Back From An Arctic Expedition & more…

Here to Ignite, Encourage and Inspire your Creative Flame

”Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
– Earl Nightingale

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Hey there my friends I hope you’re all keeping well. Sorry that it’s been a while, I was hoping that I would have written to you before now, especially with so much to say about my Arctic Expedition – just goes to show how life can get in the way and sometimes there’s not a thing we can do about it.

Update number 1 regarding my Arctic trip (there’s just too much to put into one newsletter) and if you’d like to know what events brought me to this point heading out to the Arctic on my own, then please read the previous couple of newsletters and all will be revealed 😉

My ‘trip of a lifetime’ to the Arctic began with a flight from Manchester airport to Oslo on Monday 31st July, staying overnight in Oslo before flying on to Tromsoe, and then from Tromsoe to Svalbard.

The views from the flight into Svalbard were simply breathtakingly beautiful.

As a time saver I’ve attached our full Trip Log in PDF form for you all to read. I hope this pdf version works for you. I haven’t, as yet, had time to go through my camera memory cards, so have only used the photos from my phone for now, but will ensure to post personalised photos of my trip when I get the chance. For now, at least, you’ll be able to see the amazing adventure that I was so blessed to be a part of:

As you can see the days were full and extremely well organised. Health and saftey were paramount from the very beginning, after all this wasn’t a ‘cruise’. From Muck Boots (which had to be worn on all Zodiac trips along with waterproofs) to life jackets, the location of lifeboats and safety drills, everything was covered on the very first day.

Being so far North we were literally out at sea on our own and our mobile phones soon became just mobile cameras when any chance of a signal was finally lost. That in itself was a truly freeing experience.

The scenery was immense, the air fresh (unlike anything I’d ever experienced before) and the seas clear and calm. The Arctic Experience had begun.

This image was taken on my iPhone, more to come from my camera soon.
Giving an introductory talk on the Hondius.
This image was taken on my iPhone – my most favourite place, the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet
One of my first encounters with a wild Arctic Fox 🙂
With 24 hour daylight the only place to be at midnight is on the deck with new found friends

Each day was packed with events such as Zodiac cruises & Zodiac landings (weather & wildlife permitting), and when back on board the Hondius there were lectures everyday on different aspects of why these extraordinary polar regions are so fragile and require our best efforts to prevent further ecological damage. Historical lectures were also given, these gave a deeper understanding of the efforts that were made by our predecessors to navigate and survive these perilous waters and unforgiving Arctic conditions.

View of the Hondius from one of our Zodiac landings. The area had already been ‘scouted’ to make sure it was safe.

And yes some of us who were daring enough (or talked into it by overenthusiastic guides lol) braved the Arctic conditions and enjoyed the adrenaline-fuelled thrill of an Arctic dip! 😂

Me and my new found friend/cabin mate Martina xXx

So that, for now, is just a tiny glimpse into what was an amazing Arctic Expedition. It really is a life changing experience and one that I was blessed to have and can now thoroughly recommend to others.

Exciting news – Because of the interest generated, plans are now being put into action regarding a polar expedition next year. We’re not sure yet whether it will be the Arctic or Antarctic, but we plan on having even more events on board ship for passengers to take part in on ‘sea days’ (these are the days when landings aren’t possible) including painting workshops with myself. I know that once the marketing plans are put into place Wildfoot Travel along with myself will begin working hard to make this new trip happen, so if you’re interested watch this space 😉

A few simple watercolour sketches from this year’s trip.

My flight back into Manchester airport was on Friday 11th August (wow four weeks ago already) but no sooner had I unpacked, put a couple of loads through the washing machine and put away items that were only needed for a colder climates, myself and my husband were packing again. This time for a break in London with friends, something that had been booked months before.

Upon returning home from London I wasted no time in sorting through and moving my materials and studio furniture into my new studio space, what a relief to finally be finishing off what I’d started all of those months ago:

After this I arranged for the return of building materials I’d purchased and not used. To see the last of these materials returned was a great feeling too, as my house no longer resembled a building site lol.

And so have you begun painting in your new studio? I’m guessing this is what many of you are thinking, and unfortunately the answer is ‘not yet’ due to a virus! I started to feel a little unwell about a week ago, thinking I’d just overdone things and needed time to relax. However Monday evening arrived and I was knocked off my feet by a horrid virus, like having the flu but without the cold if you know what I mean. I’m writing this newsletter a couple of lines at a time as my temperature is still up and I definitely have ‘brain fog’ but wanted to get a little update out to you all 😉

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 2023Watercolourpostponed
September 23rd 2023PastelPolar Bear
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 know you do work for Derwent but do you know what the new Inktense colours are please?

A. Thank you Emma for your question. I actually made a little video using the new colours and can thoroughly recommend them all. They are available open stock so that you can purchase the new individual colours if and when needed. I hope this helps.

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 my head feels as though it’s going to explode lol.

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