Peacock at Larmer Tree Card
Size: 297mm x 210mm
Original Painting Medium: Mixed Media
Scientific Name: Pavo cristatus
In 1989, I made my home/studio at the Larmer Tree Gardens, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire. Larmer Tree Gardens form part of the Rushmore Park/Estate which includes some of the most spectacular areas of the Cranborne Chase. The lodge in which I lived for the following ten years provided me with a wealth of wildlife, literally on my doorstep. With two huge windows looking out across the countryside, I was able to watch deer, hares, birds and bats, to name but a few - it was paradise and I loved every minute of it.
There were also visits from the many peacocks residing in the Larmer Tree Gardens. During their daily walkabout the peacocks and peahens would parade through my garden and perch on the fence in order to preen themselves and watch the world go by. During the late summer months, the 'regal entourage' would include newly hatched peachicks, looking like miniature chinese mandarins. Adorned with a tiny crown they would follow Mum, copying her every move.
To picnic in the garden one had to plan carefully, leaving food unattended for even a second was a mistake. I recall sitting on the lawn with a bowl of pasta on my lap, just about to tuck in and totally unaware that approaching from behind, someone else had the same idea. With lightening speed and admirable precision, a metallic blue head flashed past my arm and removed a piece of cheese covered pasta from my plate - nothing was sacred.
Male peacocks are extremely handsome birds especially when in full feather. The feathers of the resplendent elongated green train are dotted with bronze, blue and green eye spots. During the courtship performance; in the company of peahens, the peacock spreads his magnificent train and whirrs his feathers, he also turns so that he always faces the hens with the upper ornamental side. The females often seem quite unimpressed and given the chance will walk away. The males, undeterred, will then display to anything that moves, including my beloved Newfoundland dog, Orca. They are not fussy!
Recently whilst watching a documentary about Indian wildlife I heard the haunting alarm call of the wild peacocks in the background, the sound brought back many happy memories.
In my gouache and watercolour painting of a 'Peacock at Larmer Tree Gardens', I did not wish the background to distract from the peacock. Adopting a 'wet on wet' approach I incorporated peacock colours to frame the subject. My original Peacock Art plus Peacock Fine Art Prints and Peacock Greetings Cards are all available from my Gallery Shop.
At the beginning of this year I was delighted to discover that Larmer Tree, my home for many years, was once again available. In need of more studio space, I am delighted to be back at Larmer Tree Studio, Larmer Tree Gardens, Tollard Royal. Within the first hour of unpacking, the peacocks and macaws had already called around to see if any food was available. It was great to be back!