Australian artist Paula Wiegmink presents her amazing wildlife portfolio. Enjoy, and be sure to visit her website for more information.
Painting is not a way of life for me. It is my life. My artistic journey has always been influenced by nature, but predominantly wildlife. When I finally reached a stage in my life that I was able to pursue my dream, I wanted to try to make a difference. I use my art as a vehicle to raise awareness of our fragile planet and the war we are now waging on wildlife crime.
When I decided to do a preparatory piece for World Rhino day 2012, my painting “Tears of the Rhino” was born. I approached the piece without any preconceived ideas and started with a random pour using acrylic. I started painting the rhino using a painting knife. When I stepped back to view my work, I realised that my rhino appeared to be crying tears of blood. Although this is an extremely confronting image I feel it conveys the message. This image is now been used by a proposed Rotary action group to raise funds for wildlife conservation.
They say the eyes are the “window to the soul” and for this reason I always try to convey the spirit of the animal or bird I am painting through the eye. I am predominantly a realist artist although I love to experiment. Working in oil, pastel, acrylic, watercolour and mixed media, I also enjoy exploring with textural effects.
I was recently invited to participate in an exhibition titled “Spirit of the Thoroughbred” and agreed to do three paintings in a short space of time. That I hadn’t drawn a horse since I was about 10 years old was beside the fact. I decided I wanted to convey the spirit of the animal I chose with no background interference. The painting was done in acrylic and proved to be quite a challenge. The effect I wanted was achieved by multi-glazing, pushing and pulling the surface paint, hoping to end up with a velvety, soft sheen. Great attention was given to the eye.
Growing up on a farm in Africa, I developed a love of cows and just couldn’t resist painting them. This large piece started out with a loose wash and then was gradually developed using a painting knife to create texture. The background was initially a beige colour and did nothing for the cows. So I decided to try something vibrant and bold to compliment the colour of the cows.
The most recently exciting thing to happen in my artist career is to have been shortlisted and chosen to exhibit in the 2014 “David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Exhibition” in London in June.
So I continue on my journey and will constantly strive to perfect my art and hopefully contribute to saving our natural environment with passion and commitment.