Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wild at Art - Here and Abroad

'Linnets Feeding on Sorrell Seed(detail)' by Kim Atkinson - 2012 SWLA Announcement

Late this week, after returning from our trip to Cape May, I was pleased to find a small package of five announcements for the Private Opening of the Society of Wildlife Artist's 'The Natural Eye' Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London during the last week of October. Only fear of some sort of copyright infringement prevents me from putting up a photo here. Suffice it to say that an annoucement that includes the work of Tim Wootton, Chris Rose, Michael Warren, John Paige, Harriet Mead and Nik Pollard is a thing of beauty. It also explains why I'm thrilled to be in the show. After posting this I noticed another site that used the photo above from the Mall Galleries web site. This seems to be the official announcement. Kim is another artist I greatly admire who is a member of SWLA.

Then just yesterday the announcements for the 'Wild at Art' show at Manayunk Roxborugh Art Center arrived. This show opens three days after the London show. A photo is at top. I'm showing with other Pennsylvania artists Lynnette Shelley and Melanie Fisher. All of us use wildlife in one way or another in our art. It should be a very good show and I encourage anyone who is in the area to come to the opening from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 4, 2012.

With all the sketches of unusual birds I was able to do in and around Cape May recently I always wonder if local birding and sketching will be disappointing. Today gave the answer: no. We really didn't see any unusual birds but it was such a beautiful day, leaves and vegetation in full autumn splendor against a pure blue sky. Above are some of the birds I saw: Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Phoebe, female Common Yellowthroat, Belted Kingfisher and Cedar Waxwing. Most of thsee look fine in black and white but the Yellowthroat's brilliant throat loses something without color.

One of the things I like about so many SWLA artists is that they TRANSLATE natural experience. They don't try to produce a photo. If you're unfamiliar with the artists I mentioned above I'd suggested researching them. Additionally I think my best work is when I also try to translate my experience. Above is one of many trial sketches of Red Saddlebags dragonfly, pumpkins in field, Savannah Sparrow and deep purple Amaranth. As soon as I saw the dragonfly with it's deep burgundy wing patches in the pumpkin field I started thinking about a painting. This isn't it. Hopefully though it will be one step along the way to a successful painting.

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