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 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