Tag Archives: dog

The Sunbathing Foxes are back in Gledhow Valley.


Two foxes sunbathing in my garden in Gledhow Valley on 15 February 2019.  Photo by Mick Burton, continuous line artist, Leeds, Yorkshire.

This burst of warm spring weather is bringing out the foxes just about every day. These two spent about 30 minutes wandering around, sitting and just relaxing.

Not too different to the painting which I did of a couple doing similar things a couple of years ago.

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My single continuous line painting of two foxes sunbathing a couple of years ago.   Mick Burton, continuous line artist, Leeds, Yorkshire.

The first time I saw foxes in Gledhow Valley was in the late 1970’s, when I lived near the middle of the valley and brought the dog to this end of the woods, above the Well House, and spotted a pair of cubs playing.

To see more animals go to the Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods website    http://www.fgvw.co.uk      .

Nessie the cockapoo visits Gledhow Valley


Nessie the cockapoo arrives with a favourite toy. How did she know my favourite colour range. Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

Nessie the cockapoo has come to stay for a week whilst Helen and Janet are in California.  She arrived waving one of her favourite toys, which just happens to have a range of colours similar to those in a recent painting of mine.


“Knight’s Tour Fragments”, acrylic on canvas. Exhibited at Harrogate and Nidderdale Art Club Exhibition in November 2016. Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

Nessie is two and a half and lives in a village in Worcestershire in a house almost surrounded by common land.  Strangely, there are no cats in the village and no squirrels (although several years ago one appeared in the garden the day we arrived for a visit, and it was suggested that it had been a stowaway in our car).  Hens roam free in the garden – so where are the foxes?  No greater spotted woodpeckers, they are all green.

Nessie’s favourite spot in our house is by the French Windows at the back.  She watches the birds and squirrels endlessly, and it is good to lie down on the job.


Nessie, the cockapoo, watching birds and squirrels. Why not take it easy?   Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

But Nessie is not used to seeing cats, and we have plenty of those.  Suddenly we hear barking and scraping at the window.


Nessie spots a cat and all hell breaks loose.  Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

Hopefully one of the foxes will turn up whilst Nessie is here.  We often see one or more during the day, and we even had one on the garage roof marking its territory.  Here is a photo of one in the garden in late January 2017.


A Gledhow Valley fox in the garden in January 2017.  Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

Nessie eats sensibly and feels that there my be more nurishment in the cardboard box than in the breakfast cereals themselves.


Nessie tucking in to a cardboard box which had contained breakfast cereals.  Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

Of course the highlight of each day for Nessie is the walk through Gledhow Valley Woods to the lake.


Nessie, the cockapoo, can’t wait to go to Gledhow Valley Woods, and the lake, with Joan and me.  Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

We are used to seeing the odd rat scamper across the path by the lake, as well as seeing how well they swim.  One rat dashing across suddenly realised that Nessie was passing and took off, missing Nessie’s nose by a whisker.  I am not good at taking photos of flying rats, so here is one nearby wondering what is going on.


A rat peeping from behind a tree on the banks of Gledhow Valley Lake.  Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

Twenty ducks who were sitting on the bank and the path fly off when they see Nessie, and Joan has brought some oats to feed to the Swan.  There is only one swan left at the lake just now and it is still in its first year.


Young swan, now living alone on Gledhow Valley Lake.  Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

We have been concerned for some months about the swans, particularly since the water level dropped after a digger cleared rubbish from the dam end. Large areas of silt have been on view where the swans nest.  Here are the adults and one youngster in late January 2017.


Family of swans on Gledhow Valley Lake. Photo taken in late January 2017 before the adults abandoned the lake.  I hope the swans did not have to pull bread slices from this wrapper themselves.   Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

At the time of this photo, showing the two adults and the above young swan in late January 2017, the second youngster had been ostracized and was sitting in a corner of the lake.  When we were litter picking this Sunday on the monthly action day with Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods, they told us that soon after the photo foxes killed this young bird and then the adults left the lake.  One adult was found wandering in the Harehills area and the RSPCA took it to Roundhay Park lake.  A lady told us that the other adult was walking past her house in Oakwood, presumably heading for Roundhay Park lake too.  So we hope that things work out well for the adults at Roundhay and our young  survivor here in Gledhow.


Nessie spots a cat she has not seen before. Henry adopts defensive mode.  Mick Burton, continuous line artist, Leeds.

On the way home from the lake, Nessie confronted a cat.  This is Henry and he stood sideways and seemed to double in size.  Nessie was on her lead, which was probable just as well for Nessie.


Henry the marmalade cat from Gledhow Valley.  Dogs beware.   Mick Burton, continuous line artist.

Anna and Emma, the children next door, went to the woods with Nessie today and had been looking forward to it for days.  Nessie gets on well with everyone.

She has enjoyed her holiday in Gledhow Valley and we are taking her back to the land of green woodpeckers.

Continuous Line Drawing Alternate Overdraw embedded image.


Abstract before Alternate Overdraw  embedded Dog appears.  Mick Burton, Continuous Line.
Abstract before Alternate Overdraw embedded Dog appears. Mick Burton, Single Continuous Line Drawing.



Here is an abstract Continuous Line Drawing which conceals an image of a dog.  Possibly you can see some clues as to where the outline of the dog is.  The idea is to carry out an Alternate Overdraw along the line throughout the picture which will produce the image of the dog.  Start the overdraw with the arc marked with chevrons.

After I developed Alternate Overdraw in 1970, which enabled me to allocate my colour sequence to continuous line drawings, other possibilities started to occur to me.  The first was that you could hide an image of an animal within what looked like a totally abstract continuous line drawing.

See below how the dog finally appears.  In fact it looks a bit like Ben, who we have been looking after this week.

Alternate Overdraw embedded dog appears.  Mick Burton, Continuous Line Drawing.

Alternate Overdraw embedded dog appears. Mick Burton, Single Continuous Line Drawing.

The start of the process was to sketch a simple dog outline and then , knowing that the outline had to include many crossing lines, I broke the outline down into short lines or arcs which were at an angle to each other.

Next, I needed to run lines through the dog, from various directions, which used these arcs.  For it to work, there had to be an odd number of arcs in each line which went across the dog, between each two outer arcs.  This was so that, after completion, when you drew an alternate overdraw across the dog, both arcs on the outline were overdrawn.  This would result in all the arcs around the outline being overdrawn, thus forming one loop of overdraw. 

Within the body of the dog, several overdraw loops were also formed.  Similarly in the background a number of overdrawn loops and inner loops resulted. 

Of course, trial and error is involved in connecting up all the loose ends (of the lines running through the dog) to achieve a single continuous line through the whole drawing.

Finally, having completed a continuous line, I needed to check that there were no obvious sections which would indicate that an animal was in there. 

I did one more embedded image in 1970 before moving on to other things.  This time, instead of making the abstract continuous line from flowing curves with no straight lines, I decided to use mostly straight lines and right angles.

Abstract before Alternate Overdraw embedded steam engine appears.  Mick Burton, Continuous Line Drawing.

Abstract before Alternate Overdraw embedded steam engine appears. Mick Burton, Single Continuous Line Drawing.












This time I  was concealing a steam engine and the Alternate Overdraw result is shown below.

Alternate Overdraw embedded steam engine appears.  Mick Burton, Continuous Line Drawing.

Alternate Overdraw embedded steam engine appears. Mick Burton, Single Continuous Line Drawing.





As always with my various styles, I wonder who else may be using them  and whether they were in use long ago.