I love nature. We really are blessed with the abundance of flora and fauna we have around us here in Norfolk. From the deer roaming the parklands at Holkham, to the humble but beautiful house sparrows comically arguing on your bird feeders. I am lucky in that my house faces out towards an open field, and at the time of writing, there are many hares playing and boxing out there – they are so much fun to watch.
There are also so many birds, too many to list, but my favourites will always be the pheasants; I cannot get over how such a beautiful bird can be living here on my doorstep. I love it all and to watch all these wonderful creatures living their lives is a gift that I am very grateful for; and during lockdown, I was even more grateful. There is something about watching a wild animal going about its daily business that brings a huge amount of peace and joy to my soul.
I am currently striving to create more ‘movement’ in my artwork. It’s often difficult when drawing animals in a realistic style, which is what I ultimately get the most joy out of, but I have learnt over the years that it massively helps to choose the right reference photo in the first place.
I would love to try a looser style at some point, as I hugely admire many people’s work who work in a more expressionistic fashion and I feel that there is greater opportunity to create something with movement within the marks you make on the paper, but it just does not come easily to me.
Perhaps it does not help that I work from photos, rather than from life? I think I should get outside a bit more now the weather is warming up and try and draw from life more often, even if it is just some small sketches. It’s not always easy when your preferred subjects are wild animals, but where there is a will, there is a way! Note to self – take plenty of hot tea!
Rather than choosing a reference photo of an animal that seems to be posing or sitting still, I am trying occasionally to choose images where the animal is actively engaged in some sort of activity or movement. This has helped me somewhat and makes my art seem a little more ‘alive’, but I feel that I have a way to go yet. Looking at the other members artwork is so inspiring and has been helpful in encouraging me little by little to try different things and bring new ideas to my easel.
Looking forward to the summer and the exciting things I am sure it will bring for us all.