I've been looking forward all week to visiting this exhibition at Gordale Garden Centre and I wasn't disappointed - I honestly could have stayed there all day, viewing the fantastic wildlife artwork on display and chatting to the artists who were demonstrating. Those who know me know that I love to paint and draw wildlife and I was blown away by the fantastic work there by such talented artists but instead of getting disillusioned, I thought about something that an artist friend Andy Beck said to me - "Do visit galleries, don't get frustrated at seeing better work but strive to be as good some day" - and even though I know my limitations and know that I would never be able to paint like many of the artists I saw today (for a start I wouldn't have the patience to paint in the minute detail of some) I do strive to be better. One of the artists demonstrating was a lovely, lovely guy called Paul Dyson - amazing artist, with a mixture of amazing detail and looseness - he's got two new fans in Gary and I - and he's a mountaineer too! Got the best job in the world as far as I'm concerned - travelling to the Himalayas in search of snow leopards - getting access to the tiger and lion enclosures in zoos to get reference photos!! I could have talked to him all day and he gave me some valuable advice on painting as well - here is a link to his website . I also had a lovely chat to oil painter Robert Cook who made me think more about trying oils - you can see some of his beautiful oil paintings on his website here and pencil artist Chris Wright - amazing detail in his pencil work and watching him at work was a real treat - a lovely guy too - picked up a few tips from him as well! a link to his website here
Anyway I came home all inspired to paint something wild and I've been promising Gary I'll paint one of his favourite puffin photos so I'm posting a work in progress of a puffin with a beak full of fish - amazing how they do that!! - just the beak and fish to do and a bit more work around the eyes and bobs your uncle it should be done!
by Sharon Whitley the rambling artist