Friday, 29 November 2013

Another finished project that was started earlier this year for Exmoor NP, an illustration showing the various habitats from the coast to the high moors. A great job to get, and one that allowed me to visit this lovely corner of England.


The heathland management interpretation board I illustrated for BBOWT is now in place on Crookham and Greenham Commons. This was a particularly pleasing job as this was an area I birded as a teenager, never thinking there would be nesting Dartford Warbler and Woodlark, you had to go to the New Forest for those.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Another glorious sunset at Alresford Creek after an early wet and miserable day. The tide was just dropping and the waders and Teal were eagerly feeding on the newly exposed mud.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Went in search of the Rough-legged Buzzard at Orford Ness, had good, but rather distant views of this impressive bird of prey. Whilst there I was intrigued by the complex of aerials and old building,(exBBC transmitter), in this wild open landscape, meanwhile a flock of Brent Geese, newly in from their arctic breeding grounds, fed unconcerned amongst the saltmarsh.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

The panel for the education room at the Great Fen Project are now in place, and I must say thay look good. Can't wait to do some more.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Lovely dramatic late afternoon light down at the creek. A very high tide kept up by blustery winds meant the waders were very keen to start feeding as water receded. Teal, Knot and Dunlin, also Redshank and a good number of Bar-tailed Godwits.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

I've also been revisiting some lino-cuts i did a good few years ago now, and with the help of James Dodd, I've printed a small edition. This has really inspired me to do some more and I'm now working on a series of coastal bird prints, watch this space, in the mean time here are the latest.

I've been working on a series of acrylis/oil paintings based on sketches of Eiders and Smew produced on my Northumberland trip and at Abberton reservoir. I'm always attracted to these boldly patterned drakes, their marking have an abstract quality about them. The Eiders were part of a flock of mostly males that loafed around the harbour at Seahouses, mildly displaying to each other, and emitting that evocative "wooooo" sound.
The Smew I sketched a couple of winters ago at Abberton at dusk with the birds turning blue as the orange-pink sun set behind the trees.
The next in the series will be drake Goldeneye, another wonderfully marked duck, the originals, prints and eventually lino-cuts will be available soon through my website,

Monday, 21 October 2013

A blustery October afternoon at Alresford Creek, a very high tide has forced most of the waders off their roost. A few remain, constantly on the move trying to find firm footing as the water rises. Out on the estuary the first Black-headed Gulls are arriving for their overnight roost. I've painted this view many times and it is always changes, different tide, weather, light and birds.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

I've been working on some large panels for the Great Fen Project to go in their education room. Its been nice to work at a larger scale with broad brush strokes and bold patterns.

Monday, 13 May 2013

A few more sketches from my Northumberland trip. The light was so clear and crisp, the terns and eiders really stood out against the deep blue-green sea. We also had a trip up to the teming bird colony at St.Abb's Head where I sketched Guillemots in the low evening sun. Back in deepest Essex now, but there are some compensations, such as the Nightingales in the wood just along the estuary.
Arctic and Sandwich Terns

Drake Eider, Seahouses 

Ringed Plover in the harbour

Guillemots at St.Abb's

On our way to the Farnes

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Stand Tall

As for something completely different I've just finished painting my huge giraffe sculpture for Colchester Zoo's Stand Tall campaign. Sponsored by Martin&Co, it is now at the Zoo until it appears on Colchester High Street on 2nd June 2013.

A week in Northumberland

Had a fantastic week in Northumberland with fellow artists staying at Seahouses. Rather windy, but some glorious sunny days, and what dramatic scenery. Eiders everywhere as expected, but also Long-tailed Ducks, Purple Sandpipers, and as the week progressed more Arctic and Sandwich terns. I was particularlky drawn to the dynamtic shapes and patterns of the drake Eiders, especially in the sharp, bright light. Here are a selection of my sketches, more to follow.
Drake Eider snoozing amongst the colourful seaweed.
Group of drake Eiders feeding and preening in the splash zone
Inner Farne from Stag Rocks, we only made it out once to the islands due to the rough seas, and even then we found that most seabirds had not returned yet.
A few migrants were arriving, and this pile of rotting seaweed attracted upto 12 WhiteWagtails and a couple of Wheatears.
A classic NE scene, the Farnes with Arctic Terns.
Bamburgh Castle from Stag Rocks

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Had a trip down to Exmoor before all the snow arrived, lovely countryside. We did a beautiful walk up the Doone valley from Malmsmead, not many birds apart from tits, nuthatches and treecreepers, but the Dippers put on a good show. We had good views of one perched over the water singing it's rich, thrush-like song as it curtsied and twisted it's head to and fro. Another appeared under the bank, obviously the object of the performance, and then the pair flew off up stream calling excitedly.
Next week and the snow has arrived in Essex, bringing good numbers of Fieldfares and pushing some duck onto the unfrozen Colne estuary. These displaying male Goldeneye were a fine sight on a cold grey morning. The females however were less than impressed, continuing to dive for food, oblivious to all the attention.