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Pintails and Lapwings- Robert Greenhalf


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Oil on board
41cm x 41cm

Please note that framed works will be available once the exhibtion ends (12th September)

I have been obsessed with birds for as far back as I can remember. Initially it was looking at birds in the garden and local woods. Then in our teens, my sister and I would cycle to a reservoir in search of wildfowl and waders. We also joined residential courses run by the Junior Bird Recorders Club of the RSPB. Careful notes were kept of all our observations and often, in my case, illustrated with pencil and watercolour. Although I still take part in various bird surveys, my interest has shifted from the scientific to the aesthetic and I get as much pleasure from watching and drawing common species as I do from finding rarities.
I use various media in my work, but principally oil painting, woodcut and pencil and watercolour. The oils are painted in the studio for practical reasons, but the process always begins in the field with observing and sketching the birds. Each painting is based on an encounter I have had in nature.
Ideally, I like to spend an hour or two with my subjects, but in reality birds rarely stick around for that long. Sometimes I return home with just a few lines, but with the aid of accumulated knowledge, memory and a large collection of sketchbooks, a painting can still be created. Sometimes however, I am lucky, and a group of beautifully posed birds are there in front of me when I open the hide flap. Then it’s just a matter of rapidly sketching them as they are, adding watercolor or written colour notes and studies of any background features that would be useful in the composition.

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