Saturday, March 09, 2019

Alan Woollett named Master Artist for 'Birds in Art' 2019

Alan Woollett
British coloured pencil artist Alan Woollett will be the 2019 Master Artist at the 44th annual “Birds in Art” exhibition at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in USA in the Autumn.  The annual exhibition is one of the premier international exhibitions of bird artwork - and attracts entrants from around the world.

Alan's name will be joining this list of Master Wildlife Artists previously honoured in this way.

Features of his artwork include:
  • he's passionate about conveying the beauty of birds and the complexities and simplicity of these amazing creatures. 
  • his artwork conveys the joys of observing, drawing, and appreciating nature.
  • his compositions are always unusual. I find he has a way of revealing new ways of looking at birds or enabling you to notice something you've not noticed before
  • his bird are often given a context which means they don't jump out at you but cleave to their camouflage
  • he draws in graphite and/or coloured pencil - and has transitioned from graphite to coloured pencil over time
In terms of "Birds in Art"

Birds in Art is an international juried exhibition organized annually by the Woodson Art Museum.

  • Alan demonstrated persistence and submitted artwork for the annual exhibition five times before he was successful in 2011 with a graphite work and attended the exhibition.
“When I initially scanned the galleries, I knew I’d have to step it up even more, if I hoped to return.”

  • Woollett’s first colored-pencil work to be exhibited in “Birds in Art,” “Northern Mockingbird,” was acquired by the Woodson Art Museum in 2013, which he described as “a great feeling and an honor.” 
Northern Mockingbird by Alan Woollett
  • Selected for inclusion in “Birds in Art” seven times, he travelled from England to Wausau, Wisconsin (inbetween Minnepolis and Lake Michigan) to attend the exhibition opening again in 2012 and 2015. 
“Seeing my work in the ‘Birds in Art’ exhibition alongside that of so many great artists never ceases to make me smile. It is really such an honor.”
The 2019 “Birds in Art” exhibition, on view September 7 through December 1, will feature
  • a selection of Woollett’s artwork 
  • more than 100 original paintings, sculptures, and graphics created within the last three years by artists from throughout the world. 
  • The exhibition’s full-color catalogue, featuring an essay about the 2019 Master Artist, will be available for purchase in September at the Woodson Art Museum.
Submissions for the exhibition can still be made. The Online submission and postmark deadline  for entries is April 22, 2019. This is the prospectus for the exhibition.

About Alan Woollett

  • Born in 1964 in Chatham, Kent, England, he now lives and works in Maidstone, Kent, England, with his wife, two children, and two springer spaniels.
  • He became interested in birds while birdwatching in his back garden as a young boy. 
  • His childhood drawing pursuits and an “I-Spy Birds” book given to him by his mother ingrained an interest that was to lie dormant until many years later. 
  • He studied graphic design at the Kent Institute of Art and Design, now called the University for the Creative Arts. His two years as a student there “reignited my passion for art, drawing, and the natural world,” 
  • In 1993 he received an OND, Ordinary National Diploma, in graphic design and illustration. 
  • Since graduation he has concentrated on bird and wildlife art. 
  • He further developed his skills drawing with graphite “whilst seriously harboring a desire to paint birds in watercolor,” he said. 
  • A local naturalist and illustrator taught him how to use a paintbrush, and he focused on honing his painting skills during the next few years as a stay-at-home parent of his two children.
  • Gradually, he transitioned to working in colored pencil, after initially using them to add fine details to his paintings and then using them more extensively to complete his drawings. 
“I had always felt much more comfortable with a pencil in hand than a paintbrush"
  • In 2000, Alan won the prestigious, ‘Bird Artist of the Year’ award for the year 2000, which is awarded by Birdwatch Magazine, for his pencil drawing of a heron. 
  • In 2016, he won the Earth’s Beautiful Creatures Award, 2016 at the “Wildlife Artist of the Year,” exhibition run by the David Shephard Foundation (see Wildlife Artist of the Year 2016 - The Awards).
  • In 2017, his book “Bird Art,” was published by Search Press Limited. (See my blog post Review: Bird Art by Alan Woollett). 
  • You can also read An interview with Alan Woollett on the Jackson's Art Blog, which followed publication of his book. 
  • Alan - whose work also features in my book Sketching 365 - creates his art in his studio at the bottom of his garden at his home in Kent. 
Alan Woollett working in his studio in Maidstone
“I’m still taking in the fact that my work is deemed worthy of being exhibited alongside that of such esteemed and talented artists. It’s such a huge honor and one that has me still pinching myself most mornings when I sit to draw in my humble little studio.” 
Alan Woollett’s artwork has been featured in exhibitions throughout England, including 
  • “National Exhibition of Wildlife Art” at the Gordale Garden Centre, Burton, South Wirral; 
  • seasonal exhibitions at Francis Iles Galleries in Rochester, Kent; 
  • Annual Exhibitions of the “United Kingdom Colored Pencil Society” at Menier Gallery in London. 
His awards include 
  • Earth’s Beautiful Creatures Award, 2016, “Wildlife Artist of the Year,” from Mall Galleries in London (see the top photo) and 
  • Bird Artist of the Year, 2000, by “Birdwatch Magazine.”
Alan does not have a website but does have a Facebook Page where you can see his artwork and contact him if interested in making a purchase. You can also follow him on Twitter @awoollett

He is also represented by the Francis Iles Gallery in Rochester in Kent - who take his artwork to Art Fairs in the UK.

Drawings by Alan Woollett at the Works on paper Fair in 2017

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