Those of you who live in Lewes and manage to get hold of the fabulous monthly listings magazine Viva Lewes will be familiar with the regular wildlife features on which I collaborate with Michael Blencowe of the Sussex Wildlife Trust. Each month Michael writes a terrific article and I try and do my best to illustrate it!
As we must have done over 50 features together I thought it might be a great and opportune time (what with it being New Year and all) to begin showcasing some of our favourites here on A Natural History.
So let’s start with the latest- published in the January 2015 Viva Lewes magazine here is the fascinating if a little tragic story of Nicholas Culpeper..
It’s been a long time coming but I’m really happy to let you know that my new Goldfinch design is soon to be available as a Limited Edition Giclée Print and Greetings Card. Having wanted to capture the essence of such an amazingly striking bird that appears almost too colourful to be a UK resident, I worked and re-worked the piece through a number of colour combinations, composition and tweaks until I was finally pleased with it. I hope you like it too!
This is just a detail but if you would like to see the complete design and are interested in ordering either prints or cards then simply get in touch here.
Yes I’m really happy to reveal that the next of my new pieces for ‘A Natural History’ is the one, the only– ‘Long-tailed Tit’! Being also known by names such as ‘Barrel Tit’ or ‘Bum Barrel’, the Long-tailed Tit has got to be one of the most characterful birds indigenous to the UK.
When rediscovering them in early noughties I was amazed that I had forgotten just how remarkably exotic yet fairly common these birds are. Seeing a group of them as they acrobatically negotiate their way through the trees can only bring extra lift to any grey day!
This is just a detail but both Limited Edition Giclée Prints and Greetings Cards of the full design will be available very soon and can be pre-ordered. If you would like to see the complete design and are interested in ordering either prints or cards then simply contact me here.
What with Ghosts of Gone Birds in Brighton and an exhibition at Pelham House in Lewes it’s been a good start to 2013. In addition I’ve also worked with Viva Lewes to design the cover for their 78th issue. Although winter still has its icy grip here in the UK it’s heartening that, along with the coming of light, spring is just around the corner. To help us keep this in mind I suggested that a cover based on the dawn chorus would be a good thing to do and luckily Viva Lewes agreed!!
So what’s behind the design? Well as I’m a big of the Collins New Naturalist series I wanted to do something that both gave a nod to their splendid covers and also act as a reference that readers could use. I envisaged that people would be able to pick up a copy then maybe go for a walk and use it to help to identify some of the birds that they seen singing in their gardens or around town.
The cover is also accompanied by a lovely bit of writing by Sussex Wildlife’s Michael Blencowe (it’s on page 79 of you have a copy!) and includes my illustration of the Blackbird song.
Both myself and Michael have also put together an interactive map at http://t.co/mrQNrgU8 where you can report different birdsong as you hear it. We’re looking for lots of input so next time when you go for a wander why not listen out for natures’ free stream and let us know which birds you hear!
Michael has also put together this rather neat guide of some of the birds that will be singing ’round your way. Take a look here to see pics & hear the songs!