The theme of the exhibition is the RSPB campaign ‘Giving Nature a Home’. This campaign encourages people to make “small actions for wildlife in our gardens and outdoor spaces”. In early January I spent a day exploring the nature reserve at Old Moor; the lakes were frozen but the bird-feeding gardens were full of life. Feeding the birds over the winter is popular and important because it improves their chances of survival. It was fascinating to watch the birds flit to and fro, often returning to the same branch before hopping onto the feeder. Suddenly they would all disappear as a Blackbird arrived. I have made four watercolour paintings of the birds I saw that day. They are of common, small birds that everyone might see in their gardens or local outdoor spaces: a Great Tit, a Chaffinch, a Bullfinch, and a Reed Bunting. My historical reference for these paintings is C F Tunnicliffe (1901-1979), a notable British bird and wildlife artist (who often illustrated the front cover of the RSPB magazine ‘Bird Notes’).
The Pennine Artists exhibition ‘Giving Nature a Home’ opens at the RSPB nature reserve, Old Moor, on the 2nd April 2015.