I am still finding myself captivated by the busy wren making the bushes twitch as she goes about her important business. I love our little birds here in Britain, so full of energy, character and colour, even when they could be described as the proverbial 'little brown bird'. Some of the finches are like miniature parrots with their showy pink breasts and flashes of gold, and the tits are unmistakable with their vivid blues and yellows. Yet, I find myself drawn to the less brazen birds, those who take a little more attention to discover a chestnut glow in the evening sunlight and a chequered wing....it feels like a reward for drawing your eye away from the brightly coloured display around the bird feeders. I've enjoyed simplifying the backdrop that I draw them upon, keeping the focus on the distictive shape that tells us from a distance who is making all the rustling.
I realise that I have taken some influence from the beautiful chinese bird & flower paintings, which I have always admired. They are so simple and yet not so abstract or stylised that they lose the identity of the subject - above is an example of what is clearly bamboo with sparrows. What is always so impressive is the apparent speed and grace with which this is communicated - I'm sure this superior painting took a fraction of the time of my quirky drawings!