I love this time of year. Lots of hustle and bustle getting ready for each exhibition for the year.
It’s already started for me. I agreed to be a pick up point for the Society of Feline Artists (S.O.F.A) exhibition that will take place from 28th April to 7th May.
Click the SOFA image to read their blog and see directions to the exhibition.
I’m delighted to have had the following 4 pieces accepted.
The exhibition, which will open daily 10:00am – 60:00pm is part of Cats Protection 90th Anniversary celebrations.
There will be lots of original artwork, prints and greetings cards – including mine – on sale and Cats Protection will benefit from each sale.
If you love all things feline, this should prove to be a great exhibition and day out for you!
Cats Protection Visitors Centre
National Cat Centre
Sussex RH17 7TT
If you’re planning to visit use RH17 7DE to be directed to the correct site entrance.
Every year I set out to be ready with artwork for the plethora of competitions that seem to all kick off at the beginning of the year. In reality only the advertising kicks off, but its enough to send me scurrying to my easel with a head full of ideas.
….and you guessed it every year I am painting like a maniac to make sure I have new work to show.
So here’s one I’ve just finished…
I love Tigers, well I love all cats really, but Tigers are so colourful and look so regal. This is from one of my own reference shots and not only is it a competition piece, but its the subject matter for my latest pastel workshop.
If you like the look of this chap and fancy learning how to re-create his likeness in pastel on velour, there are still workshop spaces available – but only 3 for 4th April.
For other dates click here to check the workshops page on the main website.
Pastels not your thing?….try airbrushing
There are not many courses available in the UK where Wildlife art is taught, so I decided to create my own. It’s not as complex as you might think – like anything, just takes a little practise to get to grips with a new tool.
If you fancy a taster session watch this space, the course outline will be available in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime email me if you are interested.
Next competition piece is under way
So to give you a flavour of what you can do with an airbrush, here’s the start of the next competition piece. This is sadly not my reference, but was downloaded from the Wildlife Reference Photos for Artists site – a fab ref library for any artist.
It’s a beautiful shot from the very talented photographer Emanuel Keller.
Anyway progress so far looks like this:
The piece is approx17.5″ x 11″, acrylic on canvas.
I tape the canvas to the drawing board and transfer my sketch using red graphite paper which is less prone to smudging.
Next I mask the Snow leopard using frisket mask so that I can concentrate on the background without worrying about keeping the main subject clean.
I gradually build up layers of texture and colour to create the rock face. At this point I’m about ready to leave the rock face and start on the Snow Leopard.
It was the Southern British Shorthair Show at Addlestone in Surrey and as I am owned by a British Shorthair myself I didn’t know where to look first. They are such beautiful cats in an amazing palette of colours as you can see from Poppy here…but more of her later.
Setting up My lovely husband packed the car for me at 6:30 am while I prepared some lunch to keep me going. As ever I had decided to take the kitchen sink just in case. I don’t know about you, but when I was a child I went everywhere with a suitcase full of felt tips and crayons and pencils and paints…it’s still a bit like that now.
So it’s not surprising that 8 trips to and from the car later I had managed to set up. The organisers had placed me in the foyer just infront of the results frame, an ideal spot really.
I have 2 pieces of sturdy trellis that are hinged in the middle. This provides an ideal frame work to show off a few framed originals.
The tall pull-up banner was great value for money as people can see you from afar.
I guess the most important thing is to make sure that you are drawing while you are there. People love to watch artists at work and this was no exception. Since competitors were there all day it gave them a chance to see a portrait evolve from the very start.
My demonstration piece
The obvious choice for a British Shorthair show is a British Shorthair! My British Shorthair, Amber, to be exact (although she would contest ownership – in her eyes I’m on the staff). This is a great shot captured by John as she helped him to set-up in his photographic studio. (She was making sure he’d left nothing in the reflector bag).
I decided to create the piece in pastel on velour – just ideal for cats, especially shorthair like Amber.
I used a grid to transfer the drawing from the original to the velour, then started on the eyes. I love to do the eyes first as I can immediately start to see the piece coming to life.
Next I blocked in some colour using soft Sennelier pastels. Finally I start working my way around the image layering the detail in with sharp Derwent pastel pencils and graphite pencils.
This is as far as I got during the day. I spoke to so many people that I lost my voice by the end of the day. there was so much interest and it was so enjoyable.
I’ll add the whole WIP to my main website as it progresses to the finished piece.
Many of the compeitors came over to let me know how they were getting on and those who were competing for the first time were sooooo excited!
So what about Poppy?
Well Poppy was also attending her first cat show; in fact Popy was the first pet that her owner Kim had ever had.
…And she won her class! Clever Poppy!
Poppy’s mum has decided to celebrate with a beautiful comemorative portrait – quite right too.
Once we’ve agreed on the right image work will start, so watch this space.
The Fellowship of Professional and Amateur artists will be holding an Open exhibition at the Wellingborough Museum 7th – 14th Nov. I have entered 4 pieces and 3 have been selected for the exhibition! I’m so thrilled. The preview evening will be Friday 6th Nov. Click here for more details of the exhibition http://www.fpaa.co.uk/.