2020 NEWS & NOTICES
2020 TWASI CHRISTMAS CARD COMPETITION
1ST: LESLEY CONNOLLY – “FUN CHRISTMAS”
2ND: MARTIN RUMARY – “ROBIN IN THE SNOW”
3RD: KATE SMITH – “ ’TWAS IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER”
“Well done to all those Members who entered the Competition”
THE WINNERS – TWASI MEMBERS SUMMER COMPETITION 2020
1st – George Yiend – “Bushbuck, Spots, Stripes & Spaces”
My love for African wildlife, which sustained me for forty years in Zambia & Zimbabwe still provides the subject matter of my art. It also provided, in the shape of one of the Continent’s most beautiful antelopes, the Bushbuck, one of the most emotional experiences of my life.
In 1992 my family and I were living in a home on the steep hillside near the gold-mining of Penhalonga in Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands, when one morning I received the shattering news of the deaths in a motorcycling accident in Harare of a son and daughter, both in their twenties.
I sank into a deep depression, and remained bedridden for a fortnight. And then, one morning, I forced myself from my bed and set off for a walk with our two dogs, a German Shepherd and a Border Collie, through the bush which stretched along the hillside for miles.
As usual, the dogs raced off along the dirt path which led through the waist-high grass towards a patch of forest.Suddenly, as I was nearing the trees – the dogs nowhere in sight – a magnificent male bushbuck, spiral-horned, standing perhaps a metre at the shoulder, emerged from the trees, walked a little towards me and then stopped!
Where were the dogs? Why had they not reacted? And the buck and I just stood, looking at one another, neither of us moving. Bushbuck were not uncommon, but they were seldom seen. One would often hear the clatter of their hooves, or if one was especially lucky, caught a fleeting glimpse of their rumps as they made for cover.
But to be confronted in this way? And for the two of us to stand in this kind of communion? How long we stood like that I have no idea, surely several minutes – and still no sight or sound of the dogs which had been on the same path – and then he calmly turned and began to pick his way delicately up the hillside. Another pause. Another glance – and then he was gone.
And I returned home, and that magical, wonderful experience sparked my recovery from the grief which I had feared would blight the rest of my life. Still, when occasional clouds form, I can recall that wonderful morning. And so the bushbuck will always keep its place in my heart – to me the most beautiful of Africa’s living jewels.
2nd – Chris Saunderson: “Curlews & Young”
The inspiration for the painting came from our holiday trip to Yorkshire last summer. There were curlews and their little fluffy youngsters all over the place, running in and out of waving grass – just perfect for a painting.
I wanted it to be a large watercolour so I could keep it quite loose while still putting a fair amount of detail in, particularly the interestingly coloured grass clumps.
I found I had a couple of sheets of full imperial, 300lb hand-made Two Rivers watercolour paper – perfect for the painting I wanted to do!
3rd – Alison Perkins – Black Swan
My inspiration came from the striking pose of this black swan.
I loved the shape and pattern of the plumage, and wanted to create a close-up picture which captured the beauty and elegance of this graceful bird.
It took me several weeks to complete, working in colour pencils from light to dark, and using multiple layers to produce the gloss and sheen of the feathers.
Jane Holford Atkin
The President, Chairwoman and council of TWASI are saddened to hear that after a long battle with illness, TWASI member Jane Holford Atkin has died. She and her artwork will be greatly missed at our Annual Exhibition and other TWASI events. Our sincere condolences go out to her husband Neil and her family.
Jane was born 1960 in near Gloucester and grew up with a love of wildlife so only natural she would develop a talent for drawing and painting wildlife. Her first art exhibition was in the garden shed where visitors were charged ‘threepence’ to come in.
Jane attended Gloucester Art College from 1976-1977 where she spent most of my time drawing the ‘stuffed’ animals and birds in Gloucester City museum. She was such a regular there that the then curator David Dartnell gave her a room of her own to work in. She also had an exhibition of her pen and ink drawings there and was filmed drawing a Great Bustard for Natural Numbers (Open University) BBC and was paid £5.
A variety of jobs followed where art was not the main occupation. After leaving her last job due to ill health she knuckled down seriously to drawing, painting and using scraper board.
Jane was one of the early members of TWASI who was still with us and won a Gold award for ‘Cygnet’ and won the Christopher Parsons Award for four scraperboard works.
‘Cygnet’ was also runner up in the BBC Wildlife Artist of the year 2010(British Birds category). Jane also won the David Cook drawing award at the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art twice.
David Shepherd WILDLIFE FOUNDATION
December 2020 Newsletter
We all have that one special animal that speaks to our soul that we are drawn to. For my grandfather, the late David Shepherd, it was the elephant, his beloved ‘jumbos’ as he so affectionately called them.
While I passionately adore of all the endangered species that David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) works to protect, from the energetic painted dog to the intelligent chimpanzee, I find myself inexplicably drawn to the mystery of the elusive snow leopard, known so aptly as the ghosts of the mountains.
With the potential of another lockdown looming, isolation is something we are going to have to contend with once again. I would like to encourage our supporters to seek solace from snow leopards and find solidarity in solitude whilst separated from loved ones. Sadly, whilst humans will adjust to the current chaos, snow leopards will not win the race against climate change as their remote home range warms unless we drastically change our ways as we are forced to adapt and evolve.
The snow leopard is an apex predator, and its sole predator is man. Our unchecked actions as a species and blatant disregard for the environment and the health of our planet have gone on too long, meaning that this silver feline could become extinct on our watch.
Far-reaching systemic change cannot come at a glacial pace. Climate change will have far scarier and widespread consequences than any financial crash or pandemic, not just for mountain-dwelling snow leopards, but for humanity.
Jo Elphick, our Education Manager, has put together a list of Green Ideas for children and I would like to encourage everyone to have a read. The collective actions of many can have a colossal impact on conservation and in stabilising and reversing our environmental actions. We can all choose to be a part of the solution, not the problem.
It is likely most of us will never have the privilege of seeing a snow leopard in the wild, but there is wonder in knowing they exist in the uncharted mountains of Asia, and we must do all we can to protect them.
I hope you will join us in celebrating the ghosts of the mountains on World Snow Leopard Day taking place on Friday 23 October 2020. Please do consider showing your support for the elusive snow leopards DSWF works to protect in Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia by donating or adopting today.
Having mentioned above the snowy mountain ranges which the snow leopard calls home, ironically but not surprisingly, 2020 has been the second hottest year on record putting these vulnerable ecosystems more at risk. Daily news about climate change and the impacts humans have on these precious environments place the future of this big cat in the balance.
DSWF is working to secure a future for snow leopards by combating the illegal wildlife trade, supporting much-needed research, protecting prime snow leopard habitats (in both Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan, two of the most important snow leopard landscapes) and by working with isolated communities to mitigate the effects of livestock losses through natural predation.
A new study has revealed that snow leopards are more likely to predate on livestock that occurs in higher densities, exacerbating the human-wildlife conflict as communities expand and grow. Our work has never been more important, offsetting the economic losses of livestock predation among vulnerable communities encouraged to live in harmony with the incredible native big cats.
On a positive note, in Mongolia’s Tost Nature Reserve, recent camera trap footage has revealed that two of the oldest known females have each given birth to three healthy cubs.
Circa 3,500 – 6,500 snow leopards remain in the mountains of Asia. Sadly, this shy and solitary species is desperately under studied, and it is a race against the clock to fully understand this secretive cat to better employ conservation strategies to aid its survival.
The extinction of the snow leopard will result in ecosystem collapse as they keep herbivore populations down, safeguarding rare high-altitude vegetation types.
As a result of the pandemic, our conservation partners and the DSWF team are working harder than ever in our ‘Art of Survival’ mission to fight, protect and engage on behalf of endangered wildlife, like snow leopards, across the world.
World Snow Leopard Day is held annually on 23 October, please stand with us in our quest to protect the next generation of snow leopards, by donating today.
Wildlife Art News
In these uncertain and challenging times, DSWF is delighted to announce that entries are now open for our international Wildlife Artist of the Year 2021 competition. This art competition is open to both professional and amateur artists aged 17 or over, encouraging a variety of techniques, mediums or styles.
When David Shepherd, our late founder, set up DSWF over 35 years ago, he recognised the power of creating awareness for the world’s most vulnerable species, like shy snow leopards. DSWF’s Wildlife Artist of the Year is just one-way wildlife artists from around the world can give back to their wild animal muses.
Since its inception in 2008, Wildlife Artist of the Year has established a loyal artist community. We are proud to see previous Wildlife Artist of the Year winners continuing to not only give back to the natural world but helping fellow artists with their entries with these five strategic competition tips.
Artist of the Month – Stephen Rew
The extremely talented and passionate, Wildlife Artist of the Year 2019 winner, Stephen Rew, from Wales is our Artist of the Month for October. Get caffeinated and start your Christmas shopping with Stephen’s latest signature coffee and ink wildlife drawings, taking inspiration from his travels, they are available for sale via DSWF’s online shop in aid of DSWF vital conservation work.
Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020 winner, Andrew Pledge is creating £100 A to Z sketches in aid of endangered species across Africa and Asia. Each week Andrew creates two new collectable A3-size graphite sketches inspired by an animal beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. Just in today, is the sketch for the letter ‘I’, featuring on of DSWF’s core species, the Indian one-horned rhino.
How you can help
The DSWF team would like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to all our runners including, Tom Hicks and Dom Birch, who completed a socially-distanced, London Marathon, over the weekend, raising vital funds for our work.
Dedicated DSWF supporter, Lewis Bedford, also completed his marathon two weeks ago, raising approximately £1,300 for endangered wildlife. They are true Wildlife Warriors, and we could not be prouder of them all.
Not all of us can run a marathon but if you would like to support DSWF here are some other ways you can get involved:
Wildlife Ball 2020
This year our Wildlife Ball has taken to the virtual stage and you are invited. On Friday 6 November from 8 pm. Join us for a night of entertainment; awareness and an exclusive silent auction, all broadcast directly to your home. Virtual attendance to this year’s ball is FREE with a suggested donation to help fund our vital conservation work across the globe.
Adopt and Protect a Snow Leopard
Help protect critically endangered snow leopards, like Ariun and secure his future. There are so few of these majestic creatures left in the wild. By adopting today, you will be funding vital community engagement programmes and research to help safeguard their natural environment. Give a gift this Christmas that will turn the tide on extinction.
Introducing DSWF’s ‘Artist of the Month’
Artist of the Month is an exciting new initiative whereby we collaborate with different, talented wildlife artists to showcase wildlife art at its best and raise vital funds for endangered wildlife.
Artist of the Month personifies our ‘Art of Survival‘ vision and gives wildlife artists a platform to raise awareness for, not only their outstanding artworks but endangered species close to their hearts.
Our July Artist of the Month is the gifted wildlife, big cat and pet artist, Amber Tyldesley, from Warrington, United Kingdom.
“I am delighted to have been selected as DSWF‘s Artist of the Month for July. I am a big supporter of the Foundation and pleased that my artwork will be helping to protect some of the world’s most precious and endangered animals.” – Amber Tyldesley
Please do take a look at some of Amber’s amazing artworks available in our online shop and stay in touch for more exciting news.
Look out for…
Join our CEO, Georgina Lamb, live every Thursday at 5pm in conversation with leading conservationists and wildlife artists via DSWF’s Instagram account.
These talks are free and this week Georgina will be joined by Scarlett Henderson, the winner of the Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020 Human Impact category, which aims to engage young people with the natural world and the challenges it faces.
Also look out for our #WildlifeWednesday posts via DSWF’s social media channels. DSWF intern, Linus Hiscox has been writing a conservation mini-series on our core species, including, elephants, pangolins, tigers, rhinos and painted dogs. This week Linus focuses on chimpanzees as the constant gardeners of the forest.
A tribute to Ted
We are deeply saddened to share with you all the passing of Ted Nugent, the Springer spaniel and DSWF ‘lunch supervisor’. Many of our long-term supporters would have met Ted, our four-legged team member, as he has been a DSWF office dog for nearly 16 years, accompanying his beloved owner, Mary Nugent our Head of Finance to work. His snack-loving stare and comforting cuddles will be sorely missed.
Please click on the link below or more information about the Oman Arabian Nights Experience – SCHEDULE OMAN 7 day Tour
A Brush with Africa – January 2021 Newsletter
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