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Back in January I covered my inspiration board in bird imagery and set to work. Four months later and I feel as if I have still hardly scratched the surface of what I wanted to achieve but I also need a bird break.

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But I wanted to share this book with you before I forget to as it is very inspiring and I think you’ll enjoy these images and might find ideas in them for yourselves – we all seem to enjoy designing and painting birds.

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One thing that attracts me about birds is the endless opportunity for colour and pattern in observing different plumage.

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Which is why a book on birds that aren’t native to the UK offers up such a treasure trove. This book was bought for a couple of pounds in a second-hand shop but if you’d like your own, new copy, then it’s only £308 from Amazon! Or a mere £10- £30 for a second-hand copy.

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I had wanted to capture the movement and interaction that birds bring and include that in pattern design too, which is where I’ll pick up after a break to do something a little different for a while. But it is defiantly a project that I’d like to return to later in the year.

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I promised I would show you close-up’s of some of my prized bird books, so here is the first Basil Ede’s Birds.

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You know how it goes sometimes – I walked into a National Trust Property one summer and went into an unassuming second-hand book ‘shed’ and it was one of those occasions where it was a treasure trove of beautiful unwanted books at cheap second-hand prices.

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Basil Ede                  Nuthatch

My family will remind me that I bought two books – one very heavy – which we then had to carry on a walk around the lake which turned out to take 2-3 hours! Oops. Did you notice I said we carried… anyway I digress.

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Basil Ede                   Blue Tit

It turns out that this book, which I bought for £1.20 because I liked the bird pictures, was illustrated by the Basil Ede , one of the worlds best bird artists. And it is utterly beautiful as you can see.

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Basil Ede             Chaffinch

Basil Ede became a professional artist bit by bit, working at first at sea and then in London, he gradually grew his painting career by working part-time and being supported by his family (always a story I like to hear).

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Basil Ede      Blackbird

In his sixties he suffered a stroke which left him paralysed down one side –  the side he painted with. Amazingly he re-taught himself over a few years to paint with his left hand just as well as he had with his right.

Beautifully inspiring painting and an inspiring life story too.

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