blues, reds and gold so often used, and now echoing the colours of the recent Christmas period now nearly over.

My next Travelling Animal is an elephant.  A revisitation to research I did for a picture of Harvey the Aardvark on his adventures with decorated elephants in the desert.

Embellished with gold leaf, and decorated with a hint of African textile patterns this elephant carries a crane feather.

Decorated Elephant painting with Gold Leaf by Stroud artist Diane Young

Elephants are symbols of wisdom and strength and revered by African cultures. The crane (bird) is also known for its longevity, its lifespan similar to the African elephant some 40-60 years. The crane is also associated with wisdom and loyalty, and folklore has extended its lifespan to 1000 years.

I have combined these two animal symbols to encompass wisdom and power with loyalty.  This has enabled me to show the gentle nature of the elephant delicately carrying the feather of a crane.

We have yet to find out where he is going…….

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Painting, not Cut-Outs for Me.

Despite the fact that I live in a smallish town in the Cotswolds UK there is a significant population of artists.  I nearly said thriving artists.  They are thriving as far as their art might be concerned but I doubt that they are thriving as far as their contribution to their cost of living. There just has to be another job in the mix to enable most artists to “indulge” themselves their creativity.   I digress…..

Matisse Lithograph Painting of flowers

Stroud in the Cotswold Hills (UK) is a town of artists and creativity, music and alternative therapies, alternative remedies and alternative people.  We have Open Art Studios in May and festivals of Music in the Summer and all sorts in between.  Our Museum is the best ever for a small town, and within the same building is an exibition room which celebrates art of all varieties.  We are lucky enough that the  local Museum is  currently hosting a selection of art from Matisse.  Cut-outs (collage shapes cut with a scissors) was Matisse’ form of art which he made during the 1950’s.  

Art exhibition Matisse Cut outs

Matisse Lithograph

To be honest, this work which must have been quite a revelation in that era does not do alot for me.  But it must have been quite a development for that time and the evolution of different creative expressions have enabled us to have the freedom to create across all sorts of media and mix them up too,  the ultimate in this being Mixed Media.

Still, even if Matisse is not your bag it is good to be in the presence of original art and have feelings toward different styles and media from the art world.   You might want to buy only what you like, but witnessing and processing what art history and contemporary art has to offer will help develop your own view about your art and your art process and where it sits on the spectrum of creative expression.

My artist friend here is using her creative expression to mimic the art!

Exhibition of Artist Matisse Cut Outs


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Artist’s Reference for Painting and its distractions!

I am always on the look out for reference material  for animals and their behaviour for my designs and paintings.  It can be such a distracting task with all the wonderful things to see on the internet!   Having stumbled upon this picture I could not resist but reblog it.  The photograph of this bird is stunning. It is a lilac breasted roller bird and the link takes you an article about the photograph by Dr Merrigan aged 75 years old.  Click the image or the link below.

Fabulous iridescent colours to inspire artists paintings

A lilac-breasted roller bird photograph taken in kenya.

Bird photograph featured in the Telegraph in 2009.


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Hares – Original animal painting by Diane Young

 King of the Meadow

The hare will be featured intermittently in a series of my ACEO paintings for the beginning of 2014.

This is The King of the Meadow a new painting  completed today.

An original Painting by Diane Young featuring hares.

The brown hare is an elusive animal, I may have glimpsed one only once here in the English countryside in  my lifetime.  So different a shape and behaviour the hare has to the rabbit, it is in fact a different animal.  A fundamental difference is that the rabbit lives below ground and the hare does not, for this reason the rabbit escapes by burrowing and the hare by running with up to speeds of 45mph.  I found very few good videos of hares – so here is one of the best I found of some of a group of hares having fun in the fields of Yorkshire enjoy…


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Inspiration – Daily Paintings in Watercolour.

I cannot remember how I stumbled upon this blog but this artist’s sketchbook paintings are wonderful, spontaneous, light and full of character.  Often you come across such paintings but less often you come across such consistency of skill.

watercolour painting by Shari Blaukopf

Shari Blaukopf watercolour painting

The artist is Shari Blaukopf who is based in  Canada and is  a “ graphic designer and teacher who spends too much time working on the computer and not enough time drawing and painting”.

A fantastic source of inspiration for getting art and sketching into your daily lives.

Follow her Blog here :  Shari Blaukopf Blog.