Exhibition Award (July 2020).
TALP Open (The Artist & Leisure Painter magazines)
‘Red Kite over Dartmoor’ was originally destined for an exhibition - ‘WILD LIFE’ - to be held at Harbour House Gallery in Kingsbridge, which was cancelled due to the COVD-19 Lockdown. A social media post from Painters Online alerted me to the TALP Open competition, organised by The Artist and Leisure Painter magazines, so I diverted my three WILD LIFE submissions to this event instead.
Selection was done online and I was thrilled to be shortlisted with two of my submissions and then discovered on July 9th that I had received a Daler Rowney prize as well as the coveted exhibition award for 'Red Kite over Dartmoor’!
The October issue of the Artist magazine were to feature the winners and wanted a little more information about me and the painting:
"The preliminary plein air sketches were done the previous autumn when the sky overhead was actually a deep cornflower blue and studded with bright cumulus clouds, but I wanted to create a softer version of that scene, with moody distant showers and overcast light, as witnessed on a previous walk, and which I hoped would allow the Red Kite to take centre stage in a painting.
I enjoy the serendipitous nature of wet in wet watercolour where happy accidents can often produce marvellous skies. That’s why I always tackle the sky first, if it goes horribly wrong, I haven’t wasted the hours spent on the more ‘controllable’ parts of the composition.
The Red Kite is not seen as frequently as the Buzzard over Dartmoor, but their numbers are enjoying a comeback after successful reintroduction to the UK in the 1980’s. Some of the elevated viewpoints on the Tors of Dartmoor allow one to actually see a bird’s eye view of its sweeping, open, panoramic scenes, but it’s the first time I’ve actually included a soaring bird in one of my paintings."