Heron – Ardea cinerea

When planning out the birds to include in my solo exhibition at Ace Arts next year, I felt I couldn’t not include a Grey Heron.

I’m hoping to draw peoples attention to some of the wildlife found on the Somerset Levels, those both thriving and declining.  I rarely visit the levels without seeing a Grey heron so I felt it had to be included.

Chris Hooper and Ron Westmaas have both been terrific help.  They have advised me of some of the birds in the two categories and then sent me so many inspiring photographs as the starting point to creating each piece.  With the number of pieces needed for the exhibition and the constraints of time I have decided that I cannot do a full size version of Chris Hooper’s photograph at the moment  – the colours and background are just wonderful.  I hope at a later stage to do the full image justice but, for now my study is just a head shot!

For such a common British bird there is something still quite exotic about the Grey Heron.

‘Herons are often seen stood as still as a statue on their long thin legs in shallow waters of ponds and lakes patiently waiting for their next meal to swim by. These tall birds spend most of their time alone feeding mainly on fish but can be tempted by the occasional tasty mole’! Somerset Wildlife Trust.

I started to draw, plan and piece this heron in late March.  Like many of you we have had a difficult time over this covid period but work stopped for me after we received mums diagnosis of Bowel Cancer and that her prognosis was not good.  Even with the restrictions of covid we have been able to support and spend time with mum until she died in mid September.  Mum used to love me taking pieces up and showing her my progress and I know she would want me to get back in the workshop and start creating again.  Catching up on these blogs and finding some time for creativity is what I’m now starting to do and I hope to do her proud when the exhibition opens in September.  It will be dedicated to mum who has been my biggest supporter and fan.

I’m not quite ready to start stitching yet but look forward to when that day comes….