Sunday, 14 October 2012

Colour from the season - Jay blue

This handsome Jay measured a foot long from head to tail! A member of the Crow family yet so much more colourful. Still warm when I found it, its eyes were open and had an unexpected intensely pale blue iris.

Had we been driving along that stretch of road a few minutes earlier or later, it would almost certainly not have been there. In the short time it took to pull over, a Crow tried to carry him off lifting him out of the ditch into the path of oncoming traffic. So, a rare opportunity to study and make a note of the truly extraordinary colours that I found in the plumage of the Jay...

These exquisitely drawn prints by the French artist Edouard Traviés are in Treriefe House, Cornwall. I saw them when I exhibited my work there in August during Cornwall Design Fair and found them inspirational.

Another Traviés image - of a Jay (c. 1854).

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook