I was recently contacted by someone asking for more details about a picture they had found by a bin, liked a lot, and taken home.
It was nicely framed but not showing a signature on the front, luckily it had a small label stuck on the back saying that the artist was John Busby and that other details were under the mount.
It is by John Busby and is from a limited edition of 500 prints made following a TV series shown by Grampian Television in 1991. The ‘Portrait of the Wild’ series took four Scottish Artists to different places in Scotland to draw, paint and reflect on the nature they saw. Four artists for four seasons. John was allocated Summer and was filmed drawing gannets in the far north of Shetland.
Perched near the birds on a precipitous slope in the Hermaness Nature Reserve, they filmed in a howling gale. John reflected later that he was very lucky not to have fallen off the cliff! The production company asked for a large watercolour from each artist to showcase their episode and these were made into the limited edition prints.
Then John’s original watercolour was destroyed in a van fire after the prints had been made. This was particularly distressing as it had been bought by the director of the series! However John was able to recreate the scene and later also did a similar oil painting.
So now there are three versions of this scene. Up to 500 prints of the original, the recreated watercolour and the oil painting; not bad.
The other artists in the series were Derek Roberston and Keith Brockie, both very well known wildlife artists, and Victoria Crowe, who is now better known for her portraits (and is on her way to being a ‘National Treasure’ !)
As for our lucky art collector he managed not one but two limited edition prints that day as ‘Spring’ by Victoria Crowe was also stacked up by the bins.
Been any other lucky finds on bin day? let me know!