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.
A painting of the voyage of HMS Beagle, the ship on which Charles Darwin travelled around the world -with particular attention to South America - making discoveries as he went that would change the course of natural science.