It's been a work in progress but at last my Artwork & Wildlife blog is now up & running! I'm sure most of you will not have encountered my work before, or even heard of me, but hopefully over time you will enjoy my monthly musings & think of them more like a mini Countryfile series rather than just another boring blog! So if you’re sat in the office right now having your lunch break with coffee in hand, sit back & relax for 10 minutes whilst I try & take you away to a quieter place.
If I may, I would like to start with a few words by the late Denys Watkins-Pitchford (BB) that encapsulate my thoughts: “The most precious places in the English Landscape are those secretive corners, where you find only, nettles & dreams”.
My passion is broad & varied but the focus always remains true to the wildlife, fishing & countryside pursuits that inspire my art. Like our seasons, the blogs will be forever changing, with a fresh & exciting update each time. Perhaps it’s the explorer in me, but my outdoor excursions vary widely from one week to the next. I may be winter Grayling fishing on gin clear chalk streams one week, then following the elusive European Wildcat on a secret location the next. As the seasons change, summer Crucian Carp fishing amongst lily pads may become the focus, or the return of the Red-Backed Shrike & Turtle Dove to their seasonal breeding grounds may signal it’s time to reach for the camera, Later in the season the distinctive call of the Grouse may lure me onto the moors, as will the sight of Peregrines hunting wild Teal. The list is endless & hopefully there will be something of interest to all who live & breathe these lifelong obsessions like myself.
My Artwork will focus on all these subjects & many more, for me it’s an organic process not driven from a monetary perspective. I like to think of it as a deep seeded passion for my subject & a further extension for my love of the natural world. Running a small family business & looking after a Wife & 3 demanding young son's takes up a lot of my time, with my artwork nestled in each evening, plus any spare moment I can find. I do not produce large numbers of work each year; hopefully you will agree that the quality over quantity motto is more important.
I work predominately in graphite pencil, but also mixed media, pastel & oil. Incredible amounts of time, detail & reference are applied to each piece of work, with the aim of capturing some of the essence of each subject. All my sketch work is sold professionally mounted ready for framing, whereas my commissions & detailed work are already professionally mounted & framed, which is included in the price. Please feel free to contact me via our contact page in regards to any of my works for sale, or if you are interested in a unique commission.
With a little about myself underway this brings me to my title "The Redmire King".Most of you will be thinking of the legendary carp that resided in the very intimate & famous venue, but the real king "The Gudgeon" is much smaller & in some ways more Beautiful. Those of you that are avid anglers can no doubt relate to catching one of these fish as a young boy & maybe returning the silver critter back to it's watery depths without appraise, but many including Mr Yates, thought it was the true King of Redmire & I would definitely be inclined to agree.
You won't get the fight of your life, nor a bend in your cane, but the sheer beauty is to behold. A monster would be 5" in length & will fit in the palm of your hand, but with his delicate under-slung mouth & iridescent shimmering blue, turquoise & emerald green diamond scales along the flanks, a more beautiful fish I cannot think of. Complementing his understated beauty are memories, days spent with rod in hand, jam sandwiches in my rucksack & push-bike at the ready. We would be up & off early to do battle with monster Gudgeon in our own secret farm pond, only to return late in the evening covered in mud, cold to the bone & starving, knowing full well a smarting clip around the ear was due from mum for being out so late - happy days!
This particular graphite work is a collage piece to hopefully display my thoughts & feelings of this magnificent fish. But it's a bit more special than that, this is one of around 10 pieces of work which are in collaboration with an artist of another kind, "Andrew Field" (www.lureofthefloat.com ). This man needs no introduction in the float making world, with anglers like Fred Buller, Maurice Pledger, John Wilson & many more owning bespoke floats made by this chap, he really is top of his game. His floats are a true work of art in themselves & are snapped up by avid collectors the world over, so after reading his personal chapter in the book "Angling Artists by Tony Meers" I decided to contact him.
After a long chat I placed an order for 3 floats & waited in earnest for the arrival of these little gems. I was not disappointed; in fact they were so beautiful I would not have dared trot them down the river for fear of losing one. Such rich detail, inlaid with genuine Kingfisher feathers (collected from old taxidermy mounts), bright silk threads & lavish paint work, I decided I had to call him straight back. After another lengthy chat, I had an idea to frame some of my graphite work along with his floats & we arranged to meet as I would bring some of my work along. I put a large piece together named winter magic, a display piece showing the 3 main species I float fish for through the winter months: Perch, Roach & Grayling. Andrew was a little taken aback, so I arranged to put together further works which will become available for sale over the next 12 months. These will be completely unique, covering different species from estate lake Tench to the bold striped Perch. All beautifully framed & mounted with signature floats by Andrew himself.
The Redmire King is the first in the series, with more to follow over the coming months. Please feel free to contact me if you’re interested as these will be aimed at any budding collector hoping to purchase a unique, collectable piece of work. Priced £299
The piece is finished in a dark mount and solid Oak frame, with two exquisite Gudgeon floats mounted either side of the artwork, I hope you enjoy.
Copyright (C) on all images displayed