Here is a selection of very recent bird studies, all in watercolour. For sizes and prices please click the RECENT PAINTINGS tab above. All were painted on the Yorkshire Coast. For further details or to purchase, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am looking forward to showing twenty new paintings at Saltbox Gallery from 11th October. There is a variety of new work on show including watercolours and oils and birds and landscapes. I have included a number of studies of common garden birds, North Yorkshire landscapes and of course some swift paintings. I will be in the gallery to chat about my work on Friday 11th from 11am-3pm. A selection of the paintings is shown on the slideshow below.
I am very grateful to Mascot Media who have produced my first book, On Crescent Wings, a portrait of the Swift. The book is currently being printed by Swallowtail Print in Norfolk.
After a very slow start, this has been something of a ‘vintage’ Swift summer. The weather has enabled frequent prospecting and screaming parties here. Having moved house last summer I have been attempting to start a new colony here in Gilling East. A Swift entered one of my boxes yesterday and we are seeing regular fast flypasts by up to nine birds. The signs are good but I will have to wait until next year to see if my efforts have worked. There are about two weeks left now to enjoy the main Swift activity. Peak counts in this village have regularly doubled those of last year.
Here are some pages from my book. The photographs show a unbound proof copy. It will retail at £20 and will be available from mid August via this website.
This exhibition of recent work includes some of my field watercolours of Hawfinches seen at the Arboretum over the winter. You can go in to the exhibition and superb cafe free. Entry to arboretum is £7, children free. The private view is on 3rd May. Please email me if you would like to come email@example.com
For more information about the Yorkshire Arboretum click here http://www.yorkshirearboretum.org/
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.
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.