Wildlife painter Desiree Hart is back at Colonnade House after two previous successful shows. This time, Desiree will be spending the week with fellow painters, photographers and ‘Safari Buddies’ Kim Thompson and Chris Prince.
Natural Perspectives sees the coming together of three passionate wildlife enthusiasts and artists who met on a safari in the wilderness of northern Botswana. They instantly hit it off whilst camping on their way through one of the most remote regions in Africa, the Okavango Delta . They share a love for wildlife and use art and photography to capture their individual responses to the natural world. Each of them has a very different approach to producing images but the starting point is the same – out in nature with binoculars, a camera or sketchbook and a curiosity as to what they might encounter. Forests and heaths, beaches, rivers, parks and their own back gardens are a rich source of material as nature can be found everywhere and is often even more exciting when it is right under their noses. They have all travelled extensively to wilderness locations, with Africa being a favourite destination and the wildlife and landscapes of this continent regularly feature in their work.
However, awe and intrigue is found in every creature, from huge African elephants to tiny, exquisite Silver Studded Blue Butterflies and they will draw, paint and photograph anything that grabs their imagination.
Painting and photographing wildlife is a challenging task as the subject matter rarely stays still and varies greatly through the year. Seasons change, plants grow, light and weather conditions alter a landscape and the wildlife that moves through a habitat is affected by all of this plus the impacts of courtship, breeding and migration. You need endless patience and a certain amount of stealth to observe wildlife as well as an understanding of animal and bird behaviour which will help you gather reference material successfully. There is much to learn but this adds to the fascination and pulls them back to the wild to further understand and capture the subject on film or the pages of a sketchbook and ultimately, canvas.
The images are a celebration of the beauty and drama of nature. The artists wish to share their vision with the viewer; to intrigue, astonish, excite. Whilst also using their work as an educational tool to inspire a love of nature and an interest to learn more. As seen in 2020, nature can have a hugely positive impact on our lives and many more people are appreciating the importance of protecting it as they explore wild places and benefit from a magical, life affirming connection with the natural world. Even having an image of nature hanging in your home can imbue a space with positivity and calm by bringing a piece of the wild inside.
Desiree, Kim and Chris will never tire of their subject matter and look forward to more adventures armed with art materials and cameras and an energy to capture their individual perspectives on nature.
They hope you enjoy this exhibition and will connect with the natural world which inspires their work.
Open Tuesday – Sunday // 10.00 – 17.00
Desiree Hart has always had a passion for painting wildlife.
Her reference material is gathered on location through sketching and photography. Many visits to Africa has given her a wonderful collection of Big Game images to work with. Our English wildlife is also a continuous source of inspiration. Being a member of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust enables her to spend spare time sketching at the Arundel Centre, where she has always admired the work of the founder, Sir Peter Scott. She has been fundraiser for the trust as well as an Artist in Residence.
Her work is collected as far as Australia and has won many awards for her work, including 5 times selected for the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the year and exhibited at Mall Gallery in London.
Desiree exhibits at country shows, fairs, Art Society exhibitions and The Montague Gallery in Worthing. Exhibiting at Colonnade House gives her a chance to show her work ‘straight from the easel’.
The natural world inspires Kim Thompson’s work and life. Ventures have taken her to the Himalayas researching the snow leopard’s habitat, on horseback through the mountains of Catalonia and on camping safaris to Botswana. She lives on the edge of the New Forest National Park in southern England, an area which provides an endless supply of subject matter for her work.
Kim’s paintings have attracted buyers from around the world and have been sold at Christies’ Wildlife Art Auctions. Customers include HRH Princess Michael of Kent and Royal Doulton.
A training at Dyfed College of Art and career as a wildlife illustrator has had a direct influence on the way Kim works. She has always enjoyed painting the intricate and intriguing textures, patterns and colours in nature and her vibrant paintings in acrylics and oils are characterised by these details. Reference material is gathered on her travels with artwork evolving back in the studio from an assortment of thoughts, items, photos, written notes and sketches. Use of bold bright colours and contrasts is another feature of Kim’s work and she believes colour can definitely have a positive impact on our moods and energy. She also feels that we are drawn to nature and find calm and restoration in its colours and compositions, something which repeatedly pulls her out into the wild with her sketchbook.
Kim exhibits at the Exhibition of Wildlife Art in The Wirral, with the Society of Women Artists and Society of Equestrian Artists in the Mall Galleries, where she has received several awards and with the Society of Feline Artists. She is a regular artist in residence at Nature in Art near Gloucester where she also teaches painting workshops and she has taken part in the Seabird Drawing week with artists from the Society of Wildlife Artists in the Firth of Forth, Scotland.
Becoming involved in conservation now forms an important part of Kim’s life as a painter of the natural world and she supports various projects in Botswana as well as donating artwork to fundraising with Explorers Against Extinction and Sketch For Survival. She is keen to inspire young people to become fascinated by nature and learn to love and value it; the best way, she feels, to help protect it into the future.
Illustrating, researching and painting so many amazing creatures from insects to dinosaurs, exotic birds, fish and the places they inhabit has given Kim a fascination and love of the natural world which shows no sign of diminishing and which will always inspire her to pick up a brush and paint.
Chris Prince is from West Sussex, born and bred, and for the last 15 years he has been behind the lens of his camera taking photos of wildlife. Initially around Britain, then spreading his wings around the globe. He began many years ago birdwatching with his family, which has gradually progressed into studying wildlife of all genres.
He has a particular passion for African wildlife, and each time he explores another African country he is left wanting more. His photography has helped an enormous amount in learning about all the wonderful flora and fauna from the largest African elephant to the smallest insect.
Chris is very keen on conservation and ecology. He volunteers at RSPB reserve Pulborough Brooks doing various jobs from fixing fences , surveying birds to assisting with guided walks. His camera is never far from his hand, he has taken many beautiful images that have been used at the reserve.
Chris loves taking the pictures and hopes you enjoy looking at them.