Living on the Urr estuary off the Solway Firth in South West Scotland, John Threlfall is surrounded by a constant source of inspiration for his paintings, influenced by the ever changing light and the ebb and flow of the tide. The Bay and surrounding hills echo with the calls of a wide array of birds
‘In order to draw and paint birds and animals from life the focus of your looking and concentration must be total. Thereby lies the appeal. To be absolutely absorbed in your subject matter and their surroundings, to look as if you have never seen before, and so wonder at it all, is an enthralling and enchanting state to be in. Here is the true value of drawing, irrespective of the outcome.
This is my way of connecting with the natural world around me, of acknowledging and celebrating the existence of other species. Back in the studio I hope to combine these primary studies into a painting, a process of compositional arrangements of shapes, tones and colour, of texture, space, movement and mark making. If this work then can communicate to others something of the awe, the spectacle, the fascination and the beauty of the natural world then, as an artist, I have succeeded to some extent.’
The Swarovski/Birdwatch ‘Bird Artist of the Year 2007’.
Elected full member of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) in 2007.
Award winner at the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2011.
Commended in the Bird Artist of the Year 2006 and the RSPB Art Award 2006.
Winner of the inaugural Birdscapes Gallery Award 2007.
Participated in the Artists for Nature Foundation residency to Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India, March 2010.
Participated in the Artists for Nature Foundation project to Sark, Channel Islands in May 2011.
Guest tutor on John Busby’s Seabird Drawing Course, East Lothian, June 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Tour leader and tutor on ArtSafari India Feb 2013, Islay June 2015, Zambia Sept 2016
Field Studies Council Drawing Birds Workshop, May 2013, July 2014, July 2015, July 2016.
Recent exhibitions include: Society of Wildlife Artists Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London; Birdscapes Gallery, Norfolk; Scottish Ornithologists Club, Aberlady. Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge; Designs Gallery, Castle Douglas; McGill Duncan Gallery, Castle Douglas; Kunstgalerie Oog Voor Natuur, Netherlands; The Jerram Gallery, Dorset; James Harvey Gallery, London.
Commissions include the hide murals at Mersehead RSPB reserve, the visitor centre mural at Lochwinnoch RSPB reserve, commissioned paintings for RSPB Scotland and Birdlife International; mural and illustrations for the National Trust for Scotland; the bird illustrations at the Mull of Galloway visitor centre for Scottish Natural Heritage; illustrations and designs for interpretation boards and leaflets for Dumfries and Galloway Council and card designs for RSPB, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
Publication of book ‘Between the Tides’ (Langford Press) Nov 2007. New publication ‘Drawn to the Edge’ August 2013. ‘An artists look at the habitat and wildlife of the UK coast’. Picture Book of the Month in the December 2013 edition of BBC Wildlife magazine. Listed in the Guardian newspaper’s Nature Books of the Year 2013. Details at www.langford-press.co.uk
Featured articles in the Artist magazine (summer 2013), Bird Art and Photography magazine ( summer 2012) and a number of other books and publications.