Susan Ogilvy started painting bird nests almost by accident. One day, while tidying up her garden after a storm, she found a chaffinch nest - a strange, sodden lump on the grass under a fir tree. She carried it inside and placed it on a newspaper; over the next few hours, as the water drained out of it, the sodden lump blossomed into a mossy jewel. She was amazed and dropped everything to make a painting of the nest at exact life size. 
 
This was the start of an obsession; Ogilvy has since painted more than fifty bird nests from life, each time marvelling at its ingenious construction. Every species of bird has its own vernacular, but sources its materials - most commonly twigs, roots, grasses, reeds, leaves, moss, lichen, hair, feathers and cobwebs, less usually, mattress stuffing and string - according to local availability. Ogilvy would, of course, never disturb nesting birds; instead she relies upon serendipity, which is why all her nests have either been abandoned after fulfilling their purpose, or displaced by strong winds.  

Exquisitely designed and packaged, Nests will be an essential addition to the libraries of all nature lovers. 

Chaired by Sheilagh Matheson

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