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Naïve painting of long beaked bird with black head and red body, white cover, A Book of Birds by Humphrey Ocean in yellow font to upper left.

A Book of Birds

by Humphrey Ocean

By (author) Humphrey Ocean


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  • The artist Humphrey Ocean RA has been drawing birds for decades - both at home and on his travels
  • An essential purchase for all bird lovers
Full Description

The artist Humphrey Ocean RA has painted portraits of Sir Paul McCartney and Philip Larkin, among many others. But alongside these prestigious commissions, he has always returned to drawing the simpler things in life: our ‘alluringly unnatural world’, as he puts it. The result is this idiosyncratic and charming collection of birds, all rendered in with humour and a bold brush. With a species to discover on every page, this book is the perfect gift for any keen ornithologist, aspiring twitcher or dedicated listener to Tweet of the Day. As well as birdwatching around his home and studio in South London, Ocean regularly visits his sister, who is a nun in Nairobi and has loved birds all her life. There, he paints Kenyan birds such as the Eurasian bee-eater, the bulbul and the flycatcher that are ‘local, a bit like our garden birds so nothing overly exotic, but of course to me they are’. They join the familiar gulls, thrushes and tits of the gardens, parks and hedgerows of the UK in this beautifully produced collection.

About the Author

Humphrey Ocean's practice encompasses painting, printmaking, sculpture, book-making and drawing. He is the Royal Academy's Professor of Perspective. Images courtesy the artist. Photographs Mike Bruce.

Look Inside
Royal Academy of Arts
1st Nov 2019
World excluding USA & Canada
150 mm x 210 mm
64 Pages
60 color
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