Federico Gemma

Since childhood, Federico has always been attracted by animals, especially wild animals, and has always tried to portray them from the first time he held a pencil in his hands. His passion for nature induced him to get a degree in Biological Sciences in Rome, to become a zoologist. Yet, even before concluding his studies, he employed most of his time drawing naturalist illustrations. Nevertheless his interests still include biological sciences since he works for parks and nature reserves, museums and nature conservation bodies making drawings and illustrations for calendars, panels, thematic areas, books, brochures and magazines. Not only an illustrator but also a painter, he spends his free time travelling Italy, Europe, and the world looking for subjects, animals and landscapes, to portray. He is a self-taught artist and regularly holds drawing and watercolour classes.

1970 – Born in Rome, Italy 1970
1997 – Graduated in Biological Sciences, Rome University.
2009 – Elected Associated Member of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA)
2013 – Full member of the SWLA

Artist’s statement
Nature is my main source of inspiration. And I can fully enjoy it only when I draw and paint what I see. I like to portray the instant when I catch sight of something. Not a detailed description but the colours and the lights of that instant, the fleeting sighting, the feeling of a landscape, the sculptural quality of a flock.
Exhibitions
Solo exhibition
2012 Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge
2010 Sala Margana Gallery, Rome, Italy
2007 Sala Margana Gallery, Rome, Italy

 Selected Group exhibition
2001-2013 Society of Wildlife Artists, Mall Galleries
2011 – David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation – Wildlife Artist of the Year exhibition
2012 – David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation – Wildlife Artist of the Year exhibition

Method of working
My favourite subjects are birds and mammals but also landscapes, trees and old rural homes. I mostly use watercolour, a technique which I love for the brightness and transparency of the colour. Its capacity for rapid execution makes it also ideal to the use on the field.
However, the pencil is my inseparable friend: either grease, soft, hard or sharp it allows me to draw lines, shapes and volumes anywhere. It is through the pencil that I can express what I see through my eyes. Whenever I can, I take notes on the field always carrying with me a sketchbook, a pencil and watercolours. I believe life drawing is a fundamental process and an irreplaceable tool to observe and fix on the paper instants and ideas. Some of these sketches then become watercolours and finished paintings, others stay as they are, enduring memory of travels and sightings.

 Scholarships/Awards/Prizes

2009 – Winner in the World Birds category of the BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year 2009 competition.
2009 – Selected to participate in the X° Edition of Rendez-vous du Carnet de Voyage in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
2010 – Commended in the International Artists category of the BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year 2010 competition.
2011 – Highly commended on DSWF exhibition 2011
2012 – Selected to participate in the 13° Edition of Rendez-vous du Carnet de Voyage in Clermont-Ferrand, France.
2012 – Runner-up in the International artist category of the BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year 2012 competition.
2013 – Birdwatch Artist of the Year award in association with Swarovski Optik

 Publications
“A Guide to the Mammals of China” edited by Andrew T. Smith & Yan Xie and published by Princeton University Press.
Illustrations for papers and magazines including BBC Wildlife Magazine and Traveller Condé Nast magazine Italian Edition.

http://federicogemma.blogspot.it/
http://www.federicogemma.it