In her blog 'More British Birds...' Kittie Jones writes 'I can’t resist a moonlit bird and here, to complete the latest set of British Birds, is a thrush, perched on a branch in a moonlit field. Inspired by a similar scene witnessed from the kitchen window where a thrush sat for ages on a fence post at dusk looking into the distance. I couldn’t tell you if it was a song thrush or a mistle thrush, but for the sake of poetic license I would like to think it was a mistle thrush because of their characteristic behaviour of singing from a high perch in early spring or even late winter often in strong winds, hence its country name ‘Storm Cock’. Little detail is included here yet it is instantly clear that these are thrushes. The beak and tail of one bird seem to touch the edges of the paper whilst another bird is framed by arching branches. The colours are dense and include warm green, orange, blue and brown. Their richness and intensity create the atmosphere of approaching darkness. Some areas of brightness shine out of the gloaming; in particular the light of the moon and the bright eyes and speckled breasts of the birds. An irregular outline is formed where the ink has been printed on paper with torn edges. This print is number 16 from an edition of 20.
Since graduating Kittie's interest in drawing directly from life and how these drawings can be developed into finished pieces has been brought into focus. Her main subject matter is nature and man's relationship with it.
"I am interested in conveying a sense of my own fascination, wonder and joy at the natural world. I am lucky enough to be passionate about my subject matter, and learning more all the time. I usually start on location, often with a hot flask and my waterproof trousers, making sketches and drawings from life. The captured moment with an animal or bird when I am out and about is my starting point for many of the pieces. The immediacy of drawing animals and birds from life means you have to work quickly and be prepared to make a lot of sketches to get the information you need. The first few drawings of any particular bird are always clumsy and then you start getting a feel for its particular shape and movement. Back in the studio I develop my sketches into paintings, drawings and prints which combine real life experience with my own imaginative perception of a scene.
The work I have donated to Art in Healthcare is part of a series of prints I've been building up since 2010. Square in format, they depict common British Birds and aim to celebrate the rich variety of species we have in Britain around us all the time. I like to make work that contains a narrative; this is helped by bringing out a sense of character and purpose in the creatures that I draw. Back in the studio I work up my drawings into designs for prints. The technique of screen printing allows me to use saturated colours and to layer colours with different levels of transparency.
My interest in birds has been developing over time – I find them both visually arresting and fascinating in terms of how they live alongside man. Their ability to remain free from man's grasp and understanding fascinates and delights me. As I learn more about the birds that live or visit Britain I become increasingly engaged with them as subject matter."
Kittie Jones is a painter and printmaker – she produces small edition screen prints, unique multi-layered monotypes, charcoal and ink wash drawings and mixed media paintings on paper. Kittie graduated from Edinburgh College of Art and Edinburgh University in 2008. She currently works from her studio at Coburg House Studios in Leith and regularly exhibits around the UK. Kittie is a professional member of Visual Arts Scotland and in 2011 her screen print 'Night Herons' was jointly awarded the Maude Gemmell Hutcheson Prize by the Royal Scottish Academy.
Kittie Jones blog post on her working methods