I began this new year wanting a fresh personal project to work on and wanting to *play* a bit in my work and just follow inspiration where it led me.

That feeling also coincided with a growing interest in being able to name the birds that frequent my garden and also the purchase of a pair of binoculars.

A few months later on and I have completed my very own book of garden birds.

I dug out a few of my favourite vintage bird books for both good information and great reference pictures.

And I studied up before I began painting each feathered friend. Once you’re not in education, its easy to forget the gains from reading up and learning.

Over some months, in and amongst other work and things going on, I compiled some illustrations of birds – the only pre-requisite being that I included only birds that I’ve seen in my garden. The Jay and the Woodpecker have stopped for a nosey but not often or for very long.

I once had the magical experience of actually watching momma Wren fledge her chicks out of the nest in our hedge and chase them down the garden willing them to fly for the first time.

I had already decided to bind these paintings into a book format and so I set up the pages with that in mind.

I decided to hand write all the information pages and keep the true handmade feel through and through. I painted an abstract leaf pattern for the cover and set to putting it all together with glue and waxed string.

And I’m delighted with it in so many ways – I can use my own work to reference and teach myself and there’s something so scrummy about a handmade book which also makes a perfect place to keep a body of work intact.

If you’d like to see all the birds and the films I made of making the book and the book itself, then head over to either Instagram here or Facebook here