The Starling Variations

A series of paintings of starlings

The Starling Variations
22nd March 2016 Jane Tomlinson

Variations on the theme of starlings

The starling is such an unsung little bird, overlooked and often regarded as a pest or unremarkable, but I think they’re marvellous. Unbelievably, they’re also critically endangered – their numbers having fallen by more than 80% in the last 30 years.

As individuals, their iridescent plumage with tints of green and purple in spring is absolutely gorgeous, and all those spots on their breasts are like stars twinkling in the night sky. And if you’ve never watched them in their spellbinding, twisting, turning flocks coming in to roost in the winter, you really should find somewhere local to see it! These flights, known as murmurations, are thought to disorientate predators but are also just stunning to watch – even the sound is amazing! (Here in Oxfordshire, the most reliable place to see this spectacle is probably RSPB Otmoor.)

I have been working on a series of paintings of starlings, experimenting with a couple of compositions in different media, using watercolour, acrylics, inks, and printmaking using the drypoint and monoprint techniques. I have produced a murmuration of new paintings.

Starling Variations - work in progress

In progress: printing the drypoints – the basis for the paintings of birds in flight. Onto these I applied acrylic ink, metallic inks, and watercolours.

Starling Variations - work in progress

In progress: experimenting with various media  on a base of collagraph and monoprints. I worked into these with all kinds of media, anything that might ‘work’.

And here are the results of my labours. Which one you do you like?

Starling at sunset Starling at sunset
Size: 300mm x 300mm
Medium: acrylic on canvas
SOLD
starling and reeds Starling in the reeds
Size: 400mm x 400mm
Medium: watercolour
Price: £99
A painting of three starlings in flight Three starlings in blue and gold
Size: 300mm x 400mm
Medium: drypoint and mixed media
SOLD
Three starlings in purple and gold Three starlings in purple and gold
Size: 300mm x 400mm
Medium: drypoint and mixed media
Price: £99
A painting of three starlings Three starlings on black
Size: 300mm x 400mm
Medium: drypoint and mixed media
SOLD
A painting of two starlings Two starlings on blue
Size: 300mm x 300mm
Medium: drypoint and mixed media
Price: £85
starling-reeds-v1 Starling in the reeds – monoprint – version 1
Size: 300mm x 400mm
Medium: monoprint and mixed media
Price: £99
Starling in the reeds Starling in the reeds – monoprint – version 2
Size: 300mm x 400mm
Medium: monoprint and mixed media
Price: £65
Starling in the reeds Starling in the reeds – monoprint – version 3
Size: 300mm x 400mm
Medium: monoprint and mixed media
Price: £65

 

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