I Must do better......Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition 2017

I Must do better......Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition 2017

All this week the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition is taking place at the Mall galleries in London so if you are reading this blog before Sunday 2nd July at 1pm you still have time to get to the exhibition.....and it is worth the journey.

I was so pleased and proud this year to have 2 paintings accepted for the exhibition, last year curled fox made it to London and I thought then that was the best I could ever achieve.

So this year I entered on a bit of a wing and a prayer, last year was just a fluke ,surely? 

So I was so thrilled to have lemur and hare shortlisted

We set off for London ( me and my other half) on the train, all very exciting. It was a wet day but it certainly didn't dampen our enthusiasm , we headed for the National Portrait Gallery and looked on in awe at the entries in the BP Portrait Competition. To see work that is the best of it's type is  so inspiring, we gasped and gaped at it all. Then lunch and an afternoon at the National Gallery to see at the impressionists

And so after a nice cup of tea and a cake I checked my hair , added a bit of lippy , a posh jacket and we dodged the showers . We made our way to the Mall Gallery for the preview evening.

Wow ! The diversity of work and the talent on show knocks your socks off. I still have that feeling that they are going to say that they have made a mistake and I am not really there at all. But we are handed a name badge and a glass of bubbly instead and we try to see if we can spot my work.....there it is under the monkey!!!

Feeling a bit calmer we start to take in all the other work, wow. And this is where my title of the blog comes from....'I must do better'. That is what this experience makes me feel, you look at the expressions on the animals, the moments captured , the original thought behind each and every piece. 'Why didn't I think of that ?', sparks are flying in my brain, there is so much to take in, so many talented artists.

I realise I am a small fish in a large pond, and that is good I want to get back to work and do better for next time.I live in my little Devon bubble, so seeing all this work from around the world feeds my soul.Shows me new ways of doing things and it is why I enter these competitions, I think, so I can see where I am, and where I could go.....

I rush to see the small post cards that each artist is asked to paint to raise money for the foundation ,I  am thrilled again to see all the pieces and that mine has sold ....so pleased I could help.

Finally after we have looked at everything seeing smaller pieces we may have missed first time round ,we wait for the winners to be announced. I know ( I have probably said it myself) how do you judge art? But honestly we looked at everything and we loved so much but some pieces really did have a special something ! Even we had spotted several stand out pieces and they did win!

The runner up was this Bronze...

...and the winner, and I am thrilled to say it was a watercolour ( not a medium that is as well represented as all the others) was this wonderful Walrus, which has to be seen in reality to capture the true beauty of the piece

It was a thrill to see all the work, to know it is helping endangered species around the world. It was humbling and wonderful to be a part of it all.

We had to rush across a drizzly London to catch a train home buzzing with all we had seen.  I just wanted to get back to work so I can produce better work , push myself see what I can get my paints to do.


We treated ourselves on our journey home.....

Now back to work, and I hope I can do better x

Back to blog


I love your work too and thank you wholeheartedly for your generous blogs – I practise with them and do learn so much about techniques and what could work x

Maureen Walder

I loved your work the moment I saw it! I’ve commissioned one for my sister in France, I’ve bought note cards, acrylics, signed prints, and am awaiting my first, and I’m sure not the last, original! You are so talented and so humble! Okay…I’ll stop now but I could go on and on and on!

Lory Lamkin

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