Earlier this year I was approached to produce some of the illustrations for the book, and I subsequently painted ten monochrome watercolours. I was given a list of the required species and was able to choose which ones I wanted to do. I chose: Barn Owl, Dipper, Lapwing, Little Egret, Nightjar, Peregrine, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Red Kite and Wren. As a lifelong Gloucestershire resident and birdwatcher, I felt an emotional connection with all of them.
The editors asked if I would devote a little of my stand space at Bird Fair to a display about the book. I was happy to oblige, especially when I saw some of the sample layouts, colour photographs, and other artwork by such luminaries as Sir Peter Scott, Robert Gillmor and Keith Shackleton. The designers and contributors have done a great job.
During Bird Fair two of the book’s designers (www.bbr.uk.com) visited my stand and were able to show me the page layouts of “my” species. They also showed me a comparable book so I could see the quality of materials. The Birds of Gloucestershire is going to be a really beautiful book!
It will be a large book too, with over four hundred pages and a 34mm spine, which must go some way to justifying the £45 RRP. Rest assured though, it’s currently available for a mere £20 +p&p as a pre-publication offer. You’ll need to act quickly though, as the current offer only lasts until 2 September. So if you picked up a leaflet at Bird Fair, don’t delay – and if you didn’t, here’s a downloadable version of the flyer: Gloucestershire Birds.
Later this year there will be a book launch and an exhibition of the artwork at Nature in Art. Watch this space for details.