About the book
A personal experience of Britain’s estuaries captured in pencil, paint and poetry. John’s bold mark making is ideally suited to capturing the dynamic, light filled landscapes and wide expenses of mud and marsh. More intimate studies and paintings portray the unique diversity of life and activity, whilst the informative text details the international significance of the estuarine habitat and assesses the threats it faces today and in the near future.
In this celebration of British estuarine landscapes and wildlife, it is John Threlfall’s artwork that comes first: drawings and watercolours (and the occasional small acrylic or oil painting) executed on the spot, and larger acrylics, oils and pastels completed in the studio. Then there are his poems, the quotes from a variety of sources (Rachel Carson, a Hopi Indian saying), and the text, that ’emerged last of all’, this providing much helpful background information on tides, saltmarsh, birds and mammals, chains and webs, flocks and roosting, threats, and so on. The paintings certainly bring alive the world between the tides, water, sand and mud and big skies, boats and buildings, all affected by subtle changes in colour and light with time of day and weather; then, an integral part of the whole, the birds (mainly wildfowl and waders), shown flying, resting, feeding, and there are seals hauled out, too.
Mike Wilson Ibis vol 151 iss1 Jan 2009
‘his book conveys the essence of the foreshore
Harriet Trevelyan Scottish Bird News Sept 2008
John’s wonderful paintings epitomise the beauty of simplicity. All the drawings and sketches in the book were completed in the field but the larger acrylic and oil paintings are studio creations…His use of colour is often unconventional but never less than masterful and his compositional skills are first rate too. I find I am inspired every time I look through this book and just hope that one day I too can apply paint in such direct and effective ways.
David Cromack Birds Ilustrated Spring 2008