John and Marilyn have been working together since 1974, developing their combined technique, refining their separate but complementary skills. By now, they surely have a unified vision, and their work is a supremely harmonious symbiosis! This is their second show with us.
The River Clwyd, a fifteen-minute drive away from their home in Prestatyn is vital. It supplies the driftwood for the birds' perches. The river delivers the equivalent of frames to a painter. Back at the workshop, John uses a knife for carving, keeping power tools to a minimum. John roughs-out the shape, carves the feathers, inserts eyes and beaks from harder wood, then Marilyn burns the feather barbs before painting … It can take a long time!
Texturing is done with a pyrography tool which can also produce very accurate dark brown markings. Marilyn uses a limited palette, mainly earth colours, in acrylic washes to retain the sense of the wood underneath and to allow the texturing of the feathers to show through. Occasionally, as with a kingfisher, there is scope for some brighter colours and iridescence.