It’s such a pleasure and honour to be asked to do a commission for someone – an old friend asked if I could paint a hoopoe for her to give to her husband for Christmas. An easy choice to say yes on two counts; she is an old friend and I love hoopoes. I grew up in Kenya and these birds were everywhere and more recently when we lived in Pakistan, I rediscovered them. There striking colouring stands out and their elegant headress of feathers is worthy of an Ascot hat!

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