Now an internationally famous wildlife artist, Robert Gillmor was already a keen bird-watcher at the age of 11 when the Reading Ornithological Club (launched in 1947) invited him to join them as a visitor; at 13 he was elected as their first junior member. He was also learning the art of lino-cutting at Leighton Park School, and the Club's 1949 annual report bore his linocut of a Canada Goose on its first printed cover. Over sixty years on he is still producing his wonderful representations of birds for the covers, particularly the more interesting sightings of each year. Cover Birds is the story of his formative bird-watching and print-making years. Illustrated with the images from the covers themselves, it is a beguiling account of the development of both artist and bird-lover.
Robert Gillmor is a founder member and former president of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA). He is a keen ornithologist, and has served on the councils of all three of the national organisations: the RSPB, British Ornithologists' Union and the British Trust for Ornithology. His artistic output has been enormous and in a variety of forms, including line drawing, watercolour, linocuts and silk screen. His work has appeared in over 100 books.
"[...] The whole effectively amounts to a history of Robert’s development as an illustrator, particularly as the text has various details of the illustrations themselves and the production processes involved. The text also often includes the birding story which led to that particular species being the subject for the relevant year’s report or other publication."
- Peter Lack, BTO book reviews
"[...] This treasure trove will interest all fans of Robert’s work, artists of all disciplines, and anyone with a connection to birds and bird reports."
- Alan Harris, britishbirds.co.uk, 24-02-2014