Sunday, 14 August 2011
Britain is no longer a country for an old painter of 'butterflies on the wing' called David Measures
David Measures has died at the age of 73.
Things you possible didn't know about David, that he :
* was born in Warwick where his family lived in the tiny 'Old Toll Cottage', tucked below the Castle on the banks of the River Avon and as a boy, spent every spare moment exploring the countryside, rowing and swimming in the river.
* said that nature called to him all his life : "There is a magnet in me drawn to the subtle sense-aura of wild freedom, the porous exchange apparent in wild places and the richness of variety and subtlety, which I miss inside a building."
* studied at the 'Slade School of Art' in London and excited by the panache of post Second World War American artists, his work became increasingly abstract.
* in the late 1960s, his particular interest in butterflies emerged as he was drawn by a fascination with the effects of colour on the retina.
* began making studies of the iridescence on butterfly wings and started to develop the skills needed to paint them 'on the wing', learning to do without brushes and water, producing delicate, energetic paintings with his fingertips and spit, with fine details picked out with his nails.
* so became the first artist to paint live butterflies in flight, in their natural habitats when before this was done entirely from dead specimens.
* learnt to be absolutely still and one day when standing in a clump of heather, wrapped up in an overcoat and scarf, when two walkers passed by and one said : "What's that scarecrow doing there?"
* also began to paint landscapes and developed an original technique using small rollers and stencils to create to produce little, jewel-like paintings.
* apparently had a sheer joy at being alive and uplifted those who knew him with his exuberance.