SWLA at British Bird Watching Fair 2017


The world famous British Bird Watching Fair attracts over 20,000 visitors over the three day event and the Society of Wildlife Artists is proud to be part of the experience. The impressive Art Marquee offers visitors the chance to buy art and talk to the artists themselves and the large SWLA stand is a key part of the display showing a wide range of work from member artists using wildlife, not just birds, as the theme.

Birdfair – 18th – 20th August Egleton, Rutland

18th – 20th August Egleton, Rutland

Source: birdfair.org.uk/

The exciting new book ‘Flight Lines’, celebrating the BTO/SWLA Flight Lines project, which brought together SWLA member artists, BTO researchers and volunteers to document migrant birds and those who study them will be launched at the Fair. This unique collaboration has produced some stunning art, supported by an authoritative and accessible narrative written by the BTO’s Mike Toms.

Flight Lines – Engaging with the wonders of migration | BTO – British Trust for Ornithology

Source: www.bto.org/science/migration/flight-lines

The SWLA holds the hugely popular Original A5 Artwork Draw on Friday and Saturday. Each ticket holder is guaranteed a piece of original art by a member artist and the money raised helps the Society to continue to offer bursaries to young and emerging artists.
This year the artists on the stand include Harriet Mead, Darren Rees, Esther Tyson, Nick Derry, Brin Edwards and Richard Jarvis. Other SWLA artists with stands in the marquee include Carry Akroyd, Nik Pollard, Chris Rose, John Threlfall, Mike Warren and Darren Woodhead.

Details for The Natural Eye – SWLA Exhibition 2017 on the Mall galleries website

The Mall Galleries have updated their website with information on dates and how to submit to The Natural Eye –  SWLA Exhibition 2017

Society of Wildlife Open Exhibition Call for Entries

Submissions are invited to the Society of Wildlife Artists 54th Annual Exhibition 2017 at Mall Galleries. How to Submit ALL work must be submitted online.

The Natural Eye 2016

The annual exhibition of the Society runs from 26th October to 6th November. There are over 350 artworks by more than 100 different artists (both members and non members) and includes displays from collaborative projects. There will be a major display of unframed work from the DKM/SWLA Turkish Sweetgum Project that took place earlier this year. Four SWLA artists spent time in Turkey working alongside 25 Turkish artists and students in the unique habitat of the Turkish sweetgum forests. Their guidance in showing new approaches and methods, such as working outside in situ inspired the students and proved to be a a rich and rewarding experience for all involved. Other unframed project displays include the RSPB/SWLA Wallasea Island Project and paintings by Darren Woodhead SWLA as part of his diving adventure as recipient of the Wildlife Trusts Undersea Art award who invented his own equipment to enable him to use watercolours underwater.

Hares and Goldfinches by Andrew Haslen SWLA

Hares and Goldfinches by Andrew Haslen SWLA

An online gallery of selected works can be found here.

Wildlife Trusts Undersea Art Award

Past winners of the Wildlife Trusts Undersea Art Award, Chris Rose SWLA and Harriet Mead PSWLA, will give an informal illustrated talk about their diving experiences.

First established in 2007 the Wildlife Trusts Undersea Art Award is a fantastic opportunity for an established artist to learn to dive and use their experiences and resulting art to publicise the plight of our marine habitats and the need for protected areas. The award is open to any artist with a passion for nature who wants to find out more about the astonishingly varied submerged landscapes around UK shores that are hidden beneath the waves. Chris Rose spent time exploring kelp beds off the Northumberland coast and Harriet Mead dived the chalk shoals in North Norfolk. This talk will give an insight into the challenges of drawing underwater and shows how they were inspired by the whole new world that they encountered.harriet-mead-diving

The talk is on Wednesday 26th October at 2pm in the Learning Centre at Mall Galleries and is free. No booking is necessary but as places are limited, please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

RSPB/SWLA Wallasea Island Project

SWLA artist Brin Edwards and Jeff Kew, Operations Manager Eastern Region RSPB will be giving an illustrated talk about the third SWLA/RSPB collaborative artist residency project at the Wallasea Island Reserve, which took place in October 2016.

The talk is at 3pm on Thursday 27th October in the Learning Centre at Mall Galleries and is free. No booking is necessary but as places are limited, please arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Six artists spent three days on the site observing and drawing wildlife in the newly landscaped habitat at this major new Essex reserve. The aim of the Wallasea Island Reserve is to combat the threats from climate change and coastal flooding by recreating the ancient wetland landscape of mudflats and saltmarsh, lagoons and pasture. It will also help to compensate for the loss of such tidal habitats elsewhere in England.

The artists involved are: Kittie Jones SWLA, Brin Edwards SWLA, Ben Woodhams SWLA, Richard Allen ASWLA, Nik Pollard SWLA, Greg Poole SWLA


Seabird drawing course bursaries – deadline approaching

Application for this years seabird drawing bursaries closes at the end of next week  (7th October).  If you are a keen field sketcher why not apply?
About the bursaries
2016 course blogs
Application form
Or if you would  like to attend the course as a paying student, please contact Mark Boyd, details below.

Enjoy a week long field based drawing & painting course.  Learn alongside our team of experienced tutors Darren Woodhead, Greg Poole, Kittie Jones and guest tutor Kim Atkinson. Be inspired by the energetic frenzy of the seabird colonies around the Firth of Forth at the height of the breeding season. We welcome enthusiastic sketchers of all levels.more details from – mark.boyd@zen.co.uk  –  01767 650904seabird-drawing-f

Rachel Porter – bursary winner 2016

The week was amazing in so many ways. Being based in beautiful Perthshire and drawing alongside such knowledgeable tutors, carried along by the enthusiasm of fellow students and course mates, as well as the locations we drew at (Bass Rock), made the course an incredibly inspiring experience and one I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to go on.
I really valued the time we had to observe the different species of sea birds, learning to capture their constant movement, watching them in flight and their behaviour. The trip to Bass rock was especially remarkable, one I’ll never forget. Though a challenging environment to draw in, being
under a wheeling sky of thousands of Gannets was truly spectacular.

Working from life, being in the movement of the day, whatever the weather, gives rare insight. These encounters are a pleasure to try and capture through drawing.160908-4
The informal ‘crits’ when everyone shared their day’s drawing, meant each persons work was appreciated and learnt from. I always find it interesting to see the different ways artists depict similar things, and their varied interpretation of the same subjects.160908-1

No day stands out being a particular highlight…the whole week was awesome!! The most valuable aspect for me was the tutors. Being under the tutelage of such talented and experienced artists, not only receiving advice and ideas, but being able to work alongside them was an amazing privilege. Their enthusiasm and passion for their subjects and the natural world was inspiring to see…it enabled me to see new potential in the direction of my work, and strengthened in me the desire and importance of drawing from life.
For me as an artist, the course was influential as it gave me confidence to try new skills, particularly watercolour. Since then I have continued to experiment with this medium, introducing more colour into my work. This new way of working has brought enjoyment back into working in the field.
Overall, the course was a wonderful experience, something I would love to do again and encourage others to do as well. It has breathed life back into my drawing.
Thanks to everyone who was involved!

Evelina Flodstrom – bursary winner 2016

20160815_184956I never dreamed that I would get a bursary, especially SWLA and Seabird Drawing Course. And to my great surprise and happiness I actually won it along with two other artists for 2016! Continue reading