The conception started with the idea of a particular species of bird, for my original intention was to have a Swift as the sole subject of the painting. Time and tide in the studio led to the Swifts playing more of a supporting role, in a work which eventually became an allegory for something much greater. By a quirk of fate it was completed in a timely manner to match the work’s eventual title.

The Last of Summer (2017) painting of Whitby by John Elcock
The Last of Summer (Whitby Harbour) (2017)

The work shows Whitby harbour looking East, a location which is an affectionate nod to the painting’s owners. A huge sky dominates the town in order to give a fitting arena for these most extraordinary birds who are meeting under the gathering clouds. Soon they will undertake a long journey taking the last of summer with them.

Acrylic on canvas, 90x60cm