Enjoy the delightful wildlife paintings in featured artist Jackie Garner’s portfolio, and be sure to visit her website for more from this talented artist.
What are you working on now?
Oh, so many things! My main project is The Wildlife Artist’s Handbook, which is a how-to-do-it type of book but includes a brief history of the genre, where to see wildlife art, connecting with other wildlife artists on the web, using different types of references and much more – too much to mention here.
I’ve never written and planned my own book before; I’ve certainly been out of my comfort zone but I love it! It has widened my own repertoire as I want to show a wider variety of styles and subjects than I usually paint. I’m including other artists’ work too, so it will be a glorious celebration of wildlife art. I have to have everything finished for next March for publication towards the end of 2013.
Once the Handbook is finished, I’ll return to illustrating research into how wildlife was depicted in ancient Egyptian art. I make as accurate a copy as possible of the original piece and paint the species we believe it to be alongside. In addition to those illustrations I’ve been investigating how the ancient Egyptians made their brushes, which pigments and which art techniques they used. I’d always been inspired by the wildlife itself before this project, never by art from other cultures or past civilisations. It’s a fascinating way of working.
Alongside those two projects I’m taking part in group exhibitions and generally getting my work out to a wider audience. There’s a possibility of a residency later in 2013 so I’m busy getting that organised too.
What inspires you?
I’ve always loved observational drawing, so I get inspired by natural objects – feathers, seeds, shells – usually working in watercolour. Other inspiration usually comes from seeing creatures in their natural environment. I’m particularly interested in how wildlife fits into its habitat through repeating shapes and colours. I rarely go out looking for a particular subject but prefer to be inspired by the unexpected: wildlife behaviour or the way that light falls on a subject.
Degas recommended artists should spend a year on a theme to fully explore the possibilities. I like that idea so sometimes I’ll produce a whole body of work based on one particular theme. I went to the Falklands years ago and that trip inspired a lot of paintings.
What are your goals?
The most important thing is that my work keeps evolving. I love to see progression in an artist’s work, how one aspect of their art has led to another. So one goal is to keep exploring and developing my artistic experience so that my art develops in a natural way.