Belgium, 25 Years of Philatelic Highlights.

25 years ago, painter Andre Buzin could never have imagined his birds would be so successful. This special issue comprising five Belgian birds of prey honours the work of a gifted nature observer with a sharp pencil.

The wildlife artist was raised in an old mill in the middle of the countryside outside Namur. His father painted naturai landscapes as a pastime, so he grew up with painting and nature stili live in thè countryside in a small hamlet,' he says. 'My models - the birds - visit me. All of a sudden they are at the window while l'm drawing.

I base my work primarily on my own photos and sketches, taken on my many walks and observations of animals. Birds of prey continue to fascinate me, especially owls. With their large, round eyes, these night birds are an impressive sight.


He made his first ever postage stamps depicting thè national park of Garamba for what was then Zaire. When De Post-La Poste wanted to replace thè heraldic lion postage stamp series with a bird series, they got in touch. The pian was for the series to last ten years, but it's now 25 years later and there have been a hundred postage stamps,' he explains. 'I am completely free to choose my designs.

In the future I would like to design a set with water birds.' Besides birds, Buzin has also designed other wildlife postage stamp series for De Post-La Poste. 'In 1992 De Post-La Poste commissioned me to produce a butterfly series, I also designed a series depicting mammals native to thè Ardennes. Ali based on my own photos, because I am a real hunter of pictures,' he explains. His style is very recognisable because of the great attenta he pays to detail, which gives the impression that the animals come back to lite on the paper.
'I think people like my postage stamps because they provide them with a new perspective on their environment and give them plea-sure. A pleasure that is unfortunately threatened by ali the current environmental problems, which we'll ali have to take responsibility for if we and our children wish to continue to enjoy nature. I don't have any pretensions about changìng the world with my postage stamps but through my designs I do want to allow people to enjoy the simple things that do not cost anything and that you just have to look out of thè window to see.' he concludes.

His paintings are also admired by nature and art enthusiasts. 'I regularly participate in exhibitions, in galleries, at nature clubs and at philately clubs. I am also exhibiting originai paintings at Antverpia. I have room to hang about 20 small and large pieces and l'II try to be there in personasmuchaspossible. On 12 Aprii l'II certainly be present.' It's an ideai opportunity for fans of his work to admire his paintings and talk with the master himself.

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