Saving the lives of tiny beetles (or not)

I have just got back from a painting trip on the coast around Flamborough Head. I spent 2 days painting at the cliffs at Bempton. Its an RSPB centre and at this time of year (June) there are thousands of sea birds residing on the cliffs to breed. It is an amazing spectacle.

Painting in a popular place like that has its problems. The view points get very busy by around 10.30 so I usually have to paint early or late, however the light is in my favour with the summer solstice close by. People with their scopes on big sticks try to muscle their way in to my view point (I am inevitably at the best slot) - it can end in paint scrapes - I have had a dog jump on to my palette and then jump all over me covering us both in paint!

Then there are the little insects landing on my palette. They get their paws stuck on the acrylic paint - these I try and rescue, but usually it ends in a fatality. Then there may be one face down in the fresh blob of white I just squeezed out but it is too late for them. I think I manage to save around 5% which is a worry. I can only hope that in years to come when they x ray my work to establish its authenticity they will see the bodies of tiny insects encapsulated in the paintings (like the grains of sand they found in Monet's work!)

Finally there's paint on my clothes. I wander around looking more like a bag lady it's just not worth looking smart to paint as I always get paint somewhere - as you can see by the photo, this is when I sat on my palette by mistake whilst packing up....oh dear all in a good cause!!

You can see my exploits on my first video attempt on my facebook page