Sunday, May 18, 2003

The visit to Yns Hir reminded me that some years ago I became interested in painting birds – this is a watercolour I did at that time. It is based on sketches and notes made on a trip to Skomer off the Pembrokeshire Coast. I used to go to the local museum where there was quite a varied collection of stuffed birds that the curator kindly let me draw in the storeroom where they were kept. It was a useful discipline but cannot compare with the experience of observing and drawing in the wild.

C.F Tunnicliffe was a wildlife artist that I greatly admired and I visited Anglesey where at Llangefni there is a permanent collection of his work to study. Tunnicliffe was lucky to live at ‘Shorelands’ a bungalow on the estuary at Maltraeth and the waders, swans and ducks which were his main subjects were birds of a reasonable size. The garden birds that were my subjects were all too small to record with anything other than a miniaturist’s technique. So the interest waned and I’m left with my puffins, which my wife won’t let me sell, and sketchbooks.

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