Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Black Crow Blues

I’ve had a bit of company in the studio this weekend in the form of this huge stuffed black crow that I’ve taken delight in drawing. One of my colleagues, Laura Gale in photography, at JCC borrowed this and several other birds from the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Schools and Colleges Loans Service. They have all sorts of interesting animals, birds, and insects you can borrow. I had to smuggle this particularly handsome creature back on this occasion.

I’ve often borrowed different creatures from the Loans Service over the years for students to draw, but I must admit, although the students enjoy drawing them, I think I do more. It’s great to get so close to these things to study and understand them more intimately. Birds are a particular personal fascination, and I’ve made a quite a few drawings of them and a couple of paintings where they feature, but nothing I’ve been that pleased with. Maybe this crow may lead somewhere in paint or print. I can see some possibilities from the detailed drawing I’ve made.

I’ve made quite a few paintings of my own with animals in them now, including one of Laura’s lovely whippet, and really enjoy looking at other painters interpretations. I’ve enjoyed American painter Ann Craven’s colourful bird paintings in recent years (below), and feel a connection with her direct approach to her subject matter, and painterly approach.
I'm pretty passionate about animals, but not as much as Laura, who specialises in animal portraits. She has a real knack of capturing the individual character of her subjects. She has a great website which I've attached a link to below which really showcases her considerable photography skills and love for her subjects. You can also contact Laura there if you wish to commssion a photograph of your own pet.


No comments: