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My Hawfinch Winter

My winter has been dominated by Hawfinches. The opportunity to know a single species can be so rewarding and I would not swap this winter for one with a stream of rarities. For as long as I can remember Hawfinches have fascinated me, they are right up there with Swift amongst my favourite species. They have a brutish beauty which is a delight to tackle with pencil or brush, subtle colours boldly arranged and a character which is cartoon like with beady eye and massive beak. The strength of that beak is mythical in birding circles; don’t try cracking a cherry or sloe stone with your teeth, easy work for a Hawfinch whose bulky head is full of muscles to operate its stone crusher. When I lived in Wiltshire I watched a pair through a winter and they were elusive and very frustrating at times; hours of observation for a quick glimpse. But this winter has been different. I have been watching flocks of Hawfinches from the Continent. In flocks Hawfinches are more confident, with more watchmen they feel safety in numbers. In recent weeks I have been fortunate to have both a male and a female Hawfinch visit our bird table in Gilling East, North Yorkshire allowing me extremely close views from my studio! Here is a small selection of watercolour studies made this winter. I will be showing more as part of an exhibition at Yorkshire Arboretum in May 2018.

 

Exhibitions, Press, Work in progress

New studio in Gilling East, North Yorkshire

We moved to Gilling East from Ampleforth in the summer and I now have a studio ready for visitors. I have room to display original framed work as well as cards and prints, but perhaps the most interesting part of visiting an artists studio is to see the work as yet unframed, fresh off the drawing board. You are also welcome to browse my sketchbooks. Fresh coffee is on offer! Visitors are welcome, but please make an appointment first as I am very often in my favourite studio- the North York Moors and Coast. Please telephone 01439 788014 or email jonathan@pomroy.plus.com to arrange a visit. We are in the middle of the village near to the Fairfax Arms which offers good food and ales!

 

 

Bird paintings, Exhibitions, Landscape in watercolour

Solo exhibition at WWT Slimbridge, 20th September- 6th December 2017.

All the work for my forthcoming exhibition is wrapped and ready to go to The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust centre at Slimbridge. The exhibition starts on Wednesday 20th September and continues until 6th December. Here is a selection from the 37 new paintings on show. I always love returning to Slimbridge, a place where I spent many happy days filling sketchbooks as a student in Bristol. But also to feel the legacy left by Sir Peter Scott who helped to found the modern nature reserve by bringing people and wildlife together.

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Birdfair 2017 Rutland Water 18th- 20th August

Here are some of the paintings I will be showing on stand 37 in the Art Marquee at this year’s Birdfair. As always Swifts feature prominently after another summer of observation.

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Mass Swift arrival

A huge arrival of Swifts today. Large numbers had been held up by the recent cool weather. With the change to warm weather the ‘flood gates’ have opened and the sky is full of Swifts. Pairs are reforming in the nest boxes giving spectacular views as the approach inches from my face. I sat outside on the lawn and drew directly with my squirrel mop brush loaded with sepia watercolour. Such a joy to study that wonderful shape again and to hear them ‘screaming’ through a cloudless blue sky.

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A little help from my friends!

With the temperature at 3c and a very gusty onshore Northerly wind bringing sleet showers I thought that today’s en plein air hazards were clear cut. Always expect the unexpected when painting outside and never wander far from your painting! 22″x15″ watercolour of Whitby from Sandsend. Some wonderful skies today. Message me if you want a watercolour by me and a female Mallard!