Author Archives: chris rose

Langford Press Field Sketches Award – open for entries!

SWLA is pleased to announce that the Langford Press Field Sketches Award is running again this year and artists are invited to submit their field work for this great prize NOW! The deadline for last entries will be 5.00pm Monday 19th October. The Award is given to any artist of any age who shows a fundamental understanding of the subject through their work in the field. The winner will have their winning field work displayed at this year’s The Natural Eye,  the annual exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists.

The subject has to be of wildlife but this could encompass back garden nature just as much as exotic expedition work. The judges are looking for a body of work (maximum of eight pieces) that captures the essence of the subject which has been drawn from life. We are not looking for studio work. Open to any one who is inspired by the natural world, the work will be judged by Ian Langford and two senior members of the SWLA. The winner will be notified shortly after the closing date once judging has been completed and will be required to send their original field work immediately to the Mall Galleries for inclusion in the exhibition. The winner will be announced publically at the private view of The Natural Eye.

Please click on the link below to complete the form for the Langford Press Field Sketches Award.

Click here for the online application form.

Bursary Application Deadline Extended!

In order to allow artists more time to submit their applications for the SWLA bursaries, including the John Busby Seabird Drawing Course, we have extended the submission deadline to 30th September. Apply now  – there is only a limited number of bursaries available.

See this years bursary winners accounts of their time on the John Busby Seabird Drawing Course :-

Lara ScoulleGuillemot_Contoursr

Becky Thorley-Fox

Claire Williamson
Gannets of Bass Rock (640x483)

John Busby

John teaching on his annual 'Seabird drawing course' on the Firth of Forth

John teaching on his annual ‘Seabird drawing course’ on the Firth of Forth.

It is with great sadness we learnt of the death of John Busby earlier this week.

John was a much loved and hugely respected artist, tutor, mentor and friend. His work was admired by all and his ability to capture the life and character of a bird, animal or place was second to none. From deceptively simple-looking pencil and wash sketches to larger and more abstract oils his work was instantly recognisable and inimitable – always lively and fresh. He has tutored, mentored and guided so many artists over the years that his legacy lives on, not just in the vast amount of stunning work he produced, but in the artists he has inspired and nurtured through his teachings, both at the Edinburgh College of Art and at the famous John Busby Seabird Drawing Course.

He has been a a vital and influential member of the Society – a part of its fabric for so many years it is hard to imagine the SWLA and the world of art without him. He will be greatly missed by very many people and our thoughts go out to his wife Joan and to all of his family.

We encourage artists to add their own thoughts, memories and images of John and his work to this post.  Mail to and we will upload them. To visit the page of tributes please click here.

One of many John's  publications that have influenced so many artists

One of John’s publications that has influenced so many artists

The Artist Magazine – article by Chris Rose

Chris Rose has an article about his work in the June issue of The Artist out now. The article includes a step-by-step demonstration of a studio oil painting along with details of the materials and pigments that he uses.

Keith Shackleton MBE

It is with great sadness  we announce that founder SWLA member and former president of the society Keith Shackleton MBE died on Friday 17th April.

Keith was a brilliant painter and article-1339838053551-13a2aa74000005dc-299762_457x650he was a great  inspiration to many of us within the society. A master of the stormy sea and of the icebound lanscapes of Antarctica he also served as president of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. As a conservationist he helped Sir Peter Scott in setting up the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, of which he was vice-president, and he gave huge support to wildlife conservation in the Antarctic. Painter, wildlife conservationist, televison presenter, pilot, internationally acclaimed yachtsman; his list of acheivements is too long to list here and there will be a full obituary to him in a newsletter later this year.

For those who knew him he was a kind and generous man with a great sense of humour and an often mischievously witty turn of phrase; a great raconteur who had a seemingly endless fund of stories and anecdotes, drawn from  a rich life filled with enviably fascinating adventures. He was a modest, self-deprecating man with infinite charm – he was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. He will be greatly missed and our hearts go out to his wife, Jacqueline, and to all of his family.

Wildlife Trusts Undersea Art Award

This year’s award had been given to Chris Rose, who is hoping to complete his dive training in May and to take his open water dives this summer in the proposed new Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) of Coquet to St. Mary’s on the coast of North East Northumberland. He is currently practicing his swimming!