Arctic adventure & more…

Here to Ignite, Encourage and Inspire your Creative Flame

”Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

Please note: some items are repeated for the benefit of new subscribers. Thank you 😊

Hey there my friends I hope you’re all keeping well. Wow what a crazy few weeks it’s been this end, and the next couple of weeks, I’m pretty sure, are going to be surprising (this may be the understatement of my life lol). ‘Lifechanging’ may be the apt word, time will tell. So lets catch up and I can you share with you all that’s been happening here.

Now many of you having been asking if my new studio is ready yet. Well I’m pleased to say that after eight months, a lot of hard work, and with the rest of the house resembling a building site my studio is finally complete 😁 The plastering is done, the walls have been painted, the electrics are finished and the flooring is down, hurrah! It’s been worth the wait as I finally have the room (as in area) that I had been missing since moving to Cheshire eight years ago.

So I’m sure you were expecting to see my newly finished studio complete with my studio furnishings and art materials, and me relaxing at the easel, paints out, music on, while a fresh coffee aroma fills the air. Well you wouldn’t be on your own thinking that as I assumed that’s just what I’d be doing too. However, things happen in life that can change your plans for the immediate future in the blink of an eye, things that you’d never even dreamt of.

Those of you who read my last newsletter will recall that I’d been invited to demonstrate at the Global Birdfair 14th – 16th July by Simon Rowland, owner of Wildfoot Travel Simon commissioned me to create a painting which he then donated to the Birdfair auction, the proceeds of this auction going straight into conservation projects across the world. This year the chosen project was ‘Saving Choco Forest’ – take a peek at the link: So humbled to be part of this.

Okay so there I am on the Wildfoot Travel stand, painting penguins, chatting to the public and sharing my techniques with anyone who asked. this link shows a little video of me ‘working’ lol:

The first day was very busy, chatting to the public, answering questions, handing out business cards of course and getting to know Simon’s team on the Wildfoot stand. The second day was busy too, with the added bonus of selling my Lapwing painting:

Now if that wasn’t enough, life had another surprise in store for me. Simon introduced me to a lovely gentleman, a biologist named Ko de Korte from Oceanwide Expeditions (he’s a consultant there). After a lovely chat Ko invited me on an Arctic Expedition!!! Yes you read that correctly, and no I still can’t believe it myself. And so with a mixture of excitement and nerves I’m flying out to the Arctic on Monday 31st July – yep in four days time!!!! Needless to say that furnishing my new studio is going to have to wait lol.

To say that the last couple of weeks seem surreal is another understatement. Planning, preparing and not a lot of sleep lol. What I can share with you though is, I’m pretty sure, that this trip is going to be lifechanging.

The expedition circumnavigates West Spitsbergen (part of the Svalbard archipelago) Whilst on board the vessel Hondius, between landings on the Arctic ice, I’ll be sketching and painting and sharing my passion for wildlife & art with any passengers who may be interested. I’ll also be giving a 30 minute lecture (although I prefer the term ‘presentation’ as it sounds less formal and more relaxed). The idea behind this invitation from Ko is to enable me to immerse myself in this amazing part of our world, to research and gather reference material of the unique wildlife species that call this place home. All of this I will then use for an important future project based on the Arctic regions. Looking forward to hopefully catching sight of Polar Bear during one of our treks out on the ice – close enough to photograph but not too close if you know what I mean lol. Other wildlife encounters could include Arctic Fox, Caribou, Walrus, a variety of whale species including Gray, Blue, Fin, Minke, Bowhead, Beluga and Narwhal. Plus many bird species native to the Arctic regions. I’ve a lot to learn 😉

whale in blue depth of ocean

Talks are already underway regarding a trip next year, possibly in June, where likeminded passengers will be able to take part in art workshops with me. Ko likes to think of me as an ‘added attraction’ lol. But seriously my mind is just full of what ifs at the moment, hey I don’t even know whether I’ll get sea sick yet (but just in case the tablets are packed lol) Whatever the future holds is just that, in the future, for now I’m going to enjoy this amazing gift that’s been given to me, and hopefully in return encourage others to take the trip of a lifetime (a sketchbook in hand) with Oceanwide Expeditions and Wildfoot Travel.

While I’m away (31.07.203 – 11.08.2023) they’ll be little chance of contacting anyone, being so far north. So the wonderful team at Wildfoot Travel have introduced me to a wonderful website (and an app you can download to your phone) to share with my family and friends. It’s called Cruise Mapper, and is completely free. When you open this website, or app, you simply enter the vessel’s name I’ll be travelling on ‘Hondius’ and you’ll be able to see where I am 😊

If you would like to be kept up to date regarding future expeditions, just reading about them is amazing in itself, then drop me an email and I’ll pass your email details onto them xXx

I’ll be sure to write an extra special newsletter when I return 😉

Wildlife Art Workshops for 2023

£60 per person

All workshops are held at Martin Mere Wetland Centre and 50% of all proceeds go straight back into conservation.

January 21st 2023WatercolourPostponed
February 25th 2023PastelRed Panda
March 25th 2023WatercolourFox in Snow
April 22nd 2023PastelPostponed
May 20th 2023WatercolourToucan
June 24th 2023PastelKingfisher
August 26th 2023WatercolourTBC
September 23rd 2023PastelTBC
October 21st 2023WatercolourTBC
November 25th 2023PastelTBC
December TBCWatercolourTBC
All dates have now been confirmed

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
My ArtDiscount & Amazon affiliate links – please feel free to click, browse and shop at no extra cost to you.
An excellent way to get started with Pan Pastels

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.

Diary Dates

Art Safari in Uganda Postponed
Global Bird Fair14th – 16th July 2023
Exhibition of Wildlife Art28th – 30th July 2023
Arctic Expedition31st July – 11th August 2023
North West Birdwatching Festival14th -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.

Art Safari in Uganda – a two week tour taking in some of Uganda’s best national parks, optional gorilla and chimpanzee tracking, visiting a rhino sanctuary and so much more. With a maximum of 6 participants this art based safari ensures you’ll have all the natural world of Uganda has to offer, plus plenty of 1 to 1 guidance from me when you need it to enable you to capture all that you want on paper or canvas.

Subscriber Question

Q. Hi there Kerry, I want to start drawing but I don’t know what to subject to draw, and I’m frightened that if I try to draw something I’ll just go wrong, hoping you can offer some advice.

A. Hi there, thank you for your question Bridget. If I were you I’d go on either of these two websites or begin looking at subjects that are of interest to you. You may like birds or mammals, fish, amphibians or reptiles. Or maybe you like flowers or shells. Well these two websites hold a plethora of images, all royalty free so that you can use them to draw from with no issues such as copyright getting in your creative way.

Once you’ve found an image you like, and normally that’s the hardest bit as there’s so many images to choose from, you’re ready to start drawing. Personally I like to start with basic shapes, lots of rough lines that can be left or erased later. My sketches start out very loose and tighten up once I’m happy with the basic shapes I’ve made. Leave the details to last so that you don’t get distracted by them. And remember to relax, it’s just a piece of paper and a pencil, nothing to be scared of. What’s the worst that can happen? If you go wrong you can always start again.

I’ll add a little video below that you may find helpful xXx

The following video uses a very limited palette so you can see that a lot can be achieved with just a few colours.

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, still lots to do before Monday ✈

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

blue ceramic cup filled with liquid

Questions & Suggestions welcomed

© Kerry Newell ⭐ ⭐ All rights reserved