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The Mammals of Cheshire
Written by David   

It took me no time at all to seize the opportunity to do more than fifty drawings for this newly published book, written by the Cheshire Mammal Group.  Having lived in Cheshire for over twenty years, it was exciting for me to be involved in such an important local project, and a chance to work on mammals again after many years working mostly as a bird illustrator.

tmoc.jpgPublished by Liverpool University Press 2008, it is the first up-to-date review of the mammal fauna of Cheshire for over a hundred years. Chapters cover the main species, looking at their distribution, biology and identification, along with distribution maps.  There are also chapters covering Cheshire habitats, the history of mammals and their recording, and conservation issues.  It is richly illustrated with drawings, colour photographs and maps.

The cover illustration is from my acrylic painting of a Brown Hare, studied about a mile from my home.

 
Red Kites
Written by David   

red_kite_sketches1a_.jpgHere are some sketches from a recent visit to the Red Kite feeding station at Gigrin Farm on the edge of Rhayader, Mid Wales.  This was my first visit to such a place, where meat is put out each day for these spectacular birds of prey.  Once the action starts at 2pm, Rooks, Carrion Crows and Ravens are already in position while the variable Common Buzzards wait patiently in the crusty snags of surrounding trees for their chance to come to ground. 

Many kites soon begin to wheel in over the site until each finds a moment for an approach, sometimes tumbling dramatically to spill air from under the wings to drop almost vertically at times before smoothly levelling out in a controlled low sweep to effortlessly collect a piece of the meat in their talons, in a similar way a fishing eagle will take fish from the water's surface. 

The stunning Red Kites seem to float effortlessly above the hillsides, steering all the while with their broad. notched tails, and splayed long fingers of the outer five primary feathers.  They are nice subjects to draw, although on this occasion my first attempts were frustrating and clumsy, as my fingers were very cold and my eyes were watering.  Like anything, it takes a while to ‘warm up' and a bit of practice to get a feel for the birds' movements, but it wasn't long before the action was all over - in about an hour. red_kite_sketches2.jpg

 
Lower Moss Wood
Written by David   
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Ray Jackson MBE and Me in Lower Moss Wood

 

 

A crisp, icy December day provided a scenic and slippery drive down the country lanes to Lower Moss Wood, near Knutsford in Cheshire.  This Wildlife Hospital and Educational Nature Reserve founded and run by Ray Jackson MBE, provides a much needed centre for the care and rehabilitation of sick and injured wild creatures.  http://www.lowermosswood.org.uk 

The reason for my visit was to make a donation from the sale of one of my paintings, of a Brown Hare. 

 

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Red Fox Drawing
One of Ray's resident foxes, a tail-less vixen called Mara, became the model for one of my pencil and ink drawings for the forthcoming book; Mammals of Cheshire by the Cheshire Mammal Group.

 

 
Welcome to David Quinn Wildlife Art
Written by David   

 

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Autumn Wren

I'm an English artist living in the County of Cheshire, UK.  Birds, mammals and their environments are the main focus of my work as an artist and illustrator.

I hope these examples of my work and background information will interest you enough to come back regularly to see what I'm working on.


 
Exhibition Latest
Written by David   

Over a thousand zoo visitors have come into my "Nature in the Frame" exhibtion at Chester Zoo's Joseph Banks Room, many of whom have stopped and chatted to me.  It's been great to meet so many enthusiastic and interesting people of all ages.  So far, only two children have run across to my drawing board to put their hands straight into my palette of wet acrylic paint to see if it was, indeed, wet paint!  The exhibition runs until Sunday 2nd December and apart from Sunday 18th November I'll be present at the weekends and each Wednesday.  If you can make it on these dates, then I look forward to meeting you.  

Times of Joseph Banks Room opening - 11:00am - 3:30pm weekdays and 10:am - 4pm Weekends.  Note that last admission time to the Zoo is 3pm.

 
Exhibition Update
Written by David   

 

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Nature In The Frame Exhibition

Over the last 12 months the Cheshire Mammal Group, myself, and Chester Zoo have worked together to put on the exhibition "Nature in the Frame".  Liverpool Museum , Chester Grosvenor Museum and the Wildlife Trust have kindly provided animal specimens to enhance the display, and these have gone down well, particularly with the children.  I'd like to thank you all for your interest and support.  Lots of people stopped to chat about the paintings, and painting in general. It has also been nice to meet so many young and aspiring artists. 

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Joseph Banks Room at Chester Zoo
Some of the works exhibited will soon be available as prints, so those of you who'd like to own a print, either drop me an email, or keep an eye on this website for further news.  My e-gallery will be online soon, where further details will be announced. 

  If you've already visited the exhibition, then thank you for taking an interest.  Any comments or feedback would be much appreciated.  I'd love to receive them via the Contact Us page.    

 
Exhibition at Chester Zoo
Written by David   

Nature in the Frame, Portraits from our Living Landscape

An exhibition of my work opens at Chester Zoo on Saturday 20th October and runs until Sunday 2nd December.

To be held in the Joseph Banks Room, twenty works depicting birds, mammals and landscape will be supported by sketches, studies and work in progress.

 
Pipistrelle Bats
Written by David   

 

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Pipistrelle Bats
What a great few days, tucked away in the Derbyshire countryside at an isolated house with my two brothers. Surrounded by fields, woods and ponds, the wildlife was a real feature of our stay. 

 

Pipistrelle Bats seemed to emerge from the property at dusk and treated us to nightly aerial spectaculars over the courtyard.  We could hear a repeated "tick" - part of their high frequency clicks used for echo-locating their prey.  I positioned my video camera looking up from one corner of the house where they swooped and twisted in pursuit of flying insects around the outside lights.  From the few black silhouettes I captured, I made some studies and put together this composition, a mix of ink, acrylic and pencil on grey Canson card.

 
Common Shrew
Written by David   

I found a Common Shrew, dead, on the river towpath the other day, so took it home and used it as reference for this small watercolour.  Seven working hours and some eye strain later, the painting ended up a little larger than life size.  I'm working my way down to doing a Pygmy Shrew!

 

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Common Shrew. 3.5” x 3” watercolour and acrylic on Grey Bockingford watercolour paper

 

As models for the artist, living shrews are hyperactive and difficult to observe, moving almost faster than the eye can register, but there are periods of sudden rest in between these bouts of intense foraging for insects, spiders, woodlice and worms etc.

 

The Common Shrew lives life in the fast lane and packs a lot of activity into its one year of life, if its lucky enough to survive that long.  Many fall prey to owls, stoats, weasels, foxes and cats. It is widespread on mainland Britain and common in most areas of fields, hedgerows, gardens and around woodlands. 

 
Lightning Tree
Written by David   
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lightning tree

Several days of August sunshine tempted me out to make this small oil painting on the edge of our village.  A buzzard soared and hovered on the thermals above the freshly harvested barley field, so I indicated it simply.

A pair of buzzards nested in this Ash tree several years ago.

A number of challenges faced me, such as capturing the changes in colour and tone where the sky met the golden field, and getting those textures in the rows of cut barley and stubble.  A dog, sniffing around, then walking over my oil palette which I'd rested briefly on the ground, was a chaotic development I could have done without.

 

Click on image for a larger view

 
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