Artist Interview 2021: Felt painter Nicky Heard

Nicky Heard is a talented mixed media Artist and winner of the Public Vote 2020 with her entry ‘Giraffe’. Within this interview Nicky discusses her background, participation with the Southern Nature Art Exhibition and her craft specialising in felt painting.

 

Beginnings

Were you always interested in nature?

I’ve always loved anything natural: landscapes, natural forms, animals, birds etc. I was brought up in a rural community and lived on a small holding or farm for much of my early life. My father ‘collected’ animals like others collected records and we had numerous unusual pets from an owl to squirrels as well as more typical animals such as donkeys, goats, chickens etc. My interest and love of all of this stems back to before I can remember.

Where did your love of art begin?

I was always into art and hands on activities. As a youngster I wanted to be a vet but I wasn’t really academic enough. I chose to study as many art-based subjects as I was allowed and did woodwork, metalwork, tech drawing, photography, art, art history and was rarely seen out of the art department in school and college.

How did you come to be a part of the Southern Nature Art Exhibition?

I did a degree in Ceramics and Glass and later a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education). I went on to teach art in a local secondary school and later became Head of the Art department. I loved teaching but after 25 years of encouraging others to be creative I decided it was time to focus on my own art practice. I still wanted to teach so I set up classes from my garden studio. At my first class someone told me about the Southern Nature Art exhibition so the following year, 2020, I submitted a couple of pieces of work. It was the first time I had participated in any exhibition with my own work and was humbled by the response I got.

Turkey – Merino Wool and Acrylic on Canvas

Size:  100 cm x 50 cm

Available online for reservation, view Nicky’s Artist Gallery page: https://southernnatureart.com/nicky-heard/

Teaching Art

What is your teaching style?

I have taught every art medium and subject I can think of in my teaching career, I love using and being inspired by different medias. I think I am a very hands on teacher, I love to get stuck in demonstrating and participating in work. I don’t like any sort of pressure to work at a certain speed or conforming to rules. I think art should only be relaxing and fun so I think having a sense of humour and not taking myself too seriously is important.

What do you enjoy about sharing your craft with students?

There are 2 things I love most about teaching. Firstly, I love the pleasure others get in their own work. When they have produced something they are immensely proud of, that makes me truly happy. Secondly I love to learn, I am always trying new things so I like to learn from my students. I encourage others to take what I give them as a starting point and then experiment using their own creativity and imagination to take it as far as they can go.

Are you looking forward to your dry felt painting workshop at SNAE this year?

I am really excited to be participating in the SNAE again this year and am honoured that I have been asked to do a workshop. I usually teach courses over 10 weeks so producing a piece in a day presents all kinds of exciting challenges.

Javan Gibbon – Merino Wool and Ink on Canvas

Size:  100 cm x 120 cm

Available online for reservation, view Nicky’s Artist Gallery page: https://southernnatureart.com/nicky-heard/

Talk us through your artwork

What is it about working with mixed media that you enjoy?

Although I started as a ceramicist I have always wanted to try everything. Teaching made me learn continuously about different medias, subjects and skills. Until recently, textiles was one area I knew very little about then about 2 years ago I saw friend and teaching colleague instructing a student on making a needle felted shape. I thought I’d like to give it a go so bought some basic materials on the internet and went for it. I didn’t do any research or buy any books but just explored what I could do with the materials. That moment was an epiphany for me and within 6 months I had left my job, set up my own business and was making, selling and teaching my new passion.

How do you use different materials to show texture? 

I love experimenting and will try anything with a complete disregard as to whether it is the right way or not. I’ve always looked at media as something to interact with and have always combined them to create interesting effects and contrasting textures. Layering media to see what happens has had real impact in my current work where I use the soft, imprecise texture of wool with the crisp, controllable lines of ink to create a contrast that somehow blends into one.

What references do you use when creating your artwork?

I always work from imagery and spend many hours sourcing copyright free images to work from. I have been very lucky that a couple of very generous photographers have given me permission to use their images to work from. I always get permission and credit the photographer. I have found that most people are really kind and I have only had a few ignore my requests or said no. I also take some photos myself and have spent hours and days in Bird World, various zoos and wildlife parks collecting images and my daughter is a great wildlife photographer so I don’t have problems finding resources.

Can you explain your creative process when beginning a new piece of art? Where do you find inspiration?

I make snap decisions about my subject matter. I might see a photo that I love or be inspired by an environmental programme or event. Once I have decided on a subject I will, more than likely, do a series of related pieces before I become inspired by something else. I have enough ideas to last me forever and I rarely finish a piece before my next one is in the planning.

You were the winner of the public vote 2020. What is it about ‘Giraffe’ that you felt connected with people?

People are drawn to my work because they think they are looking at a painting but as they get close they discover it is made, predominately, from wool. It is the surprise in discovering the media that makes the audience stop and look closer. I love that, why should a painting be produced from a wet medium?

Do you have a favourite piece of work you have completed?

Nearly every piece I do is my favourite at the time until about 3/4 of the way through I start getting interested in my next subject. If I had to choose one piece of work to keep out of every piece I’ve done it would probably be my Sloth because I not only adore sloths but in order to produce it I had to learn about and experiment with a whole range of fibres to create the texture effect that I wanted.

Two-Toed Sloth
2020 Merino wool, various fibres, canvas, acrylic paint. 50cmx100cm.

The Future

How are you expanding your reach as an artist?

With the pandemic preventing a lot of events and opportunities happening for most of my time as a professional artist I have had to adapt my ideas of reaching people face to face and instead I have developed an instagram page, a facebook page, a twitter site and a website. Although not the way I originally intended to reach people, these have allowed me to interact with an audience worldwide. I have featured in an Australian magazine, sold work in the USA, Germany, Netherlands and Australia. I want to continue to use my art to get the environmental message across as widely as possible.

Where would you like to see your artwork in the future?

I never know what I might do next. I see my art as an opportunity to try new things and I am doing things now that I would never have believed possible 2 years ago. I know I love the medium I work in now and I can’t see me changing what I do, however, I will always experiment to see how far I can take it and what I can mix it with. My subject is set in stone. Nature and the environment is a part of who I am. I want to see future generations grow up in the wonderful world I did and I am really keen that through my art I might make a small contribution to helping protect our awesome planet. I give 10% from the sale of my original work to the WWF and do everything in an environmentally friendly way as I can.

‘African Elephant’ by Nicky Heard Merino Wool and Ink on Canvas. Available online for reservation, view Nicky’s Artist Gallery page: https://southernnatureart.com/nicky-heard/

Advice

How did you find motivation to work on your artwork during Covid-19? What kept you going?

I only started my artistic adventure in July 2019 and within 6 months the world as we knew it had ground to a halt. I never let this stop me, I look on this difficult time as an opportunity to build my work, explore more ideas and use online to network and get to know what’s going on. Loving what I do, contributing in a small way to the environment has kept me working right through the pandemic.

What advice would you give aspiring artists looking to go professional full time?

My advice to anyone who wants to become a full time artist is to be prepared for knock-backs – it doesn’t ever go to plan, but be positive, open minded, and opportunistic about the way you approach everything.

Winner of the 2020 Public Vote Giraffe – Merino Wool and Ink on Canvas

Size:  100 cm x 50 cm

Available online for reservation, view Nicky’s Artist Gallery page: https://southernnatureart.com/nicky-heard/

Thank you Nicky for sharing within our community!

 

We hope you enjoyed reading more about Nicky Heard. Come along to the Southern Nature Art Exhibition 2021 at Cams Hill School, Fareham from 27th-30th August to view Nicky’s work amongst many other talented artists on display.

 

Additional links to view more of Nicky’s work:

Nicky Heard’s Website: https://www.nickyheard.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nickyheardartist/?ref=page_internal

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nickyheardartist/?hl=en

 

Interview with Emma Abel

The next interview this year is with Emma Abel, who is a self-taught mosaicist. Emma’s mosaics focus on endangered species to raise awareness of them and she donates to the charities that support these animals and birds.

Emma also runs workshops too to help others catch the bug for mosaic-making.

To view Emma’s pieces and find out more about her, click here to go to her artist page or click here to visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook or follow her on Instagram.

Interview with Shelley Stevens

Shelley Stevens speaks to Megan in the next part of our interview series. Shelley is a mixed media artist and tattooist.

Together we spoke about Shelley’s influences, her tattooing and the transition to canvas. Plus we spoke about lockdown and future travel plans.

If you want to find out more, click here or check out Shelley’s website here. You can also follow her on Instagram or find her page on Facebook.

Interview with Mandi Baykaa-Murray

In today’s video, Megan interviews Mandi Baykaa-Murray. Mandi is a wildlife artist, who has been named ‘The Feather Lady’ because of her unique and beautiful paintings of birds onto feathers.

In this interview, we talk about how Mandi started out working with Birds of Prey and then how that developed to painting them on feathers. We also discuss lockdown, seascapes and the benefits of creating art.

For information about Mandi, check our her artist page here or her website here. You can also follow her on Instagram.

Interview with Carolynne Winchester

 

 

Our next written interview is with Carolynne Winchester, who is a pet and wildlife artist using a variety of mediums like watercolour, colour pencil and mixed media.

 

 

 

 

Megan: How did it all start for you? When did you start creating your artwork?

Carolynne: I didn’t start to create art until I retired from a 25 year teaching career. (9 years ago)

M: Have you always loved art/wanted to be an artist?

C: I have always loved looking at art and some of my favourite artists are Gustav Klimt, Claude Monet, John William Waterhouse, David Shepherd to name just a few. Just before retiring I tried out watercolour painting at a thank you event for the teaching staff following a very successful Ofsted inspection and I was hooked.

M: What is your favourite medium? Are there any others you would like to try?

C: My first love was watercolour. I was also keen to try out other media and attended workshops on mixed media, acrylic, collage, Chinese painting and coloured pencils. Never oil due to my asthma. I started seriously using coloured pencils 3 years ago and as I have discovered different supports and methods of using them I now use them all for all my Pet Portraits and Wildlife work and love the results I can get with them watercolour pencils also allow me to combine the 2 mediums I love best.

M: What are your favourite tools or products etc. to use?

C: I use Artist quality pencils so I know that the Lightfastness is guaranteed. These are mainly Derwent Lighfast, Faber Castell Polychromos , Caran D’ache Luminance and Aquarelle Museum (watercolour) A few others may be used if a certain colour or intensity is needed in a piece. For supports I usually use Pastelmat Board, Graffix .005 double matt, Fabrano Artistico or Derwent Lightfast.

M: What is your process? How would a piece start and how would you go about completing it?

C: I consider the piece I want to create and try to think about the effect I want to create. This then leads me on to which support would best suit the piece, I then consider the colours needed and this can sometimes bring up a few surprises. I always start with the eyes – they are the very soul of the animal – and if I get them right they really help me with the rest of the piece. As I work on a piece, I try to bring the textures of either the fur, feathers, scales etc to life.

Waiting for Supper By Carolynne Winchester - Coloured Pencil - Framed 33.5x38.5cm - £125
Waiting for Supper By Carolynne Winchester – Coloured Pencil – Framed 33.5×38.5cm – £125

M: What is the inspiration for your work?

C: I have always had a love for nature. I live down the end of a single track lane in a 450 year old cottage surrounded by NT woods. We are visited by Foxes, Deer, Owls, Squirrels, all manner of birds on our feeding stations and the occasional rabbit. Also an abundance of Butterflies, Bees, Dragonflies visiting our wild flower area and small pond. Don’t often see but we also have Badgers and Stoats. I try to use my own photographs but with exotic wildlife this is not always possible but I always ensure I have permission from the photographer.

M: How come your focus is on animals?

C: From a very young age I have loved Owls and they feature frequently in my works. In fact, I am about to start on Florence a Tawny Owl I had the pleasure of photographing on a recent photography day at the British Wildlife Centre. I have occasionally drawn people, landscapes and flowers but they don’t excite me the same way as animals – I love seeing them come to life on my drawing board.

M: Do you prefer painting wildlife or pets?

C: I would have to say Wildlife but occasionally I get asked to do a pet portrait and the subject is just so beautiful and has an expression that I just want to capture.

M: What are the differences between painting pet portraits and painting wildlife?

C: Usually the quality of the photograph. Unless I can take the photo myself, Pet photographs can often be poor quality. Difficult when the client wants that particular pose because it has special meaning to them.

Pretty Boy by Carolynne Winchester - Coloured Pencil - Framed 33.5x38.5cm - £125
Pretty Boy by Carolynne Winchester – Coloured Pencil – Framed 33.5×38.5cm – £125

M: Are there any artists whose work inspires you?

C: Many artists have influenced me along my journey either from attending their workshops or seeing their own finished artworks. My main influences with coloured pencils have been Victoria Manser, Bonny Snowden and Lisa Ann Watkins.

M: What do you love about being an artist?

C: I love being able to switch off when I pick up my pencils and become totally immersed in the artwork I am creating.

M: You participate in local art societies, what do you enjoy about being a part of these groups?

C: I enjoy meeting up with other artists and the diversity they can provide. Their monthly demo meetings give different perspectives on art in general. Also the opportunity to attend workshops locally (Covid permitting). They give the sense of belonging to a community

M: How has creating artwork been beneficial to you? 

C: Definitely during lockdown, art has provided an outlet – 2 of the art societies I belong to have taken everything online. This has really helped in us all being able to participate and, if on Zoom, to actually keep in contact and see artist friends. I also joined two Patreon sites and being able to dip in an out at my convenience has enabled me to learn new skills and techniques and to apply these to my own work.

M: Do you have any advice to give to others about creating artwork?

C: You are never too old to learn new skills. Have a positive attitude to what you are creating. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice.

Jethro Pallas Cat By Carolynne Winchester - Coloured Pencil - framed 33.5x38.5cm £125
Jethro Pallas Cat By Carolynne Winchester – Coloured Pencil – framed 33.5×38.5cm £125

M: Why are you taking part in the exhibition?

C: I believe Southern Nature Exhibition is one of the major exhibitions in the south and is an excellent way to showcase my artwork. I am also going to be part of the Art Market this year – a first for me – so will be demonstrating at my table as well as having some goodies featuring my artwork. Looking forward to chatting to the public about my artwork.

M: What artwork can we expect to see at the exhibition?

C: I am entering 4 pieces – African Painted Dog, Tree Frog, Tawny Owl and Urban Fox Cubs.

M: How can people find your work?

C: I have a website: www.artbycarolynne.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/Art-by-Carolynne-104545504243513/

Instagram: carolynnewinchester

Interview with Sylviane Thomas

In the next interview, Megan speaks to Sylviane Thomas, who specialises in seascapes and marine life paintings. She has always loved art, citing Renoir as an inspiration, but the inspiration for marine life came from her husband and holidays involving diving and snorkelling.

Sylviane splits her time between Hampshire and France, always taking her pastels with her whenever she goes away in case inspiration strikes.

For more information about Sylviane and her work, click here to view her artist page on our website.

Geoff Read Book Interview 2021: ‘Earwigs to Rhinos’

Geoff Read has previously worked at London Zoo and Marwell Zoological Park.Within this interview Geoff discusses highlights within his career including watching the birth of a snow leopard and Princess Anne’s visit to the Zoo. Geoff talks us through what we can expect from his first publication ‘Earwigs to Rhinos’, reflecting on years of fond memories and lived experiences as a zoo keeper. 

Book Summary:

A baby ape swinging under the table, a kangaroo in the supermarket, a deadly insect bite. Geoff Read, head zoo-keeper for over forty years tells his story. This book gives us a true snapshot of what zoo life is like.

The ride of emotions is tangible as we read about the birth, death, and conservation of some of our rarest insects and animals. This peppered with snippets of his family life makes this a colourful, informative, and nostalgic read.

In the 1950’s, as a child Geoff lived in a flat in London. A boy who searched the old bomb-sites for creepy crawlies was perhaps not in favour with his mum for storing the so-called projects under his bed! But Geoff knew he wanted to work with animals and insects. His interest was insatiable, often getting him into trouble.

Sandra was the girl next door and elated when Geoff asked her out. Being a teenager, she was naturally excited and spent the afternoon getting ready, wondering where their first date would be. Little did she know she would be teetering down rubbly paths in her highest heels, to a privet hedge to look at insects. Despite the shaky start the romance blossomed.

Geoff never excelled at school and was desperate to leave so when he saw a vacancy for a position at London Zoo, he lied about his age and applied. His father had died whilst he was young so once offered the job, he had to break the news to his mother. He was on the road to live his dream. Later he married Sandra and moved his young family to the country and took up a position as head keeper at Marwell Zoo, where he remained until retirement.

The book is full of raw emotion and honesty, attention capturing moments, a near death experience, conservation and much more. You cannot fail to want to read on to see what the next chapter in Geoff’s daily life brings.

 

For any further questions about the book Geoff is open to discussing at one of his book signings:

Marwell Hotel Friday 13th August 2-6pm

Geoff will also be at the Burley Village hall Craft Fair in the New forest:

July 26th until 1st August

 

‘Earwigs to Rhinos’ is available to purchase from:


PG Wells Winchester:

https://www.pgwells.co.uk/shop/events/geoff-read/earwigs-to-rhinos-signed-copy-pre-order/

Waterstones:

(Released Tuesday 27th July)

https://www.waterstones.com/book/earwigs-to-rhinos/geoff-read//9781800464155

 

 

Interview with Fiona Champion

As part of the run up to the Southern Nature Art Exhibition, we are running a series of interviews, including some written interviews too.

 

In the first of our written interviews, Megan spoke to Fiona Champion, who is an award-winning, self-taught artist inspired by nature, in particular big cats.

 

Megan: How did it all start for you?

Fiona: I’ve always enjoyed art, but never really had the chance to do anything until I married, emigrated, and found myself with a lot of time on my hands.  I just started to draw a bit.

M: Why did you decide to go down the self-taught route for your skills?

F: I did look at doing a formal qualification at one point, but having visited the college to see what the students were doing and producing, I found I really didn’t like the end results, so decided to actually enjoy my art and do what I wanted to do rather than be constrained by a course syllabus.

M: What are the pros and cons of self-teaching?

F: Pros are that you paint what you WANT to paint, what appeals to you. The main con for me is having to work everything out for yourself, perhaps not thinking of something that would help or improve my work. Sometimes a suggestion from another person is a brilliant idea, one that I haven’t thought of.

M: What’s your advice for those thinking of giving it a go?

F: Go for it – it’s great fun.

Winner of the Public Vote 2019 ‘Snow Leopard’ by Fiona Champion

M: What is your favourite medium?

F: Acrylic, at the moment – it’s so versatile.

M: What is your process?

F: An idea comes to me, and I will firstly draw out my subject. Completing a painting is like going on a journey, and if I don’t have some sort of ‘map’ to show me where to go, I’m definitely going to get lost.

M: What is the inspiration for your work? 

F: Animals, nature, and anything to do with the natural world.

M: Why big cats specifically? Where did that inspiration start?

F: I just love the big cats, they are so impressive. They are beautiful, powerful, graceful…  I could go on, but won’t.

M: Are there any artists whose work inspires you?

F: Loads, so many contemporary artists, and many who exhibit at Southern Nature (I won’t name them, for fear of embarrassing myself, but there are some amazing artists there). Famous ones? – Carl Brenders is incredible.

Winner of the Judges vote 2018 Rock Legend by Fiona Champion
Winner of the Judges vote 2018 Rock Legend by Fiona Champion

M: After winning awards for your artwork, how do you start over with a new collection? Do you follow a similar process as before or is it a case of completely starting over?

F: I am genuinely amazed when my work is selected – so many of the artist exhibiting are brilliant and I find them so inspiring. It is humbling, but it also makes me determined to improve (hopefully) and do better with my next painting. I don’t distinguish between collections as such, but do move from one style to another (traditional to ‘wacky’ for example) as the mood takes me, or as I feel the painting would suit. I do like trying different things – some work, many don’t.

M: What do you love about being an artist?

F: The fun part – creating, meeting other people, be they other artists or customers. All the artists I have encountered have been great, customers too.

M: How has creating artwork been beneficial to you? 

F: Especially over this past 18 months (I won’t mention the word) it’s been great. Unlike many of our friends and neighbours, I haven’t been bored or fed up, I’ve just been painting or sculpting and having a good time. It gives me a real purpose and I can’t wait to get up each day and make a mess in my studio. Only trouble is, I am the one who has to clear it up too.

M: Do you have any advice to give to others about creating artwork?

F: Just do it, try and do what you have in your imagination. It doesn’t matter if it works or not. Just have a go. Listen to worthwhile advice – there will be plenty, don’t worry that not everyone likes what you do, we are all different and like different things.

M: What are your favourite tools or products etc. to use?

F: Gosh, just about anything and everything. I love doing BIG things – so large canvases and big pots of stuff – paint, resin, ink etc.

Winner of the Public Vote 2016 Wild African Dog By Fiona Champion

M: Why are you taking part in the exhibition?

F: I just love it – the people, artists, atmosphere. It’s great, and if a painting sells, WOW, then it’s been brilliant. It’s great fun.

M: What artwork can we expect to see at the exhibition? 

F: Um, I expect it will be the one I was demonstrating last time, (with no exhibitions since, I still have him – an old lion), perhaps a tiger?  Who knows? I’m always a last minute decider on what to enter.

M: How can people find your work?

F: My website is www.fionachampion.co.uk. Find me on Facebook: Fiona Champion Art or Instagram @fionachampionart

Interview: Mixed Media Artist Neal Griffin

Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Neal Griffin, a mixed media artist that works in both 2D and 3D with a variety of mediums including oil, pencil, printing, soapstone, clay and plaster of Paris. Art has always been Neal’s main hobby and interest and he enjoys utilising different mediums.

 

“I like the different effects you can get. If I see a photograph I have taken, I can determine what will work best”

 

Background

At Anglia Ruskin University Neal studied Graphic Arts and Illustration in which he experimented with printmaking techniques such as etching, lino and screen printing.

The images below show some of Neal’s early experimentation during his degree at university:

 

Fossil Fish etching 

Car Screen Print

Mixed Media painting

During his years as a student, Neal would paint and draw animals at home. Wildlife has always been the prominent as the subject of his artwork. After university Neal decided to focus on wildlife full time.

‘Rhino’ – Ltd ed Lino print, 2019

Art Societies

Neal was a member of Marwell International Wildlife Art Society (MIWAS) for many years. The Southern Nature Art Exhibition took over after MIWAS disbanded in 2014. Within the interview, we discussed the importance of the artist community. Neal explained how participating in exhibitions is a good way to receive feedback as well as see the work of other artists, with live demonstrations proving helpful in engaging visitors.

Other societies Neal is involved in include The Wildlife Art Society International, Romsey Art Group and the Southern Ceramic Group. In the past five years, Neal has expanded his media experimentation, to include sculpting in clay. His sculpture of a Walrus was shortlisted for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2020.

‘Walrus’, 2020

Self-improvement

Good artists learn, grow and develop their artwork over time. Neal is always looking at his work and thinking what he could have done better and pushing for improvement. The first time he was accepted into David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year was for his painting of two Rhinos on turquoise which is also one of his favourite pieces.

‘Rhinos’, 2018

Travel

Neal’s Aunt and Uncle were involved in a charity that helped to raise money to build an orphanage in Utange, Kenya. They also set up their own charity to raise money to build a school. He has been out to Africa on a number of occasions to see the orphanage and the school for the community and the kids that have benefited from the charities help.

Noah’s Ark Academy in Utange, Mombassa 2015

This photo shows Neal with his aunt and uncle who started up a charity and raised money to build 3 classrooms, a wash block and an office.

 

When visiting, he goes on safari and has used his photography from these trips as a reference for his artwork.

Neal’s reference for ‘Staying Alert’ taken in Tsavo West, Kenya in 2013

Neal Griffin’s Artwork

‘Staying Alert’ Oil painting, 2020

(This will be on display at the Southern Nature Art Exhibition 2021)

Neal reused a previous piece of work and re-purposed it for this oil painting of a Zebra, rethinking the canvas.

 

Wildebeests crossing a river, 2017: “Within this painting I counted over 250 Wildebeests”

 

Working in layers at a time helped Neal accomplish this painting. Starting from the top and working his way down from the wildebeests on the bank and then in the water, Neal explains how working from the background to the foreground helps create depth in his paintings.

 

‘Mother & Calf’ Graphite on handmade paper 2020

(This will be on display at the Southern Nature Art Exhibition 2021)

 

Created using a water-soluble graphite pencil and coloured pencil of a cream and white colour palette on handmade paper. Neal used graphite to sketch out the elephant and added a watercolour effect by applying water. Neal uses handmade paper, picking up various papers that appeal to him explaining how the rough appearance of the paper works well for elephants as the subject matter.

 

Advice to other artists wanting to go professional

“If you are selling well as a hobby and have the funds to take the step forwards, going full time may be an option. However, be aware that it might not happen or take off straight away. A friend once told me it takes about four years until you become established, it doesn’t happen overnight, so you have to be prepared. If you are not selling a lot, you need an alternative income stream in which workshops and demonstrations may assist in financially supporting your artwork”.

 

What does the future hold for Neal Griffin Art?

Working as a mixed media artist Neal often has multiple projects underway in which he can switch between. After the difficult period of Covid-19 in which lots of events were cancelled this summer looks busy for Neal and other artists within our community.

 

“I have all these ideas in my head of what I want to do but I have to pick and choose what I do as I go along”

 

 

Many thanks to Neal Griffin for participating in this interview. Please see the links below for additional information and to view more of Neal’s work.

 

Artist links:

View Neal Griffin Artist Page: https://southernnatureart.com/neal-griffin/

Neal Griffin website: https://nealgriffinart.co.uk

 

Social media:

www.facebook.com/nealgriffinart

twitter.com/nealgriffinart

www.instagram.com/nealgriffinart

 

Additional links:

The charity for the orphanage: https://utangeorphans.org 

The website for the charity Neal’s Aunt and Uncle set up: https://makeadifferenceschoolsmombasa.org.uk

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation: https://davidshepherd.org/wildlife-art/wildlife-artist-of-the-year/ 

 

 

Interview with Jacqueline Rolls

Jacqueline is a mixed media artist and willow sculptor working in Southampton.

She spoke to Abbie as part of our interview series with artists. They spoke about the processes Jacquie uses in her work and how she works with organic materials. Plus we get a sneak peek of the latest piece she is working on of a fantasy animal!

Feeling inspired after watching the interview? Why not give it a go yourself?

Jacquie will be running a workshop on Saturday 28th August in which you can create your our owl sculpture out of willow.

To book your space, click here. Spaces are limited so book now to avoid disappointment!

 

To find out more about Jacqueline and her artwork, find her artist page here or check out her website. Or follow her on Instagram or Facebook for more updates.