Sunday, 8 March 2009

The Animals and Me (or 'Frog Blog' for short)

I found this frog dead on my lawn as I walked down to the studio early Friday evening. It seemed too good a drawing opportunity, so I scooped him up and have made these few sketchbook drawings over the weekend.

It was a strange coincidence because a lot of the talk in the Art department office this week has been on the theme of ‘animals in art’ as some of the students are doing projects based on this and been making drawings of their own at the Nature Centre in Cannon Hill Park, and some are off to Twycross Zoo next week. It’s a great place to draw. I also took my school group to the Sealife Centre for drawing on Tuesday which was good fun. It’s a theme I really warm to and have made a few of my own contributions to as you can see on the ‘nature paintings’ page. Here are a few examples of things I’ve been enjoying lately by other artists on this theme….

David Hockney, 'Dog Days, oil on canvas

Roy Lichtenstein, 'Grrrrr' , acrylic on canvas

Ken Currie, 'Study After Goya', oil on board

Walton Ford, 'Falling Bough' watercolour, 2002

Walton Ford’s giant watercolours are something else. A contemporary take on older wildlife illustrator’s such as Audobon. Apparently he does alot of drawing at The Natural History Museum in New York, which is one of the few places left with a large collection of stuffed animals still on view. It’s well worth a visit. I love it’s life-size Blue Whale model, which was the inspiration for the great film ‘The Squid and The Whale’.

Jill Greenberg’s brilliant book ‘Monkey Portraits’ is a must buy. Her website has something amazing photographs too:

‘The Animals and Me’ is a reference to a song by The Wonder Stuff. I’ve just finished reading the revised and updated ‘The Eight Legged Atomic Dustbin Will Eat Itself’, by Martin Roach. It’s a lively read documenting the rise of the Stuffies, Pop Will Eat Itself, and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin. It was a real trip down memory lane as I used to be a big fan of these bands between the age of about 17-21 yrs. I saw them all live on more than one occasion in my grebo days. ‘A great time was had by all’ as they say…


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