Kingfisher - click image for more details and to purchase
In my last two blog posts, I’ve been sharing the progress on my British Birds series. I’m happy to announce that five are now complete and available for sale!
It’s been a long journey... These are very detailed monotypes worked in several layers of coloured ink using stencils and incorporating impressions from textured materials. I’ve been creating monotypes for more than 20 years yet these were some of the most challenging pieces I’ve created.
Woodpecker (NOW SOLD) - click image for more details
The landscape habitats have several elements that intersect with one another so each area needs careful consideration for how it’s going to touch or overlap adjacent areas. If they were collages or paintings it would be more straightforward but I hope you can see that by using this very unusual method, I have created a distinctive style and surface that is unlike any painting or collage.
The birds themselves were cut out and printed separately so they are in fact carefully glued onto the background landscape.
Song Thrush - click image for more details and to purchase
They were so, so fiddly but I like nothing better than fiddling about with paper, ink and glue! If it wasn’t for the worry of messing up the pieces I’d worked on for so long, I’d have enjoyed it! The eyes and beaks are the finishing touches, glued into position with tweezers.
There should’ve been 6 compositions but sadly my goldfinches took a turn for the worse and I had to abandon them. The composition, though, is definitely worth pursuing so I will return to it after I’ve recovered my patience!
Gannets - click image for more details and to purchase
You may perhaps want to know my reasons for choosing this theme and these particular birds. My landscape compositions always need a focus: a place for the eye to travel to. In the past, the focus has been trees, a cottage or boats. I’d often thought of animals as a focus and a way of animating the landscape but just couldn’t figure out how to interpret something so graceful and detailed with a broad medium like monotype.
After cogitating on this for a couple of years, I came up with the separate collage idea. I’ve always been something of a printmaking purist so the idea of using mixed media was a bit alien to me. But then I thought, so what! There are no rules about what you can and can’t do as an artist! It is important to me that these artworks will stand the test of time so I researched the right glue to use and used the same acid free paper and artist quality inks that I normally use.
Heron - click image for more details and to purchase
I researched a lot of different birds and other animals. There are many colourful exotic birds I could have chosen but I feel that the heart and soul of my work is the British countryside so I wanted creatures that are a part of that. Also, it’s much more intuitive to draw the birds that you’ve seen many times in the garden or on family walks. You understand their habits, movement and identify with their little characters. I also regret the decline of our bird and animal species, and look forward to the day when we will implement agricultural practices that will enable British birds to survive and thrive.
Do you have favourite birds and other animals that you think would fit well with my style of work? Let me know in the comments and I’ll keep them in mind for next time around.
The originals are now available for sale in my studio (from Monday 15th July) and online shop. If these are out of your price range, you could consider ordering a giclee print – just get in touch. Later in the year I will select some for my range of greetings cards.
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