January and February are always something of a struggle for me; my energy and enthusiasm levels are low and hibernation seems like a pleasant notion. At last the days are getting longer and despite the cold and rain there are welcome signs of spring. We travelled down south through the Avon valley region and saw some rather alarming floods. Bradford-on-Avon was open as usual but the river was dangerously high. It was so lovely to see primroses growing in the ancient churchyard.
We had a trip to Llandudno in North Wales and visited The Owls Trust, primarily to see a White -faced Scops Owl in order to complete a commission. Despite the howling wind and cold I managed to photograph many of the owls and had a guided tour by a knowledgeable and friendly guide. The miniature painting was duly completed and delivered.
The Illuminated letter O shows another bird I met at the sanctuary; this time an Ashy Faced Barn Owl which is now endangered. The lettering style and decoration were inspired by historical illuminated letters, in particular those depicted in Owen Jones's Grammar Of Ornament. The border has been gilded in gold leaf, the rest is water-colour on hot press paper. It measures three inches square, and yes, I do need specs and a magnifying glass!