Here’s my latest painting: a grey wagtail originally sketched in the Forest of Dean. The sketches were made in pencil and watercolour and then worked up in acrylics, as usual.
The angled stance of the bird mimics the zigzag composition and the rhythm of the water, moving the viewer’s eye through the painting. Originally I had the bird looking almost horizontally to the right, but decided raising the head suited the composition better.
The painting pays homage to an image I’ve loved for over thirty years – a wood engraving of a kingfisher by Agnes Miller Parker (see below). That also had a zigzag composition, though I didn’t set out to connect the two.
I also acknowledge Colin See-Paynton’s influence. Wood engravings again! I love the way he shows wildlife in under and above the water and the way he uses pattern in his work. The stylised ripples in the foreground are reminiscent of the swirls in a See-Paynton engraving.
Like many artists before me I’m aware of the work of others. I may be influenced by other artists but ultimately my work is about sharing my view of the world with others.