Picture Profile 2207: Puffins and Thrift (“Fratercula arctica Antics”)

Artist Code 2207. Puffins and Thrift (“Fratercula arctica Antics”). Water colour on Aquarelle Arches started 14th February and completed 31st July 2022. Aquarelle Arches 140lbs water colour 100% cotton rag paper 14” x 20”. Completed 31st July 2022

Jigsaw Puzzle update for this painting from a puzzle fan: Top picture—”Nearly there, you may notice the pieces I have left to do are mostly white and blue which is probably/definitely will be the hardest!!” 2nd Picture down: “…Struggling with the outer sky pieces at the moment they all seem to fit everywhere!!”

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The idea for this little painting came about when I received an email from JHG Jigsaw Puzzle company asking if I had any puffin paintings because the National Trust had enquired about a puffin jigsaw at a trade fair. Unfortunately, the answer was “No”, as I have never seen a puffin in the flesh. But I then remembered that lots of kind people who had been lucky enough to have seen these beautiful little birds for real had given me permission to use their fabulous photographs as resources, so I thought about doing something – although of course it was too late for the National Trust enquiry. This was in February 2022, and on 31st July I managed to complete my “puffin vision”! After watching television programmes and some videos, I was able to see how puffins react with one another and as a group – and this is what I hope is conveyed in the finished painting.

The name “Fratercula” is Latin for “little brother”, a reference to the black and white plumage of puffins, which resembles monastic robes.

I acknowledge with enormous thanks the resources and inspiration provided by the following people:
Simon Stirrup,
Jan and Andy Smith,
Paul Mason,
Colin Mayes,
David Oates
and Lizzie Harper (whose extremely accurate botanical works gave me inspiration for the flora in the composition).

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