Conference Of The Birds


David Rees Davies brought us a few of his joyful paintings of birds. These are the first arrivals and hopefully more will follow soon, maybe a spring migration. He sent some words too.


These small oil paintings on wood came about as studies from my collection of British birds purchased from junk shops over the decades. Some of them have appeared in bigger paintings in some guise or other. Two summers ago I set about making a full itinerary (but as more birds join my studio and with my proximity to the marvelous Booth Museum the task is blessedly ongoing).


A pile of MDF (all approximately A4) from random offcuts triggered the start of the studies last summer; abandoned sawn-off accidental abstracts; a means of pleasantly starting my working day, getting the brain kick-started and the paintbrush moving. The counter-balance between the colour fidelity of plumage, beak or feet and the colour and composition of the background is quite arbitrary, yet somehow inadvertently satisfying. Perhaps there was something subliminal going on when the sweep of a green brushstroke echoes the contours of a waxwing or the blackbird’s eye complements a faux Hodgkin/Hitchens daub.


And then there was a fearless damselfly, a surprisingly brave guest at this conference of the birds.


These birds below have yet to arrive. They are presently looking for suitable frames in which to nest.














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See David’s page on The Rowley Gallery website.

Frames of reference

6 thoughts on “Conference Of The Birds”

    1. Hello Thinking Cow Girl…so pleased you like my little bird studies. I’ve got lots more bird, insect and flower studies where those come from. Chris at the gallery has other as yet unseen ones. Some are to be seen on my website – too many to load up. These ‘first observations’ prove invaluable and ultimately find their way into my bigger, narrative paintings. My small oil/ watercolour studies seem to prove popular with art collectors [and interestingly, from enthusiasts who are particularly passionate about wildlife preservation and nature lovers in general]. CPRE [The Campaign For The Protection Of Rural England] have used some of my photographic documentations over the years.
      I really enjoyed your blog. Some beautiful photographs and fascinating reading. Where were your photos taken?

      1. Why thank you very much! I’d love to get a bird painting, maybe I should go along to the gallery one day. Which photographs were you thinking of? Most are taken on the land or on walks round about…

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