The European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) has repeatedly inspired my painting.
I love these characterful birds for so many reasons. For starters, they're a beautiful shape and size. They’re also brilliant singers and copy other birds and sounds. We’ve heard them do the call of red kites and blackbirds – even car alarms. And I adore their plumage – iridescent purples, blues, greens pinks with gorgeous yellow chevrons at the tip of each feather.
The Eynsham Murmuration
I was inspired to make more paintings of starlings in January 2023 when a flock of up to 30,000 birds unexpectedly came to roost in Eynsham, Oxfordshire, for six weeks. We went out to observe them night after night. They gathered in vast numbers at sunset. Their shape-shifting, as they swirled around above our heads to avoid the sparrowhawks and peregrine falcons, frequently made us gasp out loud. These amazing shapes are called murmurations.
On the telly! The Eynsham Murmuration was big news. One evening ITV Meridian News sent a reporter and cameraman out to film it! Watch it here. (I’m the enthusiastic mad woman at 57 seconds in…)
A selection of my paintings of starlings
My first phase painting starlings took place in 2015 and since them I have painted them in watercolour, gouache, drypoint, acrylic, and on the iPad. There are certain compositions I’ve made that I find so satisfying (flying in a group, perched on a reed) that I have returned to them time and time again as you’ll see as you scroll down this page.
Many of my original paintings have sold. But in most cases, I have digital files are available to buy for self-printing. I also have packs of greetings cards