An original painting in inks and watercolour.
SALE! A2 sized prints, signed by the artist, are now available at a sale price of just £23, reduced from £36. Please note that the reason for the sale is that these prints have very minor imperfections and show my all-too-human errors that I made on the original, which are unlikely to affect your enjoyment of this painting. The sale 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...
Magpie Song is a painting in watercolour and Indian ink illustrating the traditional rhyme which goes:
One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret never to be told
Eight for a wish
Nine for a kiss
Ten for a bird you must not miss.
The European magpie (Pica pica) is a species of crow, and as with all corvids, they are incredibly intelligent. They can recognise themselves in a mirror, proof of self-awareness. In folklore they are reckoned to be attracted to shiny objects, but there is no scientific proof for them being bling thieves. In my painting Magpie Song I have illustrated 10 birds from all angles to make the most of their gorgeous plumage and glossy, long tails. For a black and white bird, they are amazingly colourful – their plumage can appear green, blue and purple in certain light.
They live in loose family groups and can often be seen in some numbers (at least where I live!)
Some people consider them to be a bird of ill omen, but this is a daft superstition. Fake news! One magpie is always a joy.
Collective nouns for magpies are many – a tidings, a mischief, a charm, a flock, a gulp, a murder, a tittering, a conventicle, a tribe or a congregation. Take your pick! I like ‘mischief’. You have to be clever to make mischief and these glorious birds are exactly that.
Signed prints of my painting Magpie Song at size A2 are available now.
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.