‘The Night Comes Down’ is an original painting in watercolour and drypoint of a starling (Sturnus vulgaris) on a reed as a murmuration of starlings swirls in the evening sky beyond.
The birds are handprinted from a ‘plate’ of perspex into which I have incised the image using an etching needle. I can then print from this ‘plate’ using the intaglio method. After printing, while the paper is still damp, I flood the paper with watercolour.
Otmoor is my local RSPB site in Oxfordshire. In the winter, the starlings form great aggregations of many thousands of birds. They roost together in the reeds (Phragmites australis) finding safety in numbers. Sometimes, a predator, such as a marsh harrier or other bird of prey, will attack the flock as it gathers, causing the starlings to swoop and swirl to confuse the predator. This is group swooping is known as a murmuration. For me, this incredible spectacle is one of the winter’s greatest delights.
‘The Night Comes Down’ shows the inky blue dusk and the full moon.