Welcome to The Art of Nature

My subject matter is mainly wildlife. Occasionally I will also paint western/native american pieces. I work in oils. It is my intention with this blog to keep viewers updated on new pieces, post examples of my inspiration and occasionally show a new painting from start to finish! Just a reminder...All paintings, photographs of paintings and photographed images are protected by copyright. - Kathryn Ashcroft




For more information visit http://www.kathyashcroft.com/ or contact me at kathrynashcroft@ymail.com

Saturday, April 13, 2013

4-13-13 In The Studio

It was a cold, rainy day today. I had planned on doing some yard work but decided it was a day better spent in the studio. I started this piece of a Tree Swallow. 
Such an elegant and graceful bird, and so much fun to paint. The colors are amazing.
I did keep the window of my studio open so that I could listen to the rain outside and the wind blowing the wind chimes. 
Although I didn't get anything done outside it was still a very productive day. Not only did I start this piece but I completed two other pieces as well!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Here is another piece I am currently working on, it is of a Cottontail. It is a larger piece and I am still trying to decide how it will all come together. I may cut it down a bit and just have the rabbit be the major focus of the painting.

I love backlit subjects, for example, the light coming through the ears, things like this fascinate me and excite me. It is fun achieving this look with paint.

I have lost my painting buddy, my wonderful dog Gracie, she developed lymphoma and became very ill the first of February, I had her put down on February 2nd. I am having a hard time being in my studio without her. I didn't realize how much it affected me to have her in there. She was the perfect companion and I miss her greatly. Someday I will paint her.........
Whew!  It has been a long, long time since I have posted anything on this blog! But, I really have been busy painting. I have had some health problems over the last year and few months and I am so thankful that I have been able to continue painting throughout.

I am thrilled to announce that I am now being represented by Horizon Fine Art, in Jackson, Wyoming. It is a beautiful Gallery and I look forward to my association there.

A few years ago we were in the Tetons (my husband Dale, myself and our son Ian) We were able to spend about 3 hours with a beautiful grizzly female, she was about 4 years old at the time. She was very patient with us as we photographed and studied her. What an amazing experience it was. This painting is the first I have done of her. I will do more! It has been so fun to paint her and remember the experience.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Almost finished! I just seriously love Trumpeter Swans. I can't help it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

This has been an challenging piece to work on, I decided to change things quite a bit! I removed the buffalo, and changed the rock formation. I am much happier with it now. I want the raven to "steal the show" in this piece. I will have at least one other raven somewhere in the painting but I haven't decided just where yet.
It's interesting that when I work on paintings such as this, there is a mood that starts to emerge. I can hear the call of the raven while I paint, (hopefully that doesn't sound too weird) and that call creates the mood for the piece. I have a number of different ideas in mind for the title of this piece as well. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

On a recent trip to Grand Teton National Park we were able to study and photograph a number of Trumpeter Swans, and I knew I had to come home and do another painting of these magnificent birds.
This is the beginning of that painting. I was lucky enough to get some photographs of them, in great lighting, as they were participating in courtship displays. I have enough reference material to last for a while. I used two of these photographs for this piece.
The background will be quite light in this painting, and as usual I am not entirely sure what the background will be like, but I am excited to find out!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Almost finished: House Finch 10x8 Oil on hardboard.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I have bird feeders placed around my house in areas where I can see them easily from my living room or my studio. The House Finch is a year round visitor. They are beautiful birds and fun to watch.
I wanted this piece to be very simple in composition and design, but the background color needed to compliment the colors of the bird. So far so good. This is an 10X8 painting, so not very big, but who said a painting had to be big to be beautiful?

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Common Raven is the subject of my latest painting. When I was painting the swan picture I mentioned how hard painting a white bird is......then I painted a black bird! It is difficult, challenging and VERY fun. I know I say I love a lot of birds and animals, and I do, but here it goes...I love Ravens! Fascinating animals, absolutely brilliant, both intellectually and physically.
Stay tuned for the rest of this piece!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I was able to work on a new piece today. It isn't very big, 8"X14", but it turned out quite nicely.
The original drawing was for an 8X24 piece with two other bull elk, but it just wasn't working out the way I wanted it to. I almost threw the whole thing in the garbage can! After taking a closer look at this particular Elk I decided I could make it work. It came together very well and everything clicked.
I now have to decide how to implement my trademark bird subject into this piece and it will be done.
"Prime Time" Oil on hardboard