Now that Christmas and Hogmanay is over, I’m planning new projects for 2023.

First up though, the Spey Bank Studio is hosting an artist I have admired for some time.

Esther Tyson will be based at the studio in Grantown for the whole of January and you can come along to see her wonderful work.

A graduate of the University of Wales and the Royal College of Art, her work centres on observing creatures in their natural habitat.

Birds figure prominently – from snow bunting to bullfinches to goldfinches. There is a beautiful simplicity to the brushstrokes that capture the birds in these paintings.

While at the Royal College of Art, Esther won a travel scholarship to study large carnivores in Slovakia. This trip ignited a passion for travel, drawing, painting and observing creatures in their natural environment.

After graduating in 2003, she lived in South Wales and secured a three-month placement on Aride Island in the Seychelles. Working alongside biologists in the field, she observed the behaviour of many bird species, including the Seychelles Magpie Robin, a thrush-sized bird threatened with extinction. This was an important time of learning and understanding.

Esther has been involved in projects in the UK and overseas, working alongside organisations such as Birdlife International and the British Trust for Ornithology.

Esther currently lives and works in the South Peak District where she combines a studio and observational outdoor practice.

Esther will be based at the studio during the whole of January and showing some of her wonderful work. She will also be giving a talk about her career and work on Thursday January 26 from 10.30am-12. All are welcome to attend.

We’re now operating our winter hours and will be open on Thursdays 10am-2pm, and on Friday 10am-5pm. If you would like to visit outwith these times, email and we can arrange an appointment.

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