red-backed fairy-wrens

Harmony in Green

Red-backed Fairy-wrens (Malurus melanocephalus)

Size 91.4 cm x 91.4 cm (36 in x 36 in)

Acrylic on canvas


This painting was inspired by birdwatching in far north Queensland, where verdant hills and rainforest canopy enfold a patchwork of pasture, cane fields and banana plantations.

A family group of Red-backed Fairy-wrens had taken up residence at our property at Camp Creek. Their favoured patch was sheltered from heavy monsoon rain by a windbreak of native rainforest species, such as Flindersia bourjotiana, and long grass under a tangled sprawl of vines, shady citrus and lemonade trees.

I have always loved drawing trees. Each species has a discernible habit yet each individual writes its own story of survival in bark and leaf. The interesting pattern on the trunk and spiralling branch structure of this tree attracted my attention.

This painting was exhibited at Sydney Royal, April 2009, where it was acquired by a private collector.

Create a website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: