The Mark Cocker BFC Art Gallery

“Like many Field Club members I went over the last Christmas period to enjoy the astonishing vision presented by the flock of Bohemian waxwings at Hassop Station. There were 360 at their maximum, one of the largest congregations ever to have been recorded in Derbyshire. It was also notably for being enjoyed by the largest number of people, with thousands going to see them in the month that the birds were present. I was completely entranced and they inspired me to start drawing and painting them. 

“Don’t imagine that I offer these watercolour drawings in any vain hope that they will be recognised for artistic merit. They are no more than working sketches. However, I do present them as a means to encourage others to good observation. There is nothing better to help you work out what you are seeing precisely than trying to capture it on paper. Drawing helps me see shapes and work out spatial relationships between different colours; they force me to look harder; to investigate how birds’ feet, for instance, wrap around twigs, and how the twigs themselves are composed and how the background very often is integral to your appreciation of the subject. In truth drawing makes you realise that there is not back- and foreground. All are party to the living aesthetic whole.  The waxwings and the hawthorns together. These drawings express that too.    

“My hope is you too will feel encouraged to get out your paint set and to start recreating something that has captured your attention.”

Mark Cocker, author and naturalist

email: blackbirds9591@gmail.com

website: www.markcocker.com 

Waxwing sketch
Waxwing sketch
Hawthorn sketch
Hawthorn sketch