This drawing has been pre-selected for the Pastel Society Annual Exhibition. I am withdrawing it from sale for the time being..
He is ready to fly away now and I am ready for him to leave. It's taken a while to work on this one before movement suddenly came to life.
He is a long-tailed tit that was coming in to land on my garden bird feeders. I shoot the photographs of the birds in my garden with a sports filter that fires off lots of photos at once. It's often not till later when looking through them that I discover I have captured the movement.
There are many names for this bird - 'flying lollipops' (a personal favourite), bumbarrels, bush oven, feather poke and pudding bag. The poet John Clare referred to them as 'bumbarrels' .... "coy bumbarrels, twenty in a drove, flit down the hedgerows in the frozen plain and hang on little twigs and start again".....
They are such beautiful birds with their amazing long tails, a firm favourite with bird lovers.
Whilst drawing him I was listening to a story about a bird landing in a prison yard, a prisoner stopped a fellow prisoner from throwing a stone at it with the words 'don't hit him - that bird has my wings' Since I was working on his wings at that time the title seemed just right.
He is drawn in charcoal with a little ink around his eye and splashed over his wings. He is 17" x 13" framed in a dark wooden frame to 23" x 19" and is ready to hang. A very special drawing that would suit a free spirited home.