David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2011 Exhibition
From my book " How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour "
Tomorrow is the hand in day for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2011 Exhibition which will be held at the Mall Galleries and opens next week. This week I have workshops in Hampshire,UK so juggling delivery of my painting has fitted in between my preparation for the popular sessions which have been fully booked for some time.
" Almost There" was painted for my book " How to Paint Colour and Light in Watercolour" and has always been a favourite piece. My youngest son who is a very good art critic loved it the minute he saw it which to me was a very good omen. Often he just looks at my work not saying a word but every now and then a special painting will catch his eye. He studied " Almost There" and said " You shouldn't sell that painting". I agreed and so I didn't. I decided it would be a memory of my first leap into being an author. A local craftsman who works for a local gallery has made a gorgeous bespoke mould just for this piece as a frame. And it has since adorned a wall in our new cottage. I love it, my family love it and friends love it. Here it should stay.
Earlier this year I knew the deadline for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2011 Exhibition was approaching. Last year I had submitted a painting and been accepted as a finalist. It wasn't so much the getting in that made me feel so happy but the fact that I was helping a wonderful organisation led by an incredible man to achieve the goal of improving the lives of animals who are at risk all over the world.
I wanted to submit this year but as many people know 2011 is turning into a really unusual and fabulous year for me. From making a DVD with Town house Films which had record breaking pre order sales to the fact that it is now the fastest selling DVD to date. Following an offer I am working on a second book which is really exciting. My publishers are thrilled with it so far in its' creation. I have held a successful solo exhibition with superb sales, I am writing for magazines, showing in established galleries with wonderful new invitations coming my way continually. I really am leaping from one amazing event to another which is terrific but my time is limited. And this was the dilema for me.
I wanted so badly to submit a painting to the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition but had no time to paint a new one specifically for the show. And my son had suggested I don't part with "Almost There". My heart was torn.
But I have read the web site and news of the David Shepherd Foundation for some time now. I am also acutely aware that my grand childrens' children may never witness the animals we all know and love in our lifetime. Animals are at risk. Many may become extinct unless action is taken and now. Like all good people who care I hate cruelty and I abhor any human making a living on the back of killing innocent creatures for whatever purposes. I feel strongly and passionately about educating the world so that we can make a difference, make changes to ensure every living thing can and will survive. I want our tomorrows to have all the wonder of animals that to this day have inspired artists from all over the world.
Many talented people make a living from painting wildlife. Their whole career has been founded on painting the beauty provided to them in the form of magnificent beings such as tigers, elephants and lions. But what if these subjects disappeared? What if art became the only way of looking into the past at what once used to exist.
I will be supporting DSWF in every way possible because they are trying to make a huge difference by raising awareness and taking action. For this reason I have submitted my favourite painting and it has been accepted as a finalist. I am privileged to be amongst those who care so deeply about the animal world. I hope everyone who can will attend the exhibition while it runs at the Mall Galleries in London next week.
To all artists reading this blog entry if you haven't submitted a painting this year please do in 2012. Your submission fee and your art can make a difference. More importantly as an artist this is one way you can say thank you to the animals who have provided you with so much inspiration. Help them by painting them with a purpose.
" Almost There"
I would give anything to paint a following piece called...
" Always There"
But the question is.......will they be?
For full information ragrding the exhibition,opening times and news on how to participate next year please visit this link.