Pelicans, printmaking and pink-footed geese!

As we get to the end of what has been a remarkable autumn with so many warm clear days have a read of my latest news!

Bass Rock shags and young monotype

I have five pieces in this year's Natural Eye exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. I was down in London last week for the opening of the show, the annual showcase for the Society of Wildlife Artists. It is a strong exhibition with a real variety of work, all of which is grounded in close observation of the natural world. There is always a strong printmaking contingency and it is inspiring seeing the bold and innovative work on display. It was lovely to see lots of familiar faces, many of whom I have met over the last three years through attending the seabird drawing course. The catalogue for the show can be viewed online  (my monotype 'Bass Rock shags and young' is featured on page 43).

I spent my time in London trying to see as many exhibitions as possible without over-saturating my ability to look at art! I enjoyed walking along the Thames en route to Tate Britain and watching the cormorants drying their wings and the black-headed gulls scrapping over the constant streams of flotsam and jetsam flowing through this vast urban river.

Pelican feeding time, St James' Park, London

I was also delighted and intrigued to discover the St James' Park pelicans as I rushed to the Mall Galleries through the rain. They were being fed fish by an official park person and it was surreal to see these huge birds, being flanked by cormorants, crows, coots and a heron all hoping for scraps, in such a central London location. Apparently there have been pelicans in St James' Park since 1664 when they were a gift for royalty.

I love this Transport for London poster designed by Edward Bawden featuring these famous birds:

St James' Park; pelican by Edward Bawden (image 

courtesy of the London Transport Museum)
Image courtesy of London Transport Museum (

According to George Monbiot in his book Feral, the remains of Bronze age Dalmation pelicans have been found in the UK suggesting they were once a native species here – what a fantastic thought! Read about Britains rich historical fauna by following this link: reintroduction-wildlife-uk

Upon returning from London I was delighted to discover that I had been given the honour of being elected an Associate Member of the SWLA – which means I am now Kittie Jones ASWLA! Bit of a mouthful, but a great privilege also.


Geese drawing

Amongst all of this excitement I have been framing work in preparation for various winter shows including Wild Geese for Gallery Heinzel in Aberdeen, made during a warm autumn afternoon at Aberlady bay on the East Lothian coast watching hundreds of pink- footed geese coming in from the fields to roost.

My teaching commitments are filling up for 2015 and I am very pleased to add two new teaching opportunities to my regular list.

Drawing on the Bass Rock
Drawing shags on the Bass Rock as part of the Seabird drawing course July 2014 (Photo credit: Nick Elton)

Firstly I have graduated from being a student on the seabird drawing course to being a fully fledged (pardon the birdy pun) tutor and will be working alongside John Busby, Greg Poole, Darren Woodhead and John Threlfall to deliver a fantastic week celebrating 25 years of this amazing event next July. The course has given me so much over the last three years and it is nice to think I can contribute more to it in my role as a tutor. For more information have a look at the facebook page or contact me and I will be happy to answer any questions about the week.

Secondly, I am very much looking forward to teaching at the newly established Studio Berry in France at the end of July. I will be running a sketchbooks into print week in the beautiful surroundings of the studio and I am already looking forward to a wonderful week of inspiration and good company! More information can be found on the Studio Berry website. 

Coburg House Open Studios is coming up – it takes place on the weekend of 6th and 7th December this year. I will have lots of framed and unframed work on display, alongside tea towels and cards galore. If you would like an invite to the private view which will take place on the Friday evening please get in touch and please come and visit me - it would be lovely to see you. You will find me in Studio 39, Coburg House Studios, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6ET.