Tuesday, 25 May 2010

DSWF WAY Private Preview 2010

"African Gold"
Original Watercolour
DSWF WAY Finalist Painting. 

David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition 2010 Private Preview

It is hard to know where to start describing last nights Private Preview of the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2010 Exhibition.  Taking place at the prestigious Mall Galleries in London the  variety of subjects and mediums were incredible  along with the  exceptionally high standard of work throughout the whole collection. I cannot say which was the most favourite part of the event for me as the whole evening was fantastic.
Giving Back
From the minute you walked through the door the atmosphere  was one of unison. Artists and non artists collectively were not only admiring art but the reason behind the exhibition which is Davids soul shining. In his  prize giving speech his vision came across so clearly and his words have remained with me today. Many artists make their living out of painting beautiful creatures many of which desperately need our help to survive. The WAY exhibition gives all artists the opportunity to give back to the very beings who inspire their passion for painting and profession.  Proceeds from the exhibition will go to helping the projects set up by DSWF. Important projects that will help protect species and give genuine care where it is needed.

Emotional Connections
I listened and like Robert Lindsay who awarded the prizes the ceremony was drawn very much into an emotional picture imagining pain and suffering that some animals should never have to endure. For example the mention of an elephant losing their  foot after stepping on a land mine made me see my own painting " African Gold" in the show through very different eyes. Whilst I always paint with emotion there is a huge impact knowing  holding your brush could make a difference no matter how small it is.

David Shepherd

But back to the exhibition. David Shepherd has an incredible personality. His passion for what he believes in hits you the minute you meet him. He has charisma and warmth that draws everyone to him and it is easy to see why so many artists are eager to help the DSWF mission. To see his original work including a retrospective collection which covers paintings of many subjects was wonderful. For me the added thrill was seeing his beloved Bearded Collie in one piece and some Beardie pups included in originals as we both share a common passion for the breed. To share laughter over how much our dogs mean to us just seemed to make the evening even more special somehow.

Emily Lamb
Emily Lambs work is extraordinary. Amazingly unique with perfect colour combinations,excitement and life in each piece.  Being the granddaughter of David, Emily certainly is  treading a path to keeping the excellence of the Shepherd name linked to art very strongly. A beautiful girl who shines with talent.

Hazel Soan
 It was wonderful to meet Hazel Soan in person having admired her work  for so long.  In a hectic evening with so much going on Hazel  shared laughter and her experience in a naturally delightful way. While we chatted it was so heartwarming to also recieve advise on making my first DVD. To see an artist of Hazels level  in her career  be so genuine,caring and enthusiastic was inspirational. I certainly hope I don't forget her words and  I will try to  talk directly to the camera as if a whole workshop is there in front of me when it comes to filming.

Paul Apps and Clive Meredith
I met friends and fellow wildlife artists Paul Apps and Clive Meredith during the evening and also made some wonderful new friends. A united sense of sharing was so evident and  there really seemed to be a strong sense of  family in the room.Everyone wanting the evening to be a huge success.

Adam Binder
These feelings was never more evident than when the prizes were awarded. No one knew until this point who had won the Wildlife Artist of the Year title. The look of shock and complete surprise will stay with me forever when Adam Binder won the title of Wildlife Artist of the Year for his sculpture " Sinking Feeling". We all shared his  sheer joy and excitement. Having spoken to him just before he  was announced the winner seeing his reaction was amazing.

The exhibition will continue until May 29th and I thoroughly recommend everyone  try and visit for so many reasons. 

It is impossible not to admire the work and talent of David Shepherd on so many levels.I know I will remember this occasion for many years to come and I am sure this morning Adam will wake thinking it was all a dream.

Congratulations to a very deserving winner and to the DSWF team for a hugely successful exhibition that was full of variety,excellent work and emotional value which will make a difference in the wildlife world.



woods.kitale said...

What a wonderful description of an exciting event Jean, and congratulations for being chosen to be one of the exhibitors. I've met DS on a number of occassions, he's such a lovely genuine man. When he first started painting in Kenya there were a number of cynical people who accused him of seeking publicity solely for commercial reasons. But it didn't take long for them to see the genuiness generosity of the man and the brilliant talent. I found your point about the elephant losing it's foot to a landmine and you seeing your painting through new eyes really interesting. When I saw African Gold I saw not only the magnificent elephant that you have painted, but the blood and gore behind him through poaching and also mindless slaughter because the elephants try to travel the old routes from A to B through land that people have taken away from them. Maybe you now see the carnage from landmines, not just to the elephants but to all living things in Africa. Your painting tells a huge story of Africa to those who listen, of love and beauty but also of carnage and death.

Roy The Artist said...

Great to read, Jean, thanks! I am up late with a cold keeping me awake, so just wonderful to see your work and hear about the exhibition, many congratulations on being included. I am so looking forward to your book (on pre-order!)