I’ve started a page for the Stone Bird book using a hoopoe from a painting of birds I did a while ago. I saw a hoopoe once when on holiday in Egypt, it flew down into the hotel gardens one morning. It’s always a shock to see such a striking and colourful bird, I can’t imagine what the rainforest would be like, amazing no doubt. Here are some images of the early stages. I must post a few of the finished pieces too, I’ve done the swans pages and  pages using flamingos without posting the finished pieces. Because I have so much to do on it I just plough on to the next page. This isn’t too bad and is certainly enjoyable but I am worried about the cover; I always leave it until last. I think I want to do a sort of patchwork of several birds, probably arranged in a fairly orderly way. Or not, I’ll see on the day.

Here’s the painting, it’s A1 sized.

Some fabrics and a tracing of my painting. I found this black and orange fabric which I decided to use, which cheered me up, as I had thought I was going to plod through a fairly accurate representation of the bird. This is why painted fabric is so liberating. The head is pinker than in the painting, they are such a strange colour, but I’ll add some apricot/orangey stitching to achieve a subtle mix of texture and colour.

After much cutting and moving about here he is. He’s on fabric, painted calico, which will be a relief to use as I’ve been doing a lot of hand stitching on khadi paper which does plod rather.

A stage further on, with a tree and a sun in real gold. The gold leaf was given to me by a friend ages ago. Since so many little pieces of it stuck to my fingers I applied it to the bird too, rather than eat it, which I believe you can.

More images to come in the next day or so, after he’s been machine and hand stitched. Actually the hand stitching will have to be delayed as I have some work to finish for an exhibition first. Time is running away with me, but at least the weather has become really chilly so the garden isn’t calling at the moment.