Here, for all who know the Downs – their wandering pathways through fields of yellow and green, blue yet often lowering skies, are the Downs on an English summer’s afternoon. Rowland Hilder - The Downs.
Walking in the footsteps of Richard Jefferies ... “I was not more than eighteen when an inner and esoteric meaning began to come to me from all the visible universe, and indefinable aspirations filled me. I found them in the grass fields, under the trees, on the hill-tops, at sunrise, and in the night. There was a deeper meaning everywhere. The sun burned with it, the broad front of morning beamed with it; a deep feeling entered me while gazing at the sky in the azure noon, and in the star-lit evening —' The Story of my Heart’.”
Charles F. Tunnicliffe, OBE, RA (1901-1979) was probably the best illustrator and bird portraitist of the last century. His work across a breadth of media – watercolour, pen and ink, woodblock engraving, etching and scraperboard – and across a variety of subject matter, has stood the test of time and is widely collected.
If you grew up in the fifties like me you probably read Ladybird nature books and collected Brooke Bond tea cards – all illustrated by Tunnicliffe. You might even have read the Puffin edition of Henry Williamson’s Tarka the Otter, with its cover and beautiful illustrations also by Tunnicliffe.
Winifred Maria Louise Austen (1876 - 1964) - was an English illustrator, painter, etcher and aquatint engraver. She was widely admired and collected; even the naturalist Sir Peter Scott – himself so able a wildlife artist – said Austen was, ‘certainly the best bird-etcher of this (last) century’.
A Carousel of Birds ...
My chief delight is in nature, and when I look at a picture it is to find something about nature in it, especially some expression of the feeling produced in us by nature, which is, to me, the most important thing in life ... Adapted from W H Hudson - 'Afoot in England’ - 1909
David Morrison Reid-Henry (1919 – 1977) - This post is one of a series of short biographies about artists and writers inspired by Nature and the Countryside and whose works have fostered my own love of the Countryside - especially Birds.
Leo Paul Robert (1851-1923) - was the most highly regarded Swiss ornithological artist at the turn of the century. But he only established a reputation as a landscape painter and painter of birds later in his career.
Artists Inspired by Nature - S R Badmin RWS RE AIA FSIA (1906-1989)
I don’t know the title of this painting but it’s a lovely pastoral picture painted I guess sometime in the late 1940s early 50s. The cows appear to be red and white which helps date the picture perhaps to before 1950, as black and white Friesian cows didn’t become popular until then. It is most likely somewhere in the south of Britain - like the South Downs. Like many of his paintings of rural life there’s a lot going on. I think it depicts a time of change in agriculture as there are both horses and tractors working with a traditional hayrick in the mid-centre of the painting while in another field there seems to be a tractor and baler.
Haibun writing - I’ve come to realise that the core of my writing is akin to the prose poem form of Haibun. Written in the nature tradition. [...] A pair of Bullfinch light up a solitary Ash tree - soft glow light bulbs of carmine red and cinnamon pink. They call softly to each other. Their rumps as white as the snow. [...]
Have you ever been to Polperro - well it’s blue - very blue. Not just the Persian Blue seas around and the Duck Egg Blue sky, as oft described by writers, but the ‘doors and sashes, hand rails, too of it’s white painted houses gleam with an intense Blue - Polperro Blue’Continue reading Painting Polperro Blue