Grey Phase Gyrfalcon.
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting

Pollyanna Pickering

English ( b.1942 - d.2018 )

Grey Phase Gyrfalcon.

  • Watercolour
  • Signed lower left

Image size 29.7 inches x 9.1 inches ( 75.5cm x 23cm )
Frame size 42.5 inches x 21.3 inches ( 108cm x 54cm )


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Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art; this substantial and original watercolour painting by Pollyanna Pickering.
The work is presented and supplied in its original frame (which is shown in these photographs), and non-reflective Tru Vue UltraVue® UV70 glass.
This piece is in superb condition. It wants for nothing and is supplied ready to hang and display.
The painting is signed lower left.

Shipping rates vary by destination and complexity on this artwork.
We can deliver this painting to most regions of England and Wales by hand free of charge at a convenient time and date for you – please enquire to establish what is possible.
Delivery to all other locations within UK, Europe, USA, Canada and worldwide would need to be quoted for separately due to the size of the piece - please contact us to enquire.

Pollyanna Pickering was acclaimed as one of Europe’s foremost wildlife artists. During her lifetime she was the most published artist in the UK, a strident conservationist, a fundraiser and accomplished businesswoman. She received some fifty international awards and accolades. To her friends she was also a kind, dedicated and extraordinary woman.
Pollyanna was born on 30 July 1942 in Leeds, Yorkshire and began her art training at Rotherham Art School, where, in her first year she won the award for the most promising student, and met her future husband, Ken Pickering, an industrial designer. She went on the study at the London Central School of Art, graduating with distinction.
Her artistic career spanned over 50 years and her original artwork was exhibited in prestigious galleries throughout the UK, including the Royal Academy, and internationally. Today her work is held in private and corporate collections world-wide and celebrity collectors of her work include John Hurt, Virginia McKenna, Joanna Lumley and David Bowie. Her work has been commissioned by Shiek Mohammed and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
When her husband died in 1979 at the age of just 41 Pollyanna threw herself into her work, partly as a distraction for her grief and partly out of economic necessity. Her capacity for work and her enthusiasm for the causes in which she believed became legendary. Between 1970 and 2018 Pollyanna was signed to three major publishers and her work has been published as prints, cards, calendars and giftware, many commissioned by charities including the WWF, Guide Dogs for the Blind and the RSPB. She also designed exclusive giftware for Harrods and painted postage stamps for the Royal Mail and several African countries. Her work, in some form, has been exported to over eighty countries and will therefore be familiar to most people.
Pollyanna was determined to paint only animals which she had observed in their natural habitats. This led her to undertake a remarkable set of expeditions into some of the most inhospitable regions of the world. In 2007 she was granted a fellowship from Canada based society Artists for Conservation Foundation in recognition of a landmark journey into Bhutan, a remote area of the Sino Tibetan Borderlands where women had not travelled before. She was passionate about interpreting her subjects accurately and also became a champion of environmental conservation, both at home and internationally. Pollyanna ran a registered hospital for birds of prey from her home for fifteen years and also recuperated various small mammals, many of which featured in her works.
She was active with many wildlife charities acting as patron to more than 30 organisations, including The Badger Trust and The Born Free Foundation.

In 2000 she established The Pollyanna Pickering Foundation to raise funds and campaign for conservation and animal welfare worldwide. The work of this foundation has continued since her death as her daughter Ann-Louise, who worked closely with her mother for many years, continues as President of this organisation.

Pollyanna received some fifty international awards for her paintings, including first prize in the Wildlife Artist of the Year Awards and was the first winner of the National Wildscape Masterclass Challenge. She was also recognised for her accomplishments in business and conservation. The International Fund for Animal Welfare named her Animal Conservation Fund-raiser of the Year, honouring her with an award at a special presentation in the house of Lords. She also won numerous awards celebrating the achievements of women in business, both nationally and internationally.
Pollyanna became a familiar face on TV. She was the subject of a Channel Four documentary called “Portrait of an Artist”, and a BBC1 documentary “Made in England”. She also appeared on many popular UK shows, including Springwatch, TVAM, Blue Peter, Saturday Superstore and House Doctor. She was a frequent and popular guest on the US Create and Craft Channel and was interviewed live on Canadian and Australian TV to.
Pollyanna Pickering died in Sheffield, England, on 29 March 2018 at the age of 75. In 2019 the Create and Craft TV channel bestowed a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her contribution to the channel and the crafting industry. She was also honoured with a posthumous award in New York in recognition of her Outstanding Contribution to Arts and Culture. Awards bearing her name will be bestowed annually by the Wildlife Art Society International and The Association of Animal Artists. It is clear that her influence and name will continue long into the future.

© Big Sky Fine Art

This original watercolour depicts an adult grey phase gyrfalcon. The ghostly gyrfalcon is the largest falcon in the world. Grey morph birds are banded grey and white, sometimes mainly grey without obvious white bandings. Gyrfalcons breed on the artic tundra, flying south for winter and favour open habitat. This magnificent specimen is shown perched on the highest point of a rocky outcrop, his huge talons clasped tightly against the rugged stone. He is looking to his left, his profile showing a bright eye and a sharp curved beak. Although chiefly grey and white, there is warmer coloured plumage on his breast which draws the eye in. The proportions of the painting give a sense of perspective, of the bird’s towering vantage point, and how this height is fundamental to his existence. It is a sensitively executed work which perfectly captures the raw essence of its subject.

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