Lasting Impressions, a selection of wood engravings by Colin See-Paynton, will be on show at Shandy Hall Gallery, Coxwold, until August 21.

The exhibition ties in with the publication of his latest book, Of A Feather, in a limited edition of only 750, with copies signed by the artist for sale at £195 at the gallery.

Widely regarded as the leading exponent of wood engraving in Britain, See-Paynton is a Fellow of the Royal Cambrian Academy, Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and a member of the Society of Wood Engravers.

His work is represented in many private and public collections around the world including the V & A; Ashmolean Museum; Berlin Graphothek; Fremantle Museum and Art Gallery in Australia; Gaudi Salon, Barcelona; National Library of Wales; National Museum of Wales; and Yosemite Wildlife Museum, California.

He has travelled with the Artists for Nature Foundation to record and highlight through his art the threat to wildlife caused by exploitation of the natural resources of the Pyrenees and Alaska.

His publications include Incisive Eye, a catalogue of his work from 1980 to 1996; Air And Water, a complete collection of his fish and fowl engravings, 1984-2004; and now Of A Feather, an alphabet of avian collective nouns written, researched and illustrated with more than 60 wood engravings by See-Paynton, complemented by a foreword by Sir David Attenborough.

“Colin See-Paynton has introduced yet another vision to the rich tradition of wood engraving,” says Sir David. “His delight in the lines of a bird so elegantly inscribed by the cut of his graver, his skill in varying texture even though he only has black and white with which to do so, his palpable pleasure in composing his subjects into joyous designs, have brought something new to the portrayal of birds.”

David Alston, arts director of Arts Council Wales, is equally fulsome in his praise. “An Admiration… that should be the collective noun for gallery visitors to the Of A Feather exhibition, for this has been an extraordinary enterprise,” he says.

“The work has drawn on many years of patient and exultant observation, the accumulation of knowledge that allows the imagination to be accurate in the mind’s eye. “Not since Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) have both literary and pictorial aspects been found conjoined in the one talent as in this project, where Colin See-Paynton has both written about and made the plates for an illustrated lexicon of the collective nouns for birds.”