Friday, October 2, 2009

Society Of Wildlife Art Exhibition And Tints Of Autumn

I have had a very enjoyable week but now to work...I have a Christmas card to design because we have been informed that the postal strikes mean that Christmas cards must be posted three weeks prior to Christmas or they won't arrive until after the event...oh dear.

Flying - yippee the stripes are back...!

Serenade To The Morning Star
This is a watercolour of an Octopus I did some time ago. I found it really quite tricky to get enough reference material for the drawing and it was quite tricky to do. They really are quite strange looking creatures and I definitely wouldn't want to meet one if I were a fish.

Autumn is really starting to get into its swing now. The lovely gold and brown and yellow hues are increasing every day. We are still having some unseasonably warm sunshine but it does bring the tints up beautifully.

I even found an autumn coloured cow

and some autumnal hens rootling around on a local farm

The two lovely etchings below are by Irish printmaker Jean Bardon who lives and works in Dublin. Her flower and plant etchings are really beautifully delicate and detailed. You can view more of her work here at the Graphic Studio Dublin.

Crown Imperial (etching)
Irises (etching)
I am often to be seen photographing bits and pieces of nature on my walks. One of my favourite gardens has lots of poppies in the summer and, as a result, lots of lovely seed heads in the autumn. I have photographed them in all their stages of decay and have quite a collection now.

This are the berries of the Iris Foetida which I find each year at the bottom of a garden I pass quite regularly.

Lots of lovely bright hawthorne berries waiting to feed the birds this winter.

Abbott & Ellwood are Mike Abbott and Kim Ellwood who create beautifully quirky stylised metalwork figures and brooches. They live a wonderful life in the stunning West Penwith area of Cornwall - lucky devils. You can see lots of their intriguing craftwork on their website here and if you would like to see more of their home and life in Cornwall you can go to "Exhibitions" on their site and read the very interesting Coast magazine article about them. The image below is their take on a trip over to the fascinating St. Michael's Mount just off Marazion. I remember a lovely day I spent walking over the ancient causeway and trying to get back before the tide cut if off from the mainland. I didn't make it and had to get a ferry back.

Journey To The Mount

In Limbo
Woman With Flowers
I have always been fascinated by myths and legends and mermaids images in particular. I found two beautiful mermaid prints whilst searching out new artists on the Internet. Bernard Lodge's Seafull is deliciously quirky. You can find more of his artwork on his website here.

Hugh Ribbans has lots of gorgeous prints on his website here.

Hugh Ribbans - Dances With Fish - linocut
Bernard Lodge - Seafull - woodcut

I am sure that I am like thousands of other women in this country who scour charity shops for intriguing finds. I was rootling through the picture section of a local shop a couple of months ago when I came across this applique textile picture. I was very pleased to see that it was an original by well-known textile artist Willemien Stevens. I have collected her beautiful cards of her textile art for years. I particularly love her ladybirds and bees. The picture is of a pot of geraniums. It is signed and dated 1989 and her address on the back is of a nearby village where she presumably lived prior to her present home in Dorset. The lower picture shows the detail. Most of her work is produced from vintage textiles and these look quite vintage to me but I am no expert. It never ceases to amaze me what some people will get rid of. You can see Willemien's website here.
Detail of textile picture
I enjoyed a lovely day out in London a few days ago to visit the Society of Wildlife Artists 46th annual exhibition at The Mall Galleries (SWLA). I have mentioned this exhibition previously as I always make a point of visiting. It is a wonderful show for anyone who is interested in animals and wildlife in general. The majority of the artists are very well known in the art world and include some favourites I have mentioned in previous blog posts such as Carry Akroyd, Julia Manning and Greg Poole. The display also includes sculptures and ceramic pieces. I noticed there is an increasing number of mixed media and collaged works as well as printmaking, oils, watercolours etc. The illustrations below are mostly from the exhibition catalogue. There were many works I would love to have snatched off the walls as usual, especially in the printmaking section, but I restrained myself...haha.

Robert Gillmor is an author, naturalist and printmaker. He authored one of my favourite art books called "Cutting Away". I cannot praise this beautiful book highly enough. It is crammed full of wonderfully coloured linocut illustrations of birds and other animal subjects and he explains the background of how each piece came to be produced. Actually, I think I bought it at the very same exhibition. You can find some more of Robert's artwork here at The Land Gallery.

Robert Gillmor-Blackbird and Rowan linocut

This is a very stylised monoprint by Greg Poole. It was a huge piece and had great impact. I love the way Greg Poole creates his birds. They are highly stylised and graphic but retain enough of the bird to be recognisable. I have mentioned Greg's beautiful artwork in a previous post which you can find if you search his name at the top of the blog. His extensive website is always worth a look and can be found here.

Greg Poole - Wheatear On Boulder, Sierra de Gredos IV - monoprint

This is Greg's monoprint "Women Walking With Turacos". It is a greetings card I bought at the exhibition and was one of his works on display last year. How lovely to find it as a card. It is a very stylised monoprint and you will have to enlarge it to see the details properly. I wish all the artwork on display could be bought as cards or even be published as a book. I would definitely buy a copy.
Those of you who have read this blog before will know that I am always in awe of Julia Manning's beautiful etchings. I stood in front of the artwork below for ages just absorbing the wonderfully subtle colours and details. Her work seen in real life is magnificent. I thoroughly enjoyed her representations of ravens in last years' show. Julia's website can be seen here.

Julia Manning - The Common Shag - etching
David Measure's work is always fascinating to examine. He combines his love of natural history and art to produce intriguing depictions of nature in ink and watercolour. His work is spontaneous and he annotates his art with details of where he found the wildlife, what they were doing etc. It is almost like looking at a page from his wildlife note book. He is particularly interested in butterflies and the ones below were quite stunning in real life. You can read more about David here at the Natural History Museum website. You can find some of his artwork here at Southwell Artists. The Uphilldowndale blog has a nice story about meeting David here.

David Guy Measures -Peacocks Feast At Ragwort-Common Blue Select Knapweed and Trefoils


andamento said...

What a fantastic charity shop find, I'm so jealous!

Lovely post as usual, the blackbird & rowan berries print stands out for me.

I like your new header too!

Flora May said...

Some super stuff there! Lucky you finding one of Willemien's beautiful stitchings...she's based very near to me and I adore her work - I am always buying the cards of her textiles to send to people. I can't imagine anyone throwing out that beautiful geranium!

Cathy said...

Thanks Anne. The new header is growing on me. Yes, I was very lucky to come across Willemien's textile piece. I forgot to mention it cost only £1.50 too, so a great bargain.

Cathy said...

Hi Flora. Yes, I agree that Willemien's work is all gorgeous. I love those two grey doves on her website too. I wouldn't have parted with this picture even if I were having one of my massive clearouts.

Sorcerer said...

wowwiee!!! Beautiful..
great works..Came to your blog from blog catalog

Cathy said...

Hi Thanks for the visit Sorcerer and your comment. Pleased you like the blog.

Holly Zemak said...

Hi Cathy - I would love to have a studio like Willemien. It looks so cozy, I could spend hours in a setting like that. Serenade to the Morning Star is a clever design, works well. I also enjoyed the work of Abbott ans Ellwood, the brooches are unique.

Cathy said...

Hi Holly, I agree about Willemien's studio. I think I would be very inspired there. I have used the bird shape on Morning Star before. It is one of my favourites and I will probably use it again.

~Phyllis~ said...

Hi Cathy,
I love all your Autumn pictures, especially the chickens. The Autumn colors are so pretty.
I love that octopus. Looks like you got it right to me.
I like the new header. Very colorful.

Cathy said...

Hi Phyllis. I love autumn with all its gorgeous tints. Very photogenic. I expect it is the same where you are. I know the States are famous for the fall colours.

acornmoon said...

Thanks for the tip about Christmas cards and postal dates, slightly alarming but good to know.

Also thanks for the array of splendid images and links.

Caroline said...

I loved it all Cathy!! Particularly your octopus - I like to see your watercolours! Lovely chooks and the poppy seed head reminded me that I still have a whole lot of photos of them to sort out! I hadn't seen Robert Gillmor's work - very nice too!And of course, Julia Manning is a favourite! Gorgeous butterflies!

Anonymous said...

Hi Cathy, A wonderfully informative post as always. I love your cards and the octopus is great! I also think the work by Abbott & Ellwood is fascinating and am heading over there next. Thanks for bringing all these wonderful goodies to our attention.

Cathy said...

You are very welcome Valerie.

Cathy said...

You would have loved Julia Manning's work at The Mall Galleries Caroline. A photograph could never do the etchings justice. She is a wonderful artist.

Cathy said...

Glad you like everything Omi. So much talent around and so little time to look at it all...haha.

bunnits said...

As always, a joyful visit to your blog. Loved the autumn colors in the photos and all the neat things you post. I especially enjoyed the textile geraniums.

Cathy said...

Hi Melissa. It is always nice to see you here. Those textile geraniums were a wonderful discovery. I cannot believe someone would just give them away to a charity shop...I wouldn't..haha.

Linnea said...

Wonderful "limbo"!

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Linnea. Nice of you to visit.