Every picture tells a story

Here we look at some of my favourite pictures in detail


1952"I keep pigeons: they're not pigeons"

 I found this black and white photo in a scrapbook alongside a newspaper cutting of an exhibition. The reviewer liked the picture 'for its colour, sense of space and movement. (This inspite of a fancier who insisted on telling me, "I keep pigeons: they're not pigeons").'

Oil painting of birds on a bird feeder by John Busby

This was a favourite subject matter for Dad, but usually executed in characteristically free-flowing pencil drawings and watercolour. This is a rare oil painting on the subject.

A peanut feeder has hung on the wire balustrade outside the dining room window since the house was built, feeding many

watercolour of Gannets on the Bass Rock by John BusbyOne of the exciting aspects of gradually opening drawers and exposing hidden corners in Dad's studio is finding stunning works like this.  No, it's not the famous Gannets on the Bass Rock, an oil that has been exhibited many times and appears in Land Marks and Sea Wings (p59) but a watercolour. The oil was one of John Busby's favourite paintings (and definitely not for sale!) This watercolour was obviously painted with the original in sight, but 10 years after the date on the oil.  It is also very slightly smaller and has a couple more birds in the background, but otherwise identical in composition and colouring.

I don't know why he decided to paint an alternative - particularly so long after the original had been finished.  It is possible that it was a compositional 'cartoon' for the oil that was finished at the later date. Perhaps some of John's artist friends may remember him talking about it. Do let us know.

The best news is that this one IS for sale. Make us an offer!

This early oil painting by John Busby was recently returned to the family by the Don Valley Academy in Doncaster where it had been hanging for very many years.  The date of the picture, 1956,

Twelve Winded SkyI recently came across archive material relating to this big picture and others that John Busby painted in those early years. In my grandfather’s scrapbooks dating back to the 1950’s were newspaper cuttings and exhibition programmes, receipts and letters relating to his son’s early career– a fascinating glimpse into the different world that is time past.