Saturday, September 16, 2023

Cy Baker: solo exhibition of wildlife art

Cy Baker - winner of Wildlife Artist of the Year 2022
demonstrating his art in his solo exhibition of his artwork 
in the East Gallery of the Mall Galleries

There's no mention on the Mall Galleries website or the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation of the artwork being displayed by Cy Baker who won the Wildlife Artist of the Year Award in 2022 in the East Gallery of the Mall Galleries. 

It's even more odd given that when I visited on Tuesday, he had also sold all but one of his paintings and for not insignificant sums. 

Exhibition of paintings by Cy Baker - winner of Wildlife Artist of the Year 2022
in the East Gallery of the Mall Galleries

In fact, in terms of best selling wildlife art for significant sums this was where all the action was this week!

So below, is a short overview of Cy Baker and his artwork

This is a short video of how the exhibition came together at the Mall Galleries

You can see more of his solo exhibition at this link on his website.

Cy Baker - Wildlife Artist of the Year 2022.

Cy Baker was in the East Gallery, demonstrating how he creates his very effective paintings and I had a chance to talk with him and find out how he works and how he sells his paintings.

After winning David Shepherd’s Wildlife Foundations Wildlife Artist of the Year last year I chose to spend my winnings on visiting the project doing incredible work in Uganda. I was utterly blown away by the work being done to save these animals lives. All the work sold in this exhibition will have 50% of the sale money go directly to saving wildlife all over the globe.

His paintings

Cy Baker has been creating wildlife artwork on canvas using a biro and oil paint for c. 10 years.
  • He first creates a gesso surface on the canvas incorporating a very weak solution of Titanium white to produce a light buff finish
  • Then he uses a biro with lightfast ink to create a drawing on the canvas and a complete tonal pattern of his subject matter. He's stroking the biro onto the canvas and hatching where appropriate. It took some time to find a biro which worked well with canvas.
  • He then uses weak solutions of Winsor and Newton Titanium White to enhance the 3D nature of his paintings. In effect he "cuts in" with the white after the drawing has been developed.
This video has Cy talking about he uses his biro to create the artwork and how he creates his compositions which are a very strong feature of his artwork

About Cy Baker

He studied scientific illustration at Southampton Institute and Blackpool and the Fylde College of Art in the 1990s after which he worked for about five years as a freelance illustrator. 

He then worked fulltime in Customer Services for 14 years before giving up his job in April 2015 to try and make it as a full time professional artist. 

He's succeeded in getting noticed, being selected for open/juried exhibitions and winning awards - and selling his artwork!

How he sells his paintings

Cy has learned over the years how to sell artwork and how to make money (they're two different things!). He does not have a gallery and organises his own sales - and consequently has better control over his selling expenses.
  • He attends a number of Art Fairs where he is now a regular exhibitor and where his artwork sells well
  • He has a shop on this website where he sells original artwork, limited edition prints and open edition prints direct to customers
  • He also works on commission and describes the process on his website
He's also providing different offers for different pockets - with 
  • original artwork in different sizes
  • limited edition prints
  • open edition prints
Rather than having standard prices for specific sizes, he makes adjustments depending on the complexity of the work.

I'm a fan of his approach to creating consistent pricing and sales!
  • He's progressed to his current prices over a number of years having found the market for his work and fans who love to buy his artwork. 
  • He did NOT start out with a bang asking for a lot of money but rather found out prices worked in relation to generating consistent sales of his artwork. 
  • He now raises his prices in small incremental changes over time. 
Like I said he's sold all but one painting within 24 hours of the exhibition opening. I think he's got it about right!

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You can find Cy Baker on his:
  • Website
  • Facebook Page (the banner is the piece which won him Wildlife Artist of the Year in 2022)
  • Instagram
  • You Tube Channel

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