Chatter Natter Flatter


Once I was out jogging and got caught in a heavy downpour. Almost drenched I tucked myself into the porch of a pub doorway. Across the road there was a pigeon in a tree finding limited shelter. In turn it kept lifting each wing, slowly extending it and allowing rain to land there. I've never seen this before. I thought birds needed their under feathers to be completely dry to fly. It wet itself this way for over ten minutes. For a few of those minutes a thrush shared the branch and watched on. Perhaps it hadn't witnessed this before. I thought to myself I'm going to paint some birds on the same branch. Here is the result done with oil paints and a couples of knives.


Looking at a blank canvas is always the most difficult part. I drew the outline of some birds, put on Tina Turner Live in Holland and got going. Using a large knife I smeared on the sky like butter and using a small knife did the birds themselves. I used a brush to do the skinny legs and eyes. I often see birds with feathers in their mouths but thought a flower in the robin's mouth more artistic. I'd forgotten the general shape of a robin so I had to print one off. It's difficult to think that in the Victoria era thousands of robins were killed to adorn ladies hats. The robin in the painting wouldn't try to impress and mate with another brand of bird. They're from the thrush family (like blackbirds and nightingales) and a far are too busy raising chicks or fighting other robins to protect their territories (sometimes to the death). They don't usually live for more than two years and death is delivered by hawks, cats, electric cables, phone wires, infections and poison.


I'm sure you can afford to buy this painting for 6,880. When I last used your toilet I noticed the bath panel was a little loose. Trying to push it back into place it came away from the bath altogether. I spotted a thick envelope under the bath and when I opened it there was 6,880 in it. I put it back but I'm guessing it's still there. Lying next to the money were some strawberry jelly cubes, a bike pump and a tin of Shake-And-Squirt Cornish cream but I thought it wise to leave them.