Thursday, 26 November 2009

Sir Peter Scott

Whats really annoying though is the fact Sir Peter Scott's signature is fading quite rapidly on the report and i happened to miss Lars Jonsson's exhibition at Slimbridge to celebrate the life and work of a greatly missed bird art LEGEND!

Another one of my many art hero's is Sir Peter Scott. Not only did he and his legacy continue to do loads for Bird Conservation but he also produced some of the best wildfowl paintings ever to grace our shores. I would be very pushed to mention another bird artist who could encapsulate Wigeon grazing on a cold winter morning as well as he does or Geese leaving their roost to feed in the fields. I spent many a January and February morning birding at Slimbridge whilst living in Worcester and didnt even attempt to try and put the atmosphere of the place into my sketchbook and still cant understand how he did and dont think i ever will. Ive enclosed a scanned image one of my prized possesions. A Signed copy of the Severn Wildfowl Trust 2nd annual report that means the world to me.

Monday, 23 November 2009

John Busby

Although my year on Fair Isle was just one giant HIGHLIGHT there was one day that stood out from the rest and one that i will never forget for the rest of my life. During the Seabird Season many Cruiseships visit Fair Ilse, not only to marvel at thousands of stunning nesting seabirds but to get a taste of island life by sampling Fair Ilse's Crafts (

The 10/06/09 was like any other cruise ship day, that is until i returned to island community hall. Once i had guided the last of the visitors into the hall i went to get a cup of tea and was about to go and speak to my boss Deryk Shaw when Tommy Hyndman called me over. Tommy lives with his lovely wife Liz and son Henry at Auld Haa in the south of the island where they run a brilliant guest house alongside Tommy's arts and crafts business( became some of my closest friends by the end my season on the island. Anyway i walked over to Tommy who was stood with a gentlemen and he said 'there's someone i want you to meet Jack...this is John.....John Busby....he draws birds' Before continuing i must mention that Tommy has only lived in the UK for 3 Years. Prior to moving to the UK he lived and worked in New York as a very succesful artist and was very well regarded. But the british bird artist scene is very new to him and to Tommy 'John Busby' was just another artist, this is not to say he didnt treat him in the same way as any other fellow artist but knew that i may be keen on meeting him.......Initially it didnt sink in who was in front of me as i never thought i would meet such a LEGEND and i simply shaked John's hand and said its very nice to meet you....Then it hit me and my mind must have finally and subliminally processed who was standing in front of me shaking MY hand. Not only had the hand produced some of the BEST bird art you are probably ever likely to see but was also the reason for numerous other artists that exist today and the standard of bird art that can be seen today. The whole experience was UNREAL!! and i was speechless. Then it got even better and Tommy went and bought a Fair Isle Postcard and Pen and asked John if he could do a sketch for me (bearing in mind i was a pretty much useless at that point due to the adrenaline)and sure enough there i was with Tommy watching a master at work. He simply took the pen bent down over the postcard and said 'lets see what comes to me'; and within less than 10 seconds he had drawn a bird in flight, dated it and signed it. The best bit was he gave it to me, smiled and said 'sorry its a kind of a kittiwake/ fulmar hybrid' and laughed. John Busby was a true Gentlemen and not only did he give me a sketch to cherish but also looked me in the eyes and said 'one word of advice i can give you is to always draw from life, ALWAYS DRAW FROM LIFE'. I must say a MASSIVE Thankyou to John Busby and an equally MASSIVE thankyou to Tommy. Meant the world to me!