Any regular readers of this blog – if there are any – may recognise this scene, which is based on a photograph used in one of my previous blogs (Natural Places: Ang Ka Nature Trail – Doi Inthanon). I have heard artists refer to photographs as being ‘reference materials’ (!) – but I make no bones about the fact that I copy my photographs – or perhaps I interpret them?; you decide! For comparison, here is the original photograph which I used for the background of the painting.
Ang Ka Nature trail, Doi Inthanon (2)
The birds themselves – they are supposed to be Chestnut-capped Laughing thrushes (Garrulax mitratus) – are also based on photographs I took at this scene. So I take the photos and try to assemble them into a sort of montage, in an attempt to recreate the experience for myself. I like the process of painting (in watercolours and gouache) although I tend to make it up as I go along! I am largely self-taught and try to learn from every painting that I do. One day I will be a proper painter (I hope!). Anyway, I enjoy the application of paint and it’s also a good way of using ones photographs in a creative way. I like to paint scenes which mean something to me. This little nature trail on the top of Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon, is always a teat to visit, with different birds appearing on different visits. These laughing thrushes are quite easy to see at this site – the Ang Ka Nature Study – but on this occasion (a visit in December 2013) they were making such a lot of noise, and interacting with each other so intensely that them seemed to be oblivious of the fact that I was standing right in front of them! It was a delightful and memorable experience. I hope I can go back there next winter!
I am an entomologist with a background in quarantine pests and invasive invertebrates. I studied zoology at Imperial College (University of London) and did a PhD on the population dynamics of a cereal aphid (Metopolophium dirhodum) in the UK. I spent 5 years with the British Antarctic Survey studing cold hardiness of Antarctic invertebates and 17 years with the Food and Environment Research Agency. My main interests now are natural history, photography, painting and bird watching.