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  • Writer's pictureSuzy Sharpe

Busy week & meet the Artist...

Updated: Jan 28, 2022

An interesting and busy week! My exhibition has been going really well and as I prepared for the Meet the Artist event I realised just how many paintings in the Language of Birds series have now flown off to new forever homes.

You can see the catalogues here

This week I have been able to get out walking and feel very inspired by the colours of the local landscape, I am really wanting to get into some painting but found myself far to busy to achieve this. Maybe this week I will carve out some time to at least make a few sketches… it feels like the paintings are burning a hole in my mind and I really need to get them on to paper. Wherever I go though, it is always the birds that bring the view before me to life… as I write this I feel an inner frustration rising which is commonplace if I haven’t been drawing or painting for a while. This painting was made a few Autumns ago and it is where I want my starting point to be

I decided to make a print of one of my favourite paintings Desmond at his best decorated with Brambles and looking very proud of himself! You can find them on my website together with a few other Sheep and goats all a bit quirky and all with lots of personality!

This week is was also the feast day of St. Hugh of Lincoln. I enjoy the stories of saints as they often includes encounters with birds and animals and St Hugh is no exception. He was born in 1140 in Burgundy, his story includes a Swan and you can read more about it either on my social media accounts or in the swan ebook.

I was quite nervous about the Meet the Artist event, it was an unknown quantity and I wasn’t really sure how to prepare for it, so I took loads of poetry books and some binoculars because the view from the gallery area is quite spectacular, straight out to see with a small island speckled with gulls, cormorants, oyster catchers, cormorants, shags and a few grey seal and the light was incredible the grey green sea, blue grey sky and this strip of warm yellow on the horizon... just perfect and enough of a distraction for my nerves to disappear.

I was asked what my favourite bird was and found it a very difficult question to answer they all have such amazing and uniquely adapted characteristics I have a huge amount of admiration for them all. My answer however was initially Barn Owls, they seem to carry with them so much more than they are as a creature, for humans they are imbued with meaning, mythology, folklore, magic and mystery… but to paint they are such a pleasure, perfectly balanced, their heart shaped faces, iconic, wise and knowing but also appealing with their large dark eyes. However I could not let this pass without mentioning Herring Gulls… my work in many ways is my vehicle of communication I want to use it to talk with people about conservation, protection of our natural world, human animal relationships and inevitably I try to redress the balance if I (and I usually do) feel that a bird or animal is being maligned. They all have their place in the world and Herring Gulls are struggling at the moment their population has down reduced enough to make them Red Listed. They are very long lived birds and some of their bad behaviour is learned, from humans and from our bad habits… but we must always remember that they put themselves in great danger when they interact with us, so they really must be desperate… they would much rather be foraging on a muscle bed, along the strandline or even on a field… but we have been encroaching on their habitat for many years, changing the way we do things and having a huge impact on their ability to sustain themselves… anyway as I was off on my little monolog about herring gulls … low and behold a fisherman came by throwing some of his waste fish overboard and the sky suddenly seemed full of Herring Gulls as if I had drawn them into the conversation!

Images of a little of the exhibition and Gilly Cooper (curator) introducing me to a lovely group of people at the Old Coastguards ... the cakes we gorgeous and we all agreed that we would want to stay here if we were visiting Cornwall and that we would return for something more substantial very soon... the exhibition runs until the 4th January please do let me know if you visit...

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