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  • Scotland's Bird Club

    Coastal Birds


Coastal Birds: Emily Ingrey-Counter, Helen Kennedy and Liz Myhill


This group exhibition brings together work by Emily Ingrey-Counter, Helen Kennedy and Liz Myhill. These three artists have worked along-side each other for some time. They won the same SWLA bursary in 2018 to attend the renowned Sea Bird Drawing Course, an important personal development course for wildlife artists created by John Busby. They have since met regularly to go on working trips drawing birds and wildlife.  The work in this exhibition is the result of such trips to the Isle of May, St Abbs Head and the RSPB Mersehead Reserve, as well as work developed independently closer to home.

Emily Ingrey-Counter is a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art. Her drawings, mostly made outside, are energetic responses to a moment and aim to capture the experience of a place. “When I am working outdoors, I experience a sense of freedom from the constraint of daily life. I feel refreshed and energised and I am totally absorbed in the moment”. Emily lives and works in Edinburgh. She exhibits locally and nationally, in particular as part of the annual SWLA exhibition.

Liz Myhill was brought up in the Hebrides. These islands, and other wild places in Scotland, continue to be a major source of inspiration. Her work is steeped in the observation of the natural world and working directly from life. The act of watching and recording the many facets of a place help her gain a connection and sense of that place which she aims to convey in her work. Although often an end in themselves, works created in the field are also developed into paintings and prints. The pursuit of creative development, and a sense of adventure, have led to a number of expeditions further afield to India, Cuba, Central America, South America and the USA. Liz exhibits throughout the UK and is a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW).

Helen Kennedy was born in Lancashire. She studied at Bath School of Art and Design and now lives and works in Edinburgh. Drawing is central to Helen’s practice. It translates easily into printmaking, in particular etching, which is her favourite medium. Helen explains her sources of inspiration: “I'd always found inspiration in the landscape, walking to see. When life with small children meant work had to be close to home, I found my sketchbooks were filling with drawings of birds, glimpsed from windows and the garden. I became engrossed.  When I won a bursary from the SWLA for the John Busby Seabird Drawing Course horizons opened up. I discovered the joy of days spent drawing in the sea salt tang of the cliffs among the screeching glories of seabirds.”

In addition to the work hung in the exhibition, the artists have contributed additional unframed work to our online art shop.


SOC brings together like-minded individuals with a passion for birds, nature and conservation through a programme of talks, outings, conferences and via the Club’s quarterly journal, Scottish Birds.