Ahoy there! This painting celebrates the poetry of the shipping forecast, a great British institution. As well as prints, available here, I also have greetings cards, coasters, and tea towels of this award-winning painting!
High quality poster/print of an original painting on 200gsm archival quality paper, printed with UV stable inks and signed by the artist. Comes to you wrapped and rolled in a sturdy postal pack. Price includes P&P to UK addresses.
Choose either A1 size 594 x 841mm or A2 420 x 594mm
Original painting – acrylic on canvas - size: 51cm x 76cm – price includes P&P to UK addresses. Comes to you unframed.
A2 size prints, signed by the artist are £35. Price includes P&P to UK addresses.
A digital file of this painting is available for you to print at a format and size of your choice for £35. Read more…
I also have greetings cards and tea towels of this painting.
About my map of bird migration to the British Isles
In my painting “Bird migration map”, I have shown just 42 of the hundreds of species that migrate to the British Isles. I have shown, schematically, the approximate direction each species goes and when. These are not hard and fast rules. My map is intended as an aide-memoire for anyone interested in the natural world to see – at a glance – the main comings and goings of our most welcome avian guests.
In February 2021, my friend Stephen messaged me. “…How great it would be to have some kind of graphic representation of when in the year various birds arrived and departed. It occurred to me that something like this might be ideally suited to one of your lovely paintings.” He planted the seed of an idea in my head, and it started to grow. It took me a while to work out how I was going to show it, and to narrow down a list of species to illustrate.
In spring and autumn, millions of birds migrate to and from the British Isles*. And some move within the archipelago. Some come from Europe and others travels tens of thousands of miles. For example, the bee-eater may come north from Iberia for the summer, while the swallow comes all the way from Southern Africa.
They migrate for many reasons. Overwintering birds come here to escape the harsh dark and cold further north – geese, waders, divers, ducks. Summer visitors come to breed, knowing they’ll be able feast on the summer bounty airborne insects – think swifts and warblers. Discover more about bird migration.
How do birds know where to migrate to?
Science is still trying to work out exactly how the birds ‘know’ where to go and when to go there. In most cases, day length appear to the be cue that sets the birds off. It is thought that some species are born with an innate endogenous ability to know where to go – a kind of mental map. Other species need to ‘learn’ the migration routes, accompanying their parents and siblings on their first journey. And it may be a combination of these factors. In my painting I have illustrated the main means that it is thought that the birds use: Earth’s magnetic field, the position of the sun, moon and stars, including Polaris, the Pole Star.
What’s not on my bird migration map
Much as I would like to have done, I couldn’t possibly fit all the birds that come to and from the British Isles on my bird migration map. I know there are glaring omissions. The nightingale is left out because I was looking for distinctive species to show. Nightingales are a small brown bird and don’t wear snazzy costumes; they don’t need to with such a gorgeous song. And warblers. So many warblers! Reed warblers, grasshopper warblers, garden warblers, willow warblers, chiffchaffs, etc. Many of them look very, very similar. I chose one warbler to represent them all, the sedge warbler, because I see them every summer, and I love their bonkers song.
*The British Isles
I have used the term “British Isles” as a geographic term to describe the archipelago that lies off the north west coast of continental Europe. It consists of two sovereign nations: 1. the Republic of Ireland, and 2. the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. I use the term “British Isles” in an entirely non-political way. The birds know nothing of history and politics – they see only opportunity, safety and place to make a living.
In my world, migrants are always welcome!
Birds turn up in my paintings all the time. Have a look!
When you visit the University of Oxford’s Natural History Museum its a job to know where to look - at the marvellous exhibits? Or at the magnificent architecture? In this painting you'll spot a dodo, some dinosaur footprints, the swifts that nest in the tower, a dinosaur skeleton and so much more! My favourite bit is the frog in the jar. What's your's? The title comes from Charles Darwin's book 'The Origin of Species' in which he wrote of his theory of evolution by natural selection: "There is grandeur in this view of life..." The print is last one of a limited edition (of 4) hand-made drypoint tinted with watercolour - 450mm x 700mm.
This painting was made on the iPad, digitally, using pixels on a screen. Therefore there is no single 'original' painting, every print of it is original! You can buy a high-resolution digital file for one-off personal use and get a print of this painting made in a size and format of your choice. Read how this option works.
Hint: this painting looks stunning as a print on canvas.