Derbyshire artist fools birds with incredible life-like paintings of moss and ivy

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Derbyshire artist Elizabeth Tooth is used to fooling humans with her portrait paintings which are often mistaken for photographs, but this is the first time she’s fooled a different species!

The artist from Duffield, who has spent years perfecting her oil painting technique, decided to experiment with paintings of the great outdoors. Her first attempt, a painting of some ivy leaves and moss, left the local bird population scratching their heads.

Pictured here is a regular visitor to Elizabeth’s garden, a curious robin, who flew down to examine her latest piece and was frustrated when he couldn’t leave with a piece of moss for his nest!

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“I photograph all my paintings outside to get perfect lighting, but when I put this down and went to get my camera, I came back to see a robin inspecting my handiwork and pecking at the moss.”

Derbyshire artist Elizabeth ToothDerbyshire artist Elizabeth Tooth
Derbyshire artist Elizabeth Tooth

“At first I thought he was just being curious about a new object in his territory, but I couldn’t believe it when he tried to take the moss! He’s been busy building a new nest this week and I think he wanted some of my moss to line it with. Or perhaps he was thinking of commissioning a new artwork to hang in his home!”

Elizabeth is best known for her extraordinary portraits of ordinary people entitled 'Concilium Plebis' and her painting 'The Captive' commissioned by Derby Museum and Art Gallery. Her paintings feature in many public and private collections all over the world including the UK, France, Iceland, Germany, North America and South Africa.