Issue #29: February, 2023

A Bigger Fish by Ann Richmond - An artwork of an armoured Kingfisher with a Stickleback (and friends!). Painted in the artist's unique style... Framing available.

Dear Subscriber…

I can’t believe we’re into February already, can you?!

So here we are with Ann’s latest work: ‘A Bigger Fish…’; I think this one’s going to make you smile! As usual, I’ve put the details below, but I just wanted to say a little bit about how this one came to be. You might recall the last Newsletter of a few weeks ago, in which we revealed ‘Enlightenment’ and our struggles in getting it finished (sounds profound, doesn’t it?)…

Well, we ended-up waiting SO LONG for that one to dry-out, that Ann was able to press on with this picture earlier – and faster – than she expected (I wish I could say the same for the one she’s painting right now…!).

What else is going on? Well, after endless procrastination & experimentation, I’m pleased to announce that for the first time, we’re now offering FRAMES on the Small & Medium prints from the website. I’ve also taken the opportunity to rejig some of the prices too, so that buying a framed print from the site will be aligned with Craft Fair prices, when you add-in postage.

This should prove convenient for those collectors unable to see us in Cirencester and might make Ann’s work even more attractive as handy gift ideas…

Okay: let’s get on with it!

A Bigger Fish…

A Bigger Fish…

For years, Ann wanted to paint a Kingfisher… She thought its vivid, striking colours would make for a wonderful addition to The Carnival of Wonders…

Trouble was, we didn’t have a story to go with it. Ann would sketch & sketch and nothing would stick.

It obviously wasn’t the right time.

I then had the good fortune to ask the question: ‘What might happen if the Kingfisher were an angler? And someone were to upstage his catch?’

And just like that…

It’s only right & proper that we should start with the star of the show, our magnificent Kingfisher!

Perched with evident pride up there on his favourite branch, Ann knew exactly the style of armour he’d be wearing, having gone through several sketches to this point. A burnished, coppery breastplate was key, as it wouldn’t detract from his natural chest plumage; if anything, it would add a lustre to the natural orange sheen.

Next, his headpiece was a little trickier, but I really admire the design. With that nestled pearl, I can’t be the only one who thinks of Aladdin’s lamp?

As a finishing touch, there’s also that beautiful back-plate, with its its gold studs & polished, gleaming sapphires.

Here’s a close-up of that Back-Plate. It also gives a better view of the wispier feathering on the wing; beautifully done.

Oh, and this: As if to press home the point, that this Kingfisher LOVES pearls, he’s got one dangling from a chain hooked around a talon; the pearl, matching that in his head-piece.

And here we see the Kingfisher’s prize: his pet Stickleback! Floating magically, from a length of ribbon, this cheeky little fish could either be a trophy, a pet or the Kingfisher’s lunch: the choice is yours! Actually, we both think it’s some kind of pet, which explains the ornate little collar.

His colouring’s magnificent too. I love the bands of dark orange along his bottom edge, rising up into pale green.

This view also showcases a little of the underlying canvas weave; it adds a lovely texture to the piece, wouldn’t you agree?

Trouble arrives, courtesy of a little Blue Tit (doesn’t it always?).

Here, it lands all innocently on the furthest point of the Kingfisher’s favourite perch. But what’s that it’s towing?

Talk to any seasoned angler for any length of time, and they’ll tell you about ‘the one that got away’… Or that time when they’d hit the jackpot with a catch, only to find their enthusiasm & pride short-lived upon seeing what their neighbour had just landed… We’re seeing that moment, right here!

As to the exact species of fish, we THINK it’s a Carp, but if there are any real Anglers out there, we’re quite happy to be corrected!

Compared to our hero’s little Stickleback, this looks like the front half of an airship drifting into view and the sight of it – the incongruity – just makes us laugh!

Besides, it LOOKS pretty gormless, too, wouldn’t you agree?

That said, Ann was particularly pleased with the way his scales turned out. There’s a hint of their familiar ‘shimmer’ in here, but yet they still manage to offer a full-spectrum of colour to please the eye.

And, last but not least – the final detail that just HAD to be in there – was this beautiful lightbulb & fitting, that pays homage to the iconic lamp we used all the way back in ‘Night Mail’. Back then, it was used to shine a light amidst the evening gloom. In this painting, it shines a light from the shadow cast by the Carp’s immense size!

Sprouting from the Carp’s headpiece, only to then leave – and re-appear – as if to highlight its sheer size, was a visual trick that continues to delight.

One other thing: have you noticed the curvature of the river at the base of the painting? What do you make of that?

We’ll still be attending the Cirencester Craft Fair in 2023, but we’re going to try something a little different…

We’re going to see if we can attend on the THIRD and FOURTH Saturdays each and every month. For those who don’t know, the Fair’s charter prevents it from running if there’s a Fifth Saturday in a month, so don’t be caught out if you’re planning on coming at the last-minute…

We’re there on January 21st & 28th, February 18th & 25th and, hopefully, more to come… We’ll be seeing you!



Well, that’s it for now: we hope you enjoyed this month’s Newsletter. I’ll be sending out something ELSE quite soon: Stay Tuned!

If you find yourself at a loose end and you’re able to visit us in Cirencester’s Corn Hall one Saturday, we’d love to see you!

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Ann paints animals wearing ornate armour & Gary unearths wonders with AI. We ship both Original Artworks and our superb Fine-Art Prints worldwide, from the Otherwurlde Studio, here in Wiltshire, Southern England.
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