Hello, my name is Richard Johnson (aka “Stitch” to a fair few folk out there). On my website you’ll find a selection of illustrations for forthcoming books, as well as some recently produced watercolours, all of which are based on observations from life, sketched or recorded during countless hours in the field. Most of my work at the moment is produced in watercolour or gouache, although I do use other media, such as charcoal, crayon and pen, and I intend to start painting with oils. As I experiment and develop these different styles, I’ll gradually introduce the results to relevant sections as the site evolves. In the future, these pages will be designed as a forum, or gallery, for selling original artwork and prints, but for the moment please get in touch if you’re interested in any of the artwork on display. So have a look round, and I hope you enjoy some of my work.

– Richard Johnson

About the Stitchbird

The Stitchbird Notiomystis cincta or Hihi is a vulnerable species, thought to be closely related to the nectar feeding honeyeaters (Meliphagidae). It was once widespread throughout the North Island and offshore islands of New Zealand until the 1840’s, but the introduction of mammalian predators such as rats and cats, loss of habitat and bird diseases from newly introduced European species have seen the mainland population become extinct. It now has a very small population and range, with the only natural group existing on the Little Barrier Islands. Birds have been introduced to other predator free islands since the 1980’s, but these translocated populations are still very fragile, with some being more successful than others. Much work, therefore, is still needed, with the main aims of the Department of Conservation’s Stitchbird Recovery Plan being to ensure the protection of the Little Barrier Island population, as well as maintaining existing and introducing and establishing new populations.

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Penguins from the book,
Birds of Argentina.

For more information on the Stitchbird and their conservation you can checkout these websites:

NZ Department of Conservation Birdlife International