I've exhibited with SOFA before and even managed to get in the window of the gallery last time! I've posted the pieces I'm exhibiting this year at the end of this post.
This year my good friend Gayle Mason is also exhibiting - but this is her first time with SOFA. I've included one of the two pieces she's showing at the top of this post. Gayle focuses entirely on producing animal art. She's a very popular feline artist but didn't always draw cats. Here's what she has to say about her art and how it's developed over time.
I never consciously thought about being an artist. I was always a scientist throughout school and University although I do remember there being a lot of animals walking and running in the margins of my lecture notes.Gayle's art work can be seen:
My art started from my love of animals. I breed and show pedigree rough collies. One day I decided to have a go at drawing one of them and I've not looked back since - for the past five years I’ve never really stopped drawing and painting. My own collies still find their way onto much of my artwork by fair means or foul and I tell their stories on my blog 'Fur in the Paint'. Now I don’t think I will ever put the pencil or the dog brush down as I'm completely hooked on art - the fur in the paint is here to stay.
I’m completely self taught but have received endless amounts of help and encouragement from cyber friends on various art forums. I am certainly not a purist in any particular medium; I like to mix them to get the effect I want. However all my art has one thing in common, it is based around animals and falls into two distinct strands. I started with the ‘up close and personal’ headshots of cats and dogs. I now also do larger works featuring animals within a background context, showing a moment in their life or some aspect of their relationship with each other. I'm currently working a lot more on wild animals and have just exhibited in the 8th annual exhibition of the largest wildlife art society in Europe - MIWAS.
I get a great deal of pleasure seeing an animal come to life under my pencil or brush. I always start with the eyes as I truly believe them to be the window to the soul, and if they do not sparkle with life I do not carry on with the picture. I must be doing something right because my prints have proved to be popular.
I usually use coloured pencil with touches of acrylic, pastel or graphite. The graphite is more for my own pleasure as colour proves to be more popular with my clients. I have recently discovered the pleasure of working with coloured pencil on drafting film; it is perfect for my way of working. I like to indicate every detail and this is possible with the ultra smooth surface.
In terms of selling, initially I produced 'collie' art. This proved immensely popular and I now have collectors who wait for each new collie print. Each year, I donate a collie print to the charity Collie Rescue for raffle at Crufts and this raises large sums of money. I have also done commissions in the past but now tend to limit these. Latterly I've also been doing fewer dogs and more cats and wild animals.
My main focus recently has been on selling limited edition giclee prints through my print publisher and on e-bay. Many of these feature cats and the cat prints do extremely well. In fact, they're currently being used by the K2 gallery as publicity for their stand at this year's Autumn Fair at the NEC in Birmingham. At last year's Autumn Fair, one of my cat prints was their best selling print - so I have my fingers crossed for this year.
I'm really pleased to have my work accepted into the SOFA exhibition, I feel this is a great honour.
- on her website www.gaylemasonfineart.com - prints can be purchased direct from Gayle using Paypal.
- on e-bay - Gayle uses the name 'Glenspey'
- on her blog - "Fur in the Paint"
coloured pencil drawings on drafting vellum