About the artist
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The jjcountrylifeart website will endeavour to maintain a good selection of John Cyril Harrison (also known as J.C.Harrison) pictures as we constantly look to purchase his work. ( The following biography was originally written by jjcountrylifeart but has been largely copied by several other online galleries)
As a young boy John Cyril Harrison showed an outstanding gift for drawing and his later sketch books reveal a rare talent for accurate observation and draughtsmanship. In fact Ron Digby, a highly respected contemporary bird artist, said that he considered John Cyril Harrison to be the finest draughtsman of all the British bird painters, both past and present.
J.C.Harrison studied at the Slade School of Art and improved his knowledge of anatomy through the practice of taxidermy. After that he moved to Norfolk where he became a keen supporter of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Although most of his pictures depict the Norfolk countryside with its birds, he was a frequent visitor to Scotland where he spent time studying, sketching and painting Golden Eagles, Ptarmigan and Capercaille. He also lived for a short while in Africa and enjoyed a limited time painting the wildlife there.
J.C.Harrison was one of the most popular artists at the major sporting galleries and in particular, The Tryon Gallery, where his exhibitions were eagerly awaited. Many of his paintings were so sought after, that collectors had to place their names in a hat, in order to compete for the pictures they wanted.
John Cyril Harrison had a peerless reputation for painting birds in flight, indeed it was Aylmer Tryon himself who remarked that he thought that John Cyril Harrison’s birds in flight, surpassed even those of Archibald Thorburn. His drawings were remarkably accurate and he was blessed with a wonderfully fluent style which gave him the ability to combine realism with a hint of impressionism. That rare combination gave life and movement to his subjects, something which many collectors say, no other bird artist has quite been able to match. For this reason many bird art enthusiasts rate his finest work as second to none.
However I believe that Harrison did have one weakness. He was prolific and not all of his paintings were first rate examples. I would place his pictures into four categories. Poor, average, good and premier. Although art is subjective, I believe there are many collectors who do not discriminate between these four categories. This sometimes causes his prices to drop and reduces his average. As an example of his premier pictures we need look no further than the Andrewartha sale at Bonhams 2012. This sale produced several world records for his works with the top price being some £33,650. His pictures also enjoy great success when shown in galleries. J.C.Harrison has illustrated several books and continues to have a very strong following.