Here to Ignite, Encourage and Inspire your Creative Flame
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Hey there my friends I hope you’re all keeping well. Busy this end playing catch up (not to be confused with Ketchup lol). Spending two amazing weeks in the Arctic and then out of the game for a further week due to a virus, I now feel as though I’m running full speed ahead but my ‘to do’ list is getting longer instead of shorter lol. Needless to say, I have lots to do and haven’t found anywhere that sells 72hr days lol.
A few more quality studio hours have led me closer to having my polar bear painting completed, not far to go now:
Not sure yet what will be next on my easel – I have many art supplies waiting to be reviewed, all of these will need videoing, editing and voiceovers recording. Then I have a watercolour workshop project to put together for next month’s class at WWT Martin Mere, and I have various projects to complete as I’m exhibiting next month too.
So lots to do, but my number one priority for the next few days is building a new page for my website 😉 If you’ve recently viewed the home page of my website you’ll have hopefully noticed a new widget:
This will soon be the portal to my new website page showcasing a new Arctic experience for 2024. Wildfoot Travel are also building a new page for their website too. The idea is for passengers to be able to experience the majestic landscapes and unique flora & fauna of an Arctic expedition, plus if they wish, they can draw, paint or sketch along with me during the more relaxed times of their voyage. As far as I’m aware, at the moment for dates are set as above. I’ll keep you informed of any changes and will obviously let you know when both mine and Wildfoot Travel’s new pages go live. So more on this soon.
North West Birdwatching Festival 14th – 15th October 2023
Just two weeks to go until the North West Birdwatching Festival 😀 If any of the previous ones are anything to go by then this should be a definite date for your diary. It’s all happening at WWT Martin Mere and it would be a shame if you miss out on all the fun 😉 ‘From guest speakers and exhibitors (me included) to photography workshops and guided reserve walks. A whole range of activities to enjoy for a full day out from dawn till dusk.’
A wide range of exhibitors will be attending Martin Mere for the weekend, on show and for sale, the exhibitors will be showcasing their wares, including books, artwork, wildlife holidays, optics etc With many wildlife societies being on hand to answer any questions you may have about the flora and fauna we live alongside.
Guest speakers this year include the Urban Birder David Lindo, the world renown author David Goulson and the wonderful Lucy Lapwing, plus a host of others. Lectures cover a wide range of topics across the two days including wildlife photography, nature writing, how to attract wildlife to your garden, birding in Ecuador, Peter Scott and the birth of modern conservation and much more.
Additional activities across the weekend also include guided walks around the reserve (the depth of knowledge of the guides always astounds me), canoe safaris and guided boat tours, Fujifilm seminar, photography workshops and bird ringing demonstrations.
So there really is something happening the whole time during the weekend, so much so that you may be spoiled for choice lol.
If you haven’t been before I really hope that you’ll be able to attend this year.
Wildlife Art Workshops for 2023
£60 per person (materials not included)
All workshops are held at Martin Mere Wetland Centre and 50% of all proceeds go straight back into conservation.
|January 21st 2023||Watercolour||Postponed|
|February 25th 2023||Pastel||Red Panda|
|March 25th 2023||Watercolour||Fox in Snow|
|April 22nd 2023||Pastel||Postponed|
|May 20th 2023||Watercolour||Toucan|
|June 24th 2023||Pastel||Kingfisher|
|August 26th 2023||Watercolour||postponed|
|September 23rd 2023||Pastel||Polar Bear|
|October 21st 2023||Watercolour||TBC|
|November 25th 2023||Pastel||TBC|
My preferred materials for the the pastel & watercolour workshops:
|Preferred Pastel materials:||* Clairefontaine Pastelmat Paper (I rarely use anything else now)|
* larger sheets are available and can be easily cut to size (this is what I do)
* Carbothello Pastel Pencils are a must have in my studio, available individually or in different set sizes
* Derwent Pastel Pencils are soft with a wide range of colours, available individually or in different set sizes, ideal for covering larger areas with their thicker pigment core
* Mungyo Soft Pastels – an affordable way to cover larger areas of a painting, and for adding base coats for your pencils to go on top of
* Pan Pastels – my ‘go to’ soft pastel choice, available individually or in sets, 92 colours in total
|Preferred Watercolour materials:||* 140lb (or heavier) Hotpress or Coldpress watercolour paper |
* 9″ x 12″ minimum size (buying larger sheets is preferable as they can then be cut down to size)
* Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolours are a great paint to get started with (I still use them for sketches etc)
* A variety of brushes, sizes & shapes, made from golden taklon which is a synthetic material. Here’s a link to the affordable W&N Cotman set.
* A white mixing palette or a white plate will do
Nine new dates for 2023 have been confirmed by Martin Mere Wetland Centre One running each month, with the exception of January, July and December. Workshops will alternate between Watercolour and Pastel, but feel free to bring along any art medium you wish if the subject is something you would like to create from. All workshops are suitable for beginners. More information can be found over on our exclusive Art Workshop page on the Martin Mere website as well as on the Workshop page of my website. If participants would like further mediums or subjects added then extra dates can be slotted in to suit. So if your passion is coloured pencil or you love acrylic or oil painting then just let me know.
This Kingfisher project was the subject for June 2023 art workshop over at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre.
|Global Bird Fair||14th – 16th July 2023|
|Exhibition of Wildlife Art||28th – 30th July 2023|
|Arctic Expedition||31st July – 11th August 2023|
|North West Birdwatching Festival||14th -15th October 2023|
Global Birdfair – an international three day event – Join a community of nature lovers and birdwatchers from around the world as we gather to make a difference to Conserving Nature Worldwide. Lectures, demonstrations, art exhibitions, holiday destinations, authors, photographers, Global Birdfair auction, optics companies including Nikon, Viking Optical, Zeiss & Swarovski Optik – there really is something for everyone at this annual event that attracts thousands of people from across the globe. Global Birdfair will take place at Rutland Showground, Oakham, Rutland UK. LE15 7TW
Exhibition of Wildlife Art – ‘an exciting three day show featuring the work of some of the world’s most talented wildlife artists. The biggest and most successful, open selling, exhibition of Wildlife Art outside of London. All exhibited work is for sale and many artist demonstrate whilst there.’
Arctic Expedition – ‘Take a cruise around Spitsbergen and explore the icy waters of the North Atlantic. This special expedition offers you the chance to catch site of whales, reindeer, Arctic foxes, walruses, seals, and the star attraction, the polar bear.’
North West Birdwatching Festival – Open at 8am, start your day by watching the spectacle of thousands of wild geese leave the roost before heading for breakfast in the Martin Mere restaurant. Over the two day there will be an array of guest speakers and exhibitors, artists and photographers including photography workshops, guided reserve walks, and more. I’ll be exhibiting and demonstrating throughout the weekend and would love you to drop by and say hello.
Q. Hello Kerry, thank you for taking questions. I have a few sketchbooks, bought for me over the years by family and friends. But I can never seem to get any enthusiasm to use them and it seems such a waste. Any ideas you have would be great?
A. Awe thank you David for your question. You’re not on your own, I too have many sketchbooks waiting to be filled. One such sketchbook is the one used for the following video. Sometimes simply decorating the outside (yes you read that right) can give you an artistic nudge in the right direction and get those sketchbooks off the shelf collecting dust. If, however, it’s a case of not wanting to make any mistakes in them then here’s a secret – we all make mistakes, some drawings turn out well while others can leave a lot to be desired. Social media has a lot to answer for in this case, as we’ve all seen the beautiful ‘sketch book flip throughs’. But this is so unrealistic, as I’m pretty sure even those artists have off days. A sketch book, first and foremost, should be your ‘safe place’, a place where you can try new techniques, new mediums or colour combinations, you don’t even have to show anyone your sketchbook if you don’t want to. Just grab a coffee (or beverage of your choice) and a pencil and have a play. If you don’t know what to draw then how about drawing your art materials? Looks great for the first page of a sketch book as it’s personal just to you. I hope that this has helped you xXx
I may not always have a video on my YouTube channel to go alongside a subscriber’s question, but when I do I’ll be sure to add it.
Okay folks that’s it for me for today, as I’ve plenty to be getting on with and sitting here drinking coffee (as pleasant as that might be) isn’t shortening my ‘to do’ list lol.
So thank you once again, as always my friends, for spending some time with me today, and please feel free to leave a question or suggestion in the contact form below.
Wishing you all the best, until next time, as always, stay safe and stay creative, Kerry xXx
Questions & Suggestions welcomed