If I had £1 for every time I’m asked where I get my feathers from, I’d be a wealthy woman!
Being my most used surface to paint on, this topic arises quite frequently – in the past 2 days alone I have been asked twice on Facebook and also on Instagram ‘Where do you get all your feathers??’.
My answer to this question remains the same – I am very fortunate to have lots of lovely friends and followers who keep birds. Most birds naturally moult their feathers each year, and this is where they come from! I also keep my eyes out where ever I go, especially on my daily dog walks. Local ponds, woods, the coast are all great sources for feathers – and believe it or not, so is a city centre! I have to admit, the majority of my feather finds are from our humble pigeon and varoius gulls, but duck, swan and the odd goose feather are all readily found in the right places.
Just this week, I was contacted by one of my lovely facebook friends who has sent me several packets of feathers over the years from her pet duck ‘Willow’. Willow has just finished her moult, and there is a large packet waiting to be posted to me! As a thank you gift, I recently painted Willow’s portrait on one of her feathers, her owner is delighted. I really do appreciate those days when the postman brings me surprise packages of feathers!! There are a few steps to be taken between opening up the post before I paint on them, but that’s another blog post….
My friend and ‘artist partner in crime’ Hayley Jones, is a wire sculptor (the creator of my beautiful barn owl in my garden). She also keeps 2 beautiful ducks and is another of my ‘feather suppliers’. One of my most recent paintings of a Barn Owl is on two of Hayley’s duck feathers, and my other recent piece of an Eagle Owl is painted on two of Willow’s feathers.
I haven’t mentioned everyone, because there are quite a few of you, (but you know who you are!!) and I purposefully didn’t mention my falconry friends because of the licencing issues with native bird of prey feathers. (Yet another blog post in the pipeline)
So, from me to all my generous friends and Facebook followers, this is a heartfelt THANK YOU for all the beautiful feathers you so kindly save for me!
This Barn Owl is one of a series of my feather paintings being exhibited at ‘Our World Imagined’ Exhibition at Sir Harold Hillier’s Gardens, Hampshire, from This Saturday 24th March – 5th April where I’ll be one of 19 artists sharing this wonderful venue. The Exhibition is open daily and is free to enter – a wonderful place to visit over Easter. Can you spot my owl on the poster???