Notice Board


Date for your diary
2022 AGM and Members Weekend at Nature in Art
October 1st and 2nd 2023
Saturday Workshops with Jackie Cox and Nik Pollard.

AGM and fish ‘n’ chip supper Sunday come and spend the day with our patron Mandy Shepherd, illustrated talk and critique.
Booking form available from Valerie Briggs


An annual competition for all TWASI members:

1. Design the front of a Christmas Card, to be sent to all TWASI Members by email or post.

2. Your image may be in any media, including sculpture, photography & digital.

3. The design may include lettering if you wish.

4. The image may be in square or oblong proportions.

5. Closing date for entries is 22nd November 2022.

6. Entries may be entered as a jpeg image (300dpi, up to 5MB)

and sent to

Please title your jpeg with Name & Title, and use Email Subject: “TWASI Christmas Card Competition”.

Or – Post an A4 photograph to TWASI, Appletrees, Main Street, Willey, Rugby. CV23 0SH, with Name & Title written on the back.

If you wish to have the photograph returned, please enclose a s.a.e.

7. Entries will be judged by the TWASI Central Council members.

The winning entry will be sent by email to all TWASI Members this Christmas, will be shown on the TWASI website, in the following edition of “On the Wild Side” Magazine, on the TWASI Facebook Page, & if available, may be exhibited at the following Annual Exhibition.

8. Prize: 100 copies of your design printed on good quality card for your personal use.

2022 Summer Competition


A Competition for all TWASI Members.

1st – Leslie Read – “What shall we do now?”

I saw these two young tigers playing whilst on a TWASI visit to the West Midlands Safari Park.

They had been having such fun, pouncing out at each other and wrestling, then, as cats do, in unison they walked nonchalantly away.

With the dust and leaves settling, the idea popped into my head of these two teenaged

Cats scaring some birds out of their feathers, and afterwards walking off, looking for more mischief – leaving you wondering – did the birds get away leaving just a few feathers, or did they become a light snack?

This was a painting I did in oils on canvas.

Leslie Read

2nd – Alison Perkins – “Royal Tigress”

“Royal Tigress” was inspired by the magnificent Bengal Tigers of the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, India.

I found this reference photo of a tigress that I really wanted to paint.

My artwork started out purely as a watercolour painting.

Sometime later I was looking for a picture to enter for the Sketch for Survival competition, run by the Explorers Against Extinction charity.

By then I had changed to the medium of coloured pencils and fine-liner pen.

Looking to improve my picture, I went over some areas with coloured pencil, and added Faber Castell fine-liner pens in black and gold, to make it brighter and add more definition.

My picture was chosen as one of the 100 finalists of Sketch for Survival, and sold at auction to help endangered wildlife.


3rd – Amanda Butler – “I am Wild!”

I used colour pencils for this piece – I enjoy using Faber-Castell Polychromos, and generally Pastelmat paper, as I like the texture it gives the drawing.

This picture is a collection of firsts for me!

It was the first piece of artwork that was done completely by myself without any tuition from art tutors or friends.

I remember how nervous I felt putting the first pencil mark onto the paper, and how daunted I was about which colour pencils to use.

He was the first ever tiger that I saw in the wild.

It was drawn from my own photo taken in Pench National Park, India in 2020.

He is a sub-adult male.

I saw him on our last game drive in the park, although at the time, we didn’t know that.

As we arrived back to the lodge after an amazing view of him, his two siblings and their mother, we were told that we were evacuating India due to Covid shutting down all the air travel.

This picture has now gained another first, being my first piece to have placed in a competition.

Amanda Butler

2022 February Workshop at Nature in Art

A new date in the diary for TWASI members this year, after requests from members during the last AGM and members weekend for more workshops, a weekend workshop was arranged at Nature in Art. After canvassing the membership via email as to a choice of artistic discipline the workshops were on scraperboard with Jackie Cox and Pastel Pencils with Andrew Forkner. 

20 plus members took part over the weekend and although some of them have had previous experience with these mediums it was good to refresh and learn a trick or two of the mediums from expert practitioners.

One great tip from Andrew Forkner was the use of a ‘Graphic Artist Glove’ which consists of two outer fingers and a palm and wrist covering, really useful for keeping your work clean whilst working. Readily available online. 

The TWASI council wish to thank Valerie Briggs for organising the weekend.


Just wanted to say thank you for organising the scraperboard workshop – I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a good deal which I am sure is going to impact a good deal on my work from now on. 

It was so useful talking with Jackie and I am certain every one who attended would have come away having picked up information and tips – it will be interesting to see whether this year’s exhibition will see more work in the medium.

Again, many thanks – I look forward to seeing you soon at this year’s exhibition


We hope to repeat this spring workshop next year but will discussing whether to hold just one workshop over the weekend to explore the medium more fully. We will be canvassing you for your opinion in the near future so please do respond.




“Caroline had seen on the British Wildlife Photography website this photograph of a gorgeous red squirrel leaping, and instantly wanted to paint it, as she adores red squirrels.

She gained permission to use it from the photographer, Gary Bruce.

Caroline was asked by the SAA to write an article for their November Paint magazine, and she immediately thought of this image.

The red squirrel was rendered in various coloured pencils onto white Pastelmat board, using many layers and colours to give depth to the fur, making sure that the highest tonal value was on or near the squirrel’s head, to give the impression that he was leaping out of the painting.

She then used watercolour for the background, using various mixes of Winsor (pthalo) blue red shade, Permanent Rose and Indian Yellow, sweeping the paint over the edges of the coloured pencil squirrel, where it repelled the watercolour, due to the wax/oil content in coloured pencils.

Caroline then splashed some water over the background and sprinkled a little table salt, to give the impression of snow falling on a cold day – voila!”


“This oil painting on canvas was in the pipeline for a long time.

I had images and photos from a session at my friend’s Birds of Prey centre in Lancashire, and was reserving the Barn Owl for a few years.

A couple of years later, I was living in the Forest of Dean, and working for the Wye Valley AONB in graphics and information.

We had a massive snow shower, the last one we ever had, and I couldn’t get the car up our forest track to work, so I walked to the nearest shop about 3 miles away to get bread and milk – I had my elderly parents living with me, and we had run out of supplies.

I took my camera and got some beautiful snow shots.

I decided to put the two things together a couple of years later, and they went on a Christmas card then.

I have never exhibited this painting, and I still have it, as it has really definite memories of slogging through the snow, which was thigh deep – I remember it being so beautiful, quiet and cathedral-like, but very hard work!”


“The artwork was inspired by a photograph by Stan Jackson, used with permission, and

it was the aloof, regal attitude of the stag which stood out to me.

Blizzard conditions seemed the ideal backdrop to add drama, which I felt added nobility and strength to the main subject.

Painted in watercolour, with masked-out snowflakes of varying sizes.

The background is loose wet-in-wet diagonals, with water drops for back-runs to resemble snowflakes.

The stag is painted in more detail, to give him solidity and presence in the swirling blizzard conditions.”

2021 AGM and Members Weekend

2021 TWASI members weekend montage

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.

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

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

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”.



1st: Neal Griffin – “The Crossing”

“My aunt and uncle were on a trip to the Masai Mara in 2014, when they were lucky enough to witness the Wildebeest migration as they crossed the river.

My uncle had taken many photos, and when I saw them I was drawn to one particular photo which I just had to use as reference for a painting.

Due to the vast number of Wildebeest, I decided to grid out the canvas to transfer the rough positions of the Wildebeest from the photo.

Using oil paints I started by blocking in the painting to get rough tones and shapes, and then I started working up the painting, starting at the top with the background and working down the canvas to the foreground.

I worked on the painting on and off over the course of about a year with some ups and downs.

I did do a rough count of the number of Wildebeest in the painting, and there are over 250.

The canvas is approx.. 100 x 50 cms.”

The Crossing by Neal Griffin - Winner of the TWASI Members Summer Competition 2021

2nd: France Bauduin – “Born to Run”

First of all, a good part of the credit goes to my friend Kathy Newton who took the wonderful reference photo I used for my drawing.  

Cheetahs being the fastest animal on earth, in my mind, the only way to capture the spirit of this beautiful animal would be to show him running at full speed.  Once I saw that photo on Facebook, I knew I had to draw him. 

I particularly liked the way the sunlight was playing on his body showing off his muscles as well the shadow of his body ahead of him on the blurry grass and this is how I wanted to draw him, with no other distraction.  

I ended up using a very interesting palette of my colour pencils:  a mix of golds & mauves for the cheetah as well as assorted greens for the grass.  

This was done on Sand Pastelmat board, my favourite surface, the final size being 45 x 68cm. 

While other colours of Pastelmat might have offered a deeper contrast, I generally prefer to choose a paper that complements well the colour of the animal.

As usual, I worked with a grid of white dots in order to have the tiniest detail and colour variation right. 

I usually wait until the very end to cover them as I often go back to make adjustments as I progress, sometimes thanks to advice from Facebook friends like David Skidmore and Paul Lloyd who helped me correct his eyes. 

The whole drawing took 138.5 hours to complete over a period of 5 weeks last spring and I enjoyed every step of the way. 

I’m hoping to show the original at the TWASI exhibition next year, unless it sells before.

Born to Run by France Bauduin, runner up in the TWASI Members Summer Competition 2021

3rd: Caroline Strong – “Catch of the Day”

“The inspiration came from looking at the British Wildlife Photography website.

I saw a photograph by Bill Doherty which I was immediately drawn to, as I’d been looking for a photo with impact and amazement.

I contacted Bill Doherty to ask if I could use it for a watercolour painting, which he agreed to. The only thing I needed was a better image of the rainbow trout, as it was almost all in the water. Bill sent me a few more photos he’d taken on the same shoot, and I was able to adapt my painting to include more of the fish out of the water.

I thought the portrayal of the water and the movement of the Osprey would be a challenge, and it was, but that was partly why I chose to do it – I love a challenge of colour and/or techniques to use.

The background was achieved in several layers.

For each layer I kept some of the splashes masked out and added others by using masking fluid or splashing water onto the damp painting – thus achieving depth, I hope you agree?

The Osprey itself was masked out whilst painting the background and then, starting with thin variegated washes I built up the feathers and markings.

Some feathers and the farthest wing were blurred by blending into the background to enable movement and distance/perspective.

This is the biggest artwork I have ever done (apart perhaps from the murals I did on my son’s bedroom wall many years ago!) – it’s on a full imperial sheet of Arches 640gsm paper.”

Catch of the Day by Caroline Strong. Came 3rd in the TWASI Members Summer Competition 2021

and Congratulations to all the Members who entered their work

Roy Aplin
France Bauduin
Lesley Connolly
Neal Griffin
Tracey Hancock
John Hebb
Geoff Jennings
Ayse Rifat
Caroline Strong
Rosana Venturini
Julie Weir
George Yiend.



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.

Please click on the link below or more information about the Oman Arabian Nights Experience – SCHEDULE OMAN 7 day Tour

September 2022 NEWSLETTER – A Brush with Africa

To view properly please view in your browser




Go to top