This months Natural History Artist is Piers Hayman. I first heard about him through New Zealand Bird Rescue, a charitable trust of which he was a founding member (then the NZ Wildlife Rehabilitation Trust). Originally from England, and trained as a graphic designer, he emigrated to New Zealand in the early 80’s.
He has done numerous beautiful illustrations of New Zealand Birds, and has written and illustrated numerous books on NZ wildlife- two of the most well-known books being ‘Discovering the Birds of New Zealand‘ and ‘The Bird Next Door’. He was a regular contributor to the New Zealand Herald where he wrote and illustrated a weekly column about birds, a clipping from one of his columns from 1985 is below:
He was also the director of the New Zealand Centre of Wildlife Art, a school that was started in historic Orewa house in 1995, and offered a diploma in wildlife illustration. The school sadly no longer exists, though I wish it did!
Combining his love for wildlife and art comes across in the beautiful illustrations he created. Some from his wonderful book ‘Discovering the birds of New Zealand’ can be found below- the book itself is split into chapters based on the regions of NZ, with lots of information about the various birds that are illustrated.
A lot of his works are carefully rendered pen and ink illustrations, and I really liked this technical illustration of the hand-rearing method of endangered takahe chicks:
but there are also a number of beautifully illustrated watercolour paintings.
If you get the chance I recommend checking out ‘Discovering the birds of New Zealand‘- its a lovely work combining ornithological knowledge with wildlife illustration.
Hayman, P. (1984). Discovering the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland: Collins.
Hayman, P. (1985, March 9). A Plethora of Penguins. The New Zealand Herald.
Phare, J. (1995, March 9). Native home for artists. New Zealand Herald.
The beautiful kakariki image used in the header is by Alexander Francis Lydon (1836-1917), created in 1884. It can be found on the Alexander Turnbull Library as a digitised file (Reference Number A-256-027)