Playtime is based on my recent sketches and memories of painted dogs in Botswana playing around a tall clump of buffalo grass. So where is the grass, I hear you asking? Well the composition did originally contain the grass, but I removed it because I felt that the obvious playful energy of the 2 dogs was the real essence of the painting. You can see from their raised tails, raised ears and general body language that they are ready to run and chase each other, they are just waiting to see who will make the first move.
Playtime, painted dogs, acrylic 24×30″ by Alison Nicholls
The playful nature of painted dogs (African wild dogs) is just one of the reasons they are so wonderful to watch. They exude a real joy in being part of a pack, having close companions, and in celebrating their successful hunts. My choice of colors – magenta and cyan – reflect the joyful, energetic nature of the piece and the layered washes of color create distance between the 2 dogs (so I was able to remove the grass from the composition!).
Playtime was very loosely based on some of my recent field sketches, including this piece, created in Zimbabwe when I spent time with Dr Greg Rasmussen of the Painted Dog Research Trust in Mana Pools.
Playtime Field Sketch, watercolor by Alison Nicholls
Playtime and several more of my new paintings & sketches will be on display in Wildlife Art: Field to Studio, an exhibition at the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut. The exhibit features work by 7 artists, several of whom are personal friends of mine, and all of whom are Signature members of the Society of Animal Artists. We work in a wide variety of media – watercolor, acrylic, oil, digital media & sculpture; in a variety of styles – contemporary, whimsical & realistic; and we undertake our field work in different parts of the world – Africa, Mongolia, Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, India, Central America & the Long Island Sound. It promises to be an exciting exhibition and at least 5 of the artists will be present for the opening reception and weekend programs for children and adults. My fellow artists and exhibitors are Susan Fox, Sean Murtha, David Rankin, Karryl, Kelly Singleton and Carel Brest van Kempen. The exhibition was curated by Lillian Lum, Alice Sherwood and Claudia Schipper.
Please join me for the Opening Reception or one of the programs associated with the exhibition.
Flinn Gallery Events
Opening Reception: March 31, 6-8pm
Children Sketching Wildlife: April 2 (details tba)
Artists Talks: April 2, 2-3pm.
The Explorers Club Lecture, New York City.
April 4, 6pm. Registration is required.
Until next time…!