Monday, 19 November 2012

S W L A and the Langford Fieldsketch Award

turnstone at Evie Sands - fieldsketch
 
The Society of Wildlife Artists Annual Exhibition;  the premier exhibition of wildlife art in Britain – possibly the world.  The Society’s inaugural exhibition was held in London and opened by James Fisher in August 1964.  I first exhibited with the SWLA in 1986 and, finally this year, have been elected a full member.  They say that good things come to those that wait . . . 
pintails and wigeon - fieldsketch
 
. . . and this year I was astonished but incredibly delighted to receive the inaugural ‘Langford Field Sketch Award’.  The Award is given to “an artist who shows a fundamental understanding of the subject through their work in the field . . . for a body of work that captures the essence of the subject which has been drawn from life”.
goldcrests
 
goldcrests
 
I always joke that Autumn lasts about three hours in Orkney; the first serious blast of breeze strips any trees and shrubs of their leaves and deposits them somewhere due east of Scandinavia, yet this year we have enjoyed beautiful proper autumn days, typified by invasions of warblers – many goldcrests from the near continent and the exquisite yellow-browed from Siberia.  I spent a few sessions with these birds.
yellow-browed warbler in sycamore
 
British butterflies
 
It was also a pleasant diversion to be asked to make a small painting for a couple I know.  Butterflies occasionally feature in my work, but often they are overlooked in favour of the birds – but this was a piece I was keen to do.  As with most of my paintings, I spent a wee bit of time sketching before committing to the finished article and I was lucky to have several pages of butterfly sketches from my trip to Sark with the Artists for Nature Foundation last year.  Some of the quick watercolour sketches had a nice sense of vitality to them and I tried to keep some of that in the finished painting.
painted lady, red admiral and buddleia
 
waxwing - fieldsketch
 
waxwing - fieldsketch
 
I have a favourite bird – it’s the one I am looking at in any given moment.  But, to narrow that field down a little, it is the arctic skua.  Well, it is when they’re here, at any rate.  And when they’ve left for the Southern Hemisphere, I can look forward to greeting my other favourite birds – waxwings!  These little northern birds bring a splash of colour at the time of the year it is most needed.  Their sleek and beautiful plumage resonates against the dank and grey late autumn light; gem-like.  Nothing lifts the soul like seeing waxwings, and hearing their Christmas jingle-bell calls.  This autumn waxwings have arrived in their hundreds and I’ve spent a lot of time enjoying these delightful birds – and drawing them.  
 waxwing - fieldsketch

waxwing - fieldsketch

waxwing - fieldsketch

waxwing - fieldsketch


6 comments:

Sharon Whitley said...

THey are a joy to see waxwings aren't they - I love your field sketches of them, I was lucky enough to see them the other day feeding on rowan trees near where I live, I've had a go at painting a couple as well! I must try sketching birds on location like you do! Love your blog and your art

Federico Gemma said...

Great Tim! Absolutely well deserved!

Mick Carney said...

I always look forward to these appearing. Beautiful paintings and delightful insights.

Måns Sjöberg said...

Very well deserved! Fabulous sketches!

Måns Sjöberg said...

Very well deserved! Fabulous sketches!

Francisco J. Hernández said...

Congratulations Tim !, .. for all !