I began drawing birds at Art College. We had been set a project to make an artist's book based on whatever we liked and I very much liked Barry Hines "A Kestral for a Knave" at the time. I was in a strange stage of life where I had grown out of the small northern town where I came from but I was yet to find my feet in in this new and strange place; Edinburgh. I was reading a lot of northern literature as I liked to be transported to the comfort of the hills, yet most of it was about being trapped by circumstances, family and the North. So the freedom of the kestrel became quite significant to me. I visited a bird sanctuary and made sketches. I loved the imagery of the soaring bird in the film Kes. I identified with Billy Liar as I had really wanted to study in London, but it wasn't to be.
Eventually Edinburgh began to feel like home and I feel as I get older I miss it more and more.
I did move on to Brighton to study a Masters in Illustration (I think I still had a yearning to be near London), but the bird drawings kept on and when I started making tentative steps to becoming a painter, it was birds and landscapes that I painted.
Many years on I have a studio that has blossom trees outside the window in touching distance, with birds toing and froing to my bird feeder. Not to mention the bullfinches that have a feast on the blossom buds.
Bullfinch on green available as a card and print
Robin on Turquoise available as a card and a print
Birds give me comfort, that nature is going on in the background, but if we listen and look it is there. And sometimes it highlights things we should be grateful for. Like this little robin yesterday making me appreciate good friends. Speaking of which, my friend Lisa took this picture.
Soon the blossom will be blooming outside my window...