Okavango Delta Aerial

Okavango Delta Aerial

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Ivor has left the easel

So here he is... finished.. finally! Queue the fanfare, drum roll etc...

It has taken a while to get there, but hopefully the trials of the wrinkles has made it worth it. 

I am quite pleased with him: but as always an artist tends to always see what they could have done better perhaps, do differently. That I think is a good thing... keeps us striving to do better next time. That said I am tending to think this could be one of the main pieces for the show.. one of my best to date for this exhibition.

He is painted in oils on a 18" x 24" canvas and will be hung without a frame, as was always the plan. I want that contemporary feel for this piece, that I think frameless sometimes gives.

I had seen Ivor during my stay in the Okavango Delta... he is a very handsome young bull and was one of the bulls recorded in the work the Elephants For Africa research charity had been doing in that area for almost a decade. I asked Dr Kate Evans about him...He was first seen and recorded by the researchers on Valentine's Day 2009 when he was estimated to be 15 years old and appeared to be going through independence as after the initial sighting when he was with two other young bulls (two years his senior) and a female group, he was seen mainly with other bulls. His nature with the researchers was described as very sweet and easy to be around, never having charged (mock or otherwise) them.

When I saw him he appeared to be alone, but other bulls could well have been nearby. He would have been around 17-18 years old by then and was feeding in an area that was quite busy animal wise that day. Along with him there were a few giraffe, a troop of baboons and a kudu bull with several females ... all within very close quarters to each other. It was a lovely sighting as we watched Ivor (as a focal was done on him) and the others for over half an hour. 

Friday, 20 June 2014

Bristol Festival of Nature 2014

Last weekend (14-15 June) was the Bristol Festival of Nature. Elephants for Africa had a stand in the Green Forum Tent and it looked great. Well done to Kate for all her hard work putting that together to look so good. 

I was able to tear myself away from my new studio to help on the stand for both days and although it was tiring I enjoyed spending time chatting to Kate and her other friends who were helping man the stand. We met a lot of interesting and interested folk and raised a healthy sum to help fund the charity's research work. 

What was also beneficial to me was the boost to remind me what I was working towards... Not that I ever forget, but it was good to have that contact with the charity again. It is seven years since I first met Kate at the festival in 2007 and our plan for the exhibition began. 

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to chat to us about the research and elephants and especially if you bought something to support their work.

This is Dr Kate Evans - Founder and Director of Elephants For Africa and Josephine (on the left) who is one of the researchers involved with Elephants For Africa.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Exhibition Flyer

This week saw the arrival of my first In The Footsteps of Elephants exhibition flyer. Next weekend (14th-15th June 2014) I shall be helping out on the Elephants For Africa stand at the Bristol Festival of Nature, so I thought having some flyers to advertise the exhibition would be a good plan. I know the exhibition is not until next year but I am hoping to build up interest well in advance to try and reach as many people as possible. 

The front of the flyer features part of the portrait of Ivor (one of Botswana's free-ranging bulls) that I am currently working on. I wanted to use this image as I felt it was eye-catching and would work well to initiate interest - getting people to pick up the leaflet in the first place is half the battle. 
Keeping the amount of text as minimal as I could, I started to design the text around it and asked, Anna, one of my graphic designer friends if it it would work. She made a few suggestions, basically just tweeking text size.  I used a QR Code generator to get that funny looking black and white chequered box. For those of you who don't know what it is.. it enables smart phone users (who have a QR code reader app) to get a link direct to this blog. I'm trying to keep up with modern times.. and luckily it is very easy to do. It's great tool for getting more information, to those who might be interested, instantly. 
As yet we have not had confirmation of the dates for the exhibition, so I have only ordered 250 leaflets for now. As I designed and ordered them online, the dates can be added later easily enough and I can order more at any time.

As mentioned earlier, this image is just the front of the flyer... I have two more smaller images on the back with a brief exhibition description and internet addresses for  the venue (Nature In Art), the charity (Elephants For Africa) and the exhibition project blog and Facebook pages.