One day in my local park and I noticed a family of crows, The Gracks, flying around and coming down to land at a particular spot. I wondered what they were up to so I stayed put and watched them for a while. Was it food I wondered? But no, I realised that this was a game! The crows would take off, circle for a while and then all three would chase down the wind and attempt to land at the same spot. They did it over and over, shrieking and cawing as they came, I swear they were laughing. I think these were lessons in fast landings for the kids. Crow school does look like fun.
The Gracks are a family of crows who live nearby and I often see them in the local park. Usually they keep their distance from humans but in summer, when the kids are growing up fast, they bring them down into the park to forage. There’s usually only one adult to keep an eye on the youngsters (and a careful eye on us humans). I imagine the other bird is taking a well earned rest! The kids do what all kids do, squabble and beg for food and run around having fun and the adult intervenes occasionally and tries to keep them working on their lessons, scavenging for food in the grass.
They are in the Bird Gallery.
A sparrowhawk is such a beautiful bird with those gunmetal blue feathers and that fierce orange eye. Very beautiful. he is painted on Fabriano Artistico 12×9 inch paper in watercolours with some paint pens too.
Ghengis is a a new chicken painting. This amazing lad is a Reza Asil cock. A fiesty gamefowl breed from India. He’s quite a character and it shows in his posture. This is one chicken who’ll defend his space! Painted in watercolour and drip pens on Saunders Waterford 16×12 inch paper, with some gold and bronze in those feathers, and a glint in his eye.
A Ring-necked Parakeet painting. These birds are now regular visitors to the gardens here in Central London. It’s amazing to seem them living wild here. We have a small flock who come to eat the pods of a particular tree, I think it’s an Indian Bean Tree. The parrots love it and i get to paint them. :-)
A new starling painting, Splashy Starling. It was raining but he was full of the joys of spring, parading around in his mating plumage.Very fine he looked too, all those iridescent colours in his feathers.
A red Cardinal sitting on a branch. What amazing birds they are, the males look splendid in their red feathers.
He is a 12×9 inch watercolour and ink painting on Saunders Waterford paper.
Another gloriously colourful parrot. Painting him has really cheered me up on a grey, gloomy day. Such beautiful birds. He is a 10×8 inch watercolour painting.
Last weekend I was lucky enough to be in the Artfinder Popup exhibition at The Foundry in Camden Stables Market. It was a lovely show and I met some lovely folks. During the show I did a painting demo and, continuing my parrot obsession, the piece I wanted to paint was a Harlequin Macaw. I just adore their fabulous colours!
I recently finished a very unusual parrot painting. It’s not the composition that’s unusual but my idea to use the same materials on the painting as I do on the brooches. He looks quite amazing although it’s hard to capture as the surface changes as you move him. The paint has an enamelled/metallic finish and it moves quite actively once you apply it so you can never be sure how the piece will turn out. I love the uniqueness of it and the way the colours spread into and around each other. I just had to do a larger piece!
And here are some details photos of the finish. I painted him on Lanavanguard, an unusual and innovative artists paper. It’s non absorbent, the paint sits on the surface rather than sinking into the fibres, and it seemed perfect for this technique, the paint won’t affect the paper.