Saturday Art Challenge


Nature Inspired Creations! Collaborative Art!

The Story of Gary the Goldian Finch


Welcome to another Saturday Art Challenge!

This week’s art started out as a little adventure. My son was out cycling with his friends when he phoned me to say he had found an injured bird. I thought it might just be a fledgling and told him to leave it be, but then he said he thought that he had found a baby parrot, at which point I thought he had better text me a picture!! This is what I received!

Sadly this little bird had escaped from an aviary and was badly injured and didn’t survive much longer. It is a little Goldian Finch – usually native to Australia. My children were very upset that it died, but also absolutely captivated by the beautiful colours and the size of the bird. My daughter decided to make an art collage to celebrate the bird and to hope that it’s spirit is somewhere lovely.

This tied in with me starting an AMAZING and completely free Art Course available online on the Este MacLeod webpage. I love Este MacLeod and made a collage using a print I had of her work a few weeks ago – you can see that here.

Este MacLeod’s course is aimed at making beautiful nature inspired drawings and colour work! I can’t share the process here as they are quite rightly copyrighted to Este, however you can have a go here!

I created the leaves and plants following Este’s techniques and used the colours of the finch for inspiration. My little girl made a painting of the goldian finch. We cut out our creations and collaged them together in celebration of ‘Gary’ the Goldian Finch’s life (name chosen by the children!). Making the collage helped the children process the experience and also reflect on the beauty of nature and the difficult relationships we have in the life cycle.

I would really recommend Este’s course as her tutorials are little 10 minute films, very accessible and easy to follow. If like me you are juggling a family in lock down this is also something fun that all in the household can get involved with.

So I am sorry it was a sad tale that inspired this artwork, but at least something beautiful was born from it and I am now aware of another gorgeous bird that I never even knew existed.

Task: Your challenge is to think of something in the natural world that inspires you and either use your own techniques or Este’s to create a beautiful collage celebrating the colours of your chosen subject.

Hope you enjoy!

Best wishes,


Published by Emma

Hi my name is Emma! I am a writer and artist. I work for the NHS at Converge ( and I am also an MA graduate in Creative writing and am currently studying for a PhD in Humanities. I have been leading a creative writing class at the beautiful St Nicks in York ( for the last five years. When I am not at work I'm on my allotment or at Base Camp (my home) planning new adventures.

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