David Measures

David Measures is the Audubon of butterflies. For over thirty years he has been painting them on the wing (rather than from dead specimens pinned on a tray) - an extremely difficult thing to do. He observes the behaviour and different characteristics of all the British species in the same way that Audubon studied the birds of America, travelling the country to search for them and paint them as they would appear in their natural habitat. Measures celebrates natural life threatened with extinction.  He became, without in any way intending to be, one of the leading artists of our time. (He eschews art: it's always the by-product of a pursuit.) His work inspired Darren Woodhead (see below).

When he isn’t painting butterflies, hares and other animals, David Measures paints landscape. What can one do with all these eyefuls of delight that nature slops out everywhere, like a water carrier with a pail too full?  His solution is to capture them on sheets of paper, bright colours brushed, rolled and shoved about, smudged, stained and run, shades and lines and streaks of light, till he carves out a space that is luminous and full, mirroring out there the radiance embraced within his retina. The painting stops when the mind’s eye opens, like a butterfly’s wings, and the leaf of light-filled space looks startlingly complete.  A moment has been caught that goes on living.

For more information please visit: www.thelandgallery.com

Short Sharp Showers  October 1994
watercolour and gouache on paper

Peacock, Red Admiral and Painted Lady  29 August 1996
watercolour and ink on paper