2021 AGM and Members Weekend at Nature in Art

We have to be positive and with that thought in mind we are sending out advance notice of the AGM and Members Weekend held at Nature in Art on October 2nd and 3rd this year. We are delighted to let you know that Eric and Neal are fine to join us this year but because of the possible repercussions and ongoing restrictions that might be imposed on us by Covid 19 we are holding workshops that you can stand back from and keep relatively socially distanced without spoiling the fun.

The TWASI council are therefore pleased to announce that Daniel Wilson whose wonderful charcoal drawings are on sale through David Shepherd Foundation is giving us a charcoal drawing workshop – big and bold. http://www.dwilsonarts.com

Two great workshops on the Saturday 2nd of October followed by our AGM and supper of Fish ‘n’ Chips, good fun and hopefully taking one or two of us out of our comfort zones! ON the Sunday 3rd of October we will be in the company of wildlife artist Eric Wilson and will have our very friendly and informative afternoon’s critique of members work lead by Eric.

Do consider booking early to avoid disappointment as we are limited on spaces for the Saturday workshops.

There is a booking form attached in the magazine or contact Valerie for one via email – email, please fill it in, keep a copy and send the form to Valerie Briggs at the address provided on the form but please note that any payment will not be taken until the beginning of September and Valerie will get back to you to advise you when she will be taking payment.

If you wish to pay by cheque please date it 1st September 2021

This really is a great weekend to come along and meet other members from all round the country, make new friends and just enjoy the wonderful surroundings of Nature in Art.

Saturday 2nd October Workshops

Charcoal drawing Big Cats with Daniel Wilson www.dwilsonarts.com

I have been Painting and drawing wildlife for the past 10 years. I love the feeling of stepping up to a blank canvas and creating something full of life and meaning.

For this workshop we will be exploring the potential of, in my opinion, one of the most malleable mediums out there. We will practice pushing and pulling the charcoal around the paper experimenting with mark making and abstract shapes to bring a realistic form together.

I will demonstrate each stage of my process from the initial block in to the final details. We will practice different techniques and methods of applying charcoal to create interesting and abstract effects that come together and give life and vibrancy to the subject.

It can get messy and there can be a lot of charcoal dust that gets in the air so make sure to bring some form of respirator or mask. We will also be spraying Acetone throughout the workshop which is a hazardous chemical and can cause headaches; it is no worse that oil mediums.

Please bring with you a standing or table easel and a large board approximately (A2). We will attach the paper to the board using masking tape. I also advise bringing a fixative spray, hand wipes and an apron as things can get messy. Please also bring your own reference material.

I have created a small starter kit of materials that I use in my work for the price of £15 which you can take home but please feel free to bring your own if you’d prefer. The kit includes:

  • Putty Eraser x1
  • Charcoal powder
  • Charcoal stick (Thick) x1
  • Charcoal stick (Thin) x1
  • Blending stump x1
  • Masking tape
  • 2B charcoal pencil x1
  • Spray bottle with acetone x1
  • Sandpaper
  • Knife blade for sharpening x1
  • Charcoal pouch x1
  • 15” x 20” 300gsm hot pressed watercolour paper (smooth) x1

I am really looking forward to meeting everyone for a hopefully fun and creative day.

Chicken Wire and Modroc Sculpture with Neal Griffin www.nealgriffinart.co.uk

For this workshop you will be creating a sculpture of an animal using chicken wire and Modroc bandage. The animal can be of anything you wish but nothing too large. Once dry, which can take a few days; the sculpture can then be painted and varnished. 

I will demonstrate how to create the chicken wire base using wire to strengthen the structure ready for the Modroc bandage.

Once the base structure is complete we will move on to applying the Modroc bandage. I will show you different techniques to build up texture and form on the sculpture. 

The Modroc will need time to dry out completely so we won’t be painting the sculpture on the day but I will talk about painting and varnishing your piece when it’s dry.

There will be photographic reference available or you may bring your own.

And yes it can get messy so apron, newspaper and old clothes would be good. I can bring some newspaper and latex gloves but if anyone is allergic then best to bring their own. I will also bring some protective gloves for when using the wire.

There will be a £5 fee for the chicken wire, Modroc and PVA.

Sunday 3rd October Members Weekend
Our guest artist Eric Wilson
Pastels, Oils, Acrylics and BIG CATS

Artist Statement
“I have always painted wildlife. I still have some old paintings of birds, horses and even gorillas in the jungle that I did when I was ten years old. It feels completely natural that half a century later I would be doing the same thing, but this time as an experienced professional artist. My life path seemed well maintained and illuminated, apart from one pretty major diversion, an eleven year side track as a Police Officer.

Looking back I don’t regret that side road at all. It exposed me to all the troubles and complexities that modern society throws at us, and that was probably beneficial to locking myself away in an art studio during my formative years.

That said, art is what I feel I was born to do and I was never going to stay a Police Officer for too long. I turned down a promotion in 1990 and became a professional artist the same year. Not the greatest time to begin an art career it has to be said, as the great recession of 1991 made progress very slow and difficult.

My focus was and never has been on the financial side of the art world, and that probably got me through this period of time, because my focus was all about improving my skills, tirelessly and relentlessly. Not just as an artist either, but as an expert in my chosen field. I travelled the world almost nonstop, determined to experience the subjects I painted in an up close and personal way. I wanted my artwork to have real credibility as well as artistic appeal. Sitting with gorillas in Zaire, or living out on the arctic ice with polar bears, I did it all in pursuit of artistic excellence.

There were lean and stressful times, but it never distracted me from my path. Sooner or later I knew that a turning point would come and I would be rewarded for my efforts.

There have been many great experiences along the way: selling my work at Christies, or at exhibitions in the United States alongside world renowned artists who had been my heroes only a few years before, and who now marvelled and delighted in what I had brought to the genre of wildlife art, but most surprising and unexpectedly rewarding was my becoming a fine art teacher and mentor to so many up and coming artists. This perhaps, has been the most rewarding of all.

Every month I now find myself in a different country, passing on the skills I developed over decades, to a new and upcoming generation of artists, and in between times, I still continue to improve myself focussing as I always have done, on improving my skills, painting by painting, no matter what the circumstances around me may be”.