For local naturalist, Neil Pont, lockdown provided an opportunity to create new artworks celebrating the beauty of North East nature.
I have been painting and print-making for a number of years now but, more recently, have been concentrating on wildlife photography. My early paintings were mostly landscape though my printmaking did have a birding theme. As lockdown has progressed I was minded to combine the photography with the painting – and to dabble in a new medium, water-soluble oils.
The real inspiration was a fantastic series of photos taken by friend and fellow NHSN member, Conrad Dickinson, of a Barn Owl in a snow storm. Conrad lives very close to Hadrian’s Wall and is able to get out into the wilds there. Living in Forest Hall, I have made Wallsend Rising Sun CP my ‘go to’ venue and, having completed the paintings of the ‘snowy owl’, I based my next painting on a photo I had taken of a back-lit Reed Bunting at Rising Sun. We have often watched Siskin there, feeding on Alder – they are to be the next subject!