Jonathan Sainsbury loves to paint wrens. His picture of a European Wren, ‘Inspector of the Woodland Vaults’ was shown in 2015 in the 55th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Animal Artists, held at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, New York.
Jonathan says, ‘Wrens fill the woods near my home with their song. It amazes me how such a tiny bird can have such a big voice. That makes them attractive to me.’
He explains his inspiration for this picture. ‘There is a Ted Hughes poem, likening the wren to a little mouse, scuttling through undergrowth. When I read the poem, there was a phrase that caught my eye, where he likens the wren to an ‘inspector of the woodland vaults’. This gave me an image of a wren in ‘vaults’ of brambles.
‘I had just been painting and sketching brambles. The weather conditions had made the leaves and stalks particularly colourful that summer, showing deep purples and crimsons. I began to sketch different ideas in pencil, for a combination of wren and brambles, leading to this composition, which I then painted in watercolour.’