Dance of the Starlings

As the weather was so nice, we decided to go for a walk along the beach promenade in Blackpool to watch the sunset and the winter ritual of starlings roosting, which is called a murmuration. This magical event is captured on today’s journal page.


As Spectrum Aqua markers are a water-based ink, I applied some of the ink onto an acrylic block and diluted it with water to paint the sunset background of oranges, gold and grey, gradually building up the layers to intensify the colour.  I drew the birds onto white tissue paper using a black Uni Pin fine line marker in a murmuration pattern and stuck it to the page using a UHU Stic. The pier silhouette and lamp posts are cut from Kanban background paper; I edged them with a black Sharpie permanent marker and used a UHU Stic to stick them to the page. The struts at the bottom of the pier are drawn using a thicker tipped Uni Pin marker.  To finish I added some nylon thread using a Zig Memory Glue Pen and I used Glossy Accents to stick on the little black beads to depict the strings of lights between the lamp posts on the pier.

As this page is telling the story of the dance of the starlings, I’m so very pleased to be able to join Erica who is hosting Art Journal Journey’s January theme “Tell me a Story”.


The murmuration of starlings at North Pier was amazing to watch; they were dancing and swooping in unison. Clouds of starlings kept joining the throng and I found myself hypnotised by their splendour.


Starlings perform their acrobatic dance just before they roost for the night. It is thought that they roost together for a number of reasons, there is safety in numbers and grouping together helps them to keep warm during the night. Here’s an interesting video if you want to know more (although the video was shot in Rome, not Blackpool!).


This is the fabulous sunset that we saw; I love the starburst effect my hubby captured on the photo.

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Spectrum Aqua Artist’s Markers (Peach, Spice, Orange, Gold, Yellow, Charcoal)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm and 0.5mm)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Marker (Black)
  • Kanban Mackenzie Background Card (Data Black CRD1756)
  • White tissue paper
  • Nylon thread (Black)
  • Small black beads
  • Ranger Glossy Accents
  • UHU Stic
  • Zig Memory System 2 Way Glue (The Dual-Action Glue Pen)

32 thoughts on “Dance of the Starlings

  1. Fantastic photos and journal page, and it is always fascinating to see the starlings ‘dancing’, I love watching them in the evenings, too. The sunburst photo your hubby took is magnificent. You really showed this all so well in your gorgeous page. Have a great weekend, and thanks for linking to AJJ, much appreciated! Hugs, Valerie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WOW! This is an amazing page and I think I would have to frame it and put it up on the wall. You really caught your photos (wow-what a sunset). I love how you used the printed paper to make the buildings and how the birds really have motion. I love to walk the beach and this looks like it was a beautiful winter walk. Have a wonderful rest of you weekend. Hugs-Erika

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much Erica! I used the photo as a template for this page and I was pleasantly surprised the sky colour came out so realistically as I’m still a novice when it come to painting :-). It was a lovely winter walk and such a fantastical sight to see! Enjoy the rest of your weekend too! J 🙂


  3. A wonderful page – I am in love with it! SO special and beautiful!
    And I love to see the brilliant photos you show from that excellent spectacle!
    Super links as well! Thank you dear Jo for sharing all this eye candies with us and linking to Art Journal Journey!
    I wish you a happy weekend!
    oxo Susi

    Liked by 1 person

  4. OH G’s sunset photo is absolutely splendid Jo!
    AND the starlings certainly were putting on a magical show.
    Truly amazing how coordinated they are…if only humans could get along so beautifully and flawlessly.
    Your birds drawn on tissue are WOW! I thought perhaps you had some store bought tissue with birds on it. Really brilliant page you created with the drama of the black and white and the gorgeousness of the peachy sunset ♥♥♥
    Nature at its finest AND art journaling too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow this looks a stunning page, love how you created the pier using the photo as inspiration..
    We don’t get to see the starlings dance, but I’m sure it must be an wonderful sight.
    Your photos are fantastic.
    Yvonne xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, your journal page is gorgeous, and very creative, different than any pages I’ve seen. I love it ! I’ve also scrolled down and enjoyed looking at some of your other beautiuful pages and photographs. Thank you for stopping in at my blog and leaving your kind words 🙂 Have a great Sunday, Shirleyx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Holy cow. You interpreted the pier perfectly, as well as the dance of the starlings. I’d never heard of that before, but where I used to live, they nested every evening in a field near an airport. The field was black with 100s of starlings, but they never danced that I was aware of.

    Loved your husband’s sunset photo, too. But your journal page was what captured my interest and imagination. I simply adore it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your journal page! We watched the starlings out at sea in Blackpool a few years ago – looks great! We went to Leighton Moss the other week and there were less starlings this year – the warden said it is because the weather is milder but! think they have all gone to Blackpool! Chrisx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow – what a beautiful page! I like how you cutted out the house and the pier from that very fitting background-paper, and how you painted this wonderful sunset! And of course those wonderful starlings!

    Liked by 1 person

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