Time to get in a flap with new avian art exhibition

The Scottish Ornithologists’ Club is getting set to host an exhibition of artwork by John Threlfall.

John is a largely self-taught artist and is a previous recipient of the Swarovski/Birdwatch Bird Artist of the Year award. He is a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) and the Artists for Nature Foundation, and has written and illustrated two books published under Langford Press: Between the Tides and Drawn to the Edge, with his work appearing in a number of other titles and publications.

John was encouraged to respect nature and to appreciate its beneficial influence on body and spirit from an early age. It was during long summers spent in Britain’s uplands and islands, whilst working with the British Geological Survey, that sparked his desire to document his observations and experiences of the natural world, through the media of pencil and paint.

Moving to Dumfries and Galloway in 1992 was the catalyst that put birds and other wildlife firmly in the picture.

Sketching these subjects in the field became increasingly important and served as a rich store of ideas and information and ultimately became the starting point for his studio paintings.

Nowadays John works on location, almost exclusively in pastel (either in pastel pencil or soft pastel). He enjoys the facility that this medium has for getting an image down quickly, often in strong colour, and for the inherent mark making that pastel creates.

These works form the basis of John’s upcoming exhibition at Waterston House, whether as finished pieces or as the foundations for larger studio pieces in pastel, oils or acrylic.

His home county serves as the backdrop for much of the artwork in this new exhibition of works at Waterston House. Others pieces feature the familiar landscape of the East Lothian coast, captured whilst tutoring on the late John Busby’s Seabird Drawing Course.

Additionally, some of the work includes images painted whilst in Hungary and more recently, in Zambia.

The exhibition opens on Saturday, 7 April, and runs until Wednesday, 23 May. Open daily 10am-4pm, it is being held at Waterston House, the SOC Headquarters, located just off the A198 at the west end of Aberlady village in East Lothian.