Cormorants in the summer heat, Watercolour and charcoal on paper, 80 cm x 100 cm
Cormorants in the summer heat, Watercolour and charcoal on paper, 80 cm x 100 cm

Marco Brodde

I Live in the middle of the Wadden Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site shared by Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. I find my motives in this spectacular landscape which is formed by water, wind and sand.

On my home island of Fanø, waders and sea birds are always present in huge numbers. Their behaviour and reaction to the turning tide, storm surges and the ever-changing and dynamic landscape is a constant source of inspiration. Feeling strongly connected to the cultural and natural history of the Wadden Sea, I have a wish to express and show my personal encounters with the areas’ wildlife, which is out there very close to people, but often not discovered by the public. Through artwork, the public interest clearly increases, and the personal experiences and creative process often leads to dialogue and fascination, for both the artist and the audience.

Due to my job as a nature educator on Fanø, I am surrounded by birds and inspiration every day. The sketchbook is always in the bag, and quick sketches are often made while having a break or when I stumble into interesting scenery or a group of birds. For many years the sketchbooks were used as reference material for studio work, whilst sitting nice and comfortable back home at the table. While most finished” work used to be created in the studio, I prefer these days to create directly onto the final media with birds and wildlife still in front of me. This spontaneous and faster way of drawing and painting adds an energetic feeling and an impression of being there” which I feel creates a more interesting story. I find this way of drawing is focused and rewarding. The Society of Wildlife Artists and many of my fellow artists have been important for this new approach. 

Especially in the wintertime, I enjoy printmaking. This simplification forces out the essence of a species or an experience when doing a linocut, and also is good practice in general when working with wildlife as inspiration. Drypoint, linocuts and recently monotypes have come to take up much of my time in the winter months, when strong wind, rain and low temperatures make it impossible to sit out all day sketching. However, winter skies and colours can often be more inspiring forcing one into the great outdoors.

Images from around this site by Marco: