Wild Island: A Year in the Hebrides by Jane Smith.
Winner of Birdscapes Gallery ‘Conservation through Art’ Award.
This is a book for anyone interested in wildlife, for art lovers, for tourists wanting a memento of their holiday, for everyone who loves the west coast of Scotland. It depicts a year in the life of Oronsay, a remote island that is farmed by the RSPB for the benefit of wildlife, and follows artist Jane Smith, as she attempts to portray the interactions of wildlife, farm animals and human inhabitants. A humorous, first-hand, personal view of island life, both human and otherwise, is illustrated with Jane Smith’s vibrant and acutely observed sketches, paintings and prints.
The trials of a wildlife artist – what does it feel like to sit in a bog all day? What is screen printing? Where are a bird’s knees? Why does Jane always get covered in acrylic paint?
Natural history – from otters to oil beetles, this book is full of wild encounters.
Conservation management – sounds boring? Think of it more as ‘how to grow a peregrine’. Once you start to understand the intricate connections and links involved, it becomes like a fascinating 3D puzzle.
Getting to the island – the interplay of tides, wind, ferries and a strand-crossing mean that travelling to Oronsay is never dull.
West coast living – the ridiculous things that happen when living on a remote island, cut off from the rest of the world.