Tag Archives: field sketch

Cheetah Trio by Alison Nicholls

Is it a Field Sketch?

“Sketch – a simply or hastily executed drawing or painting, especially a preliminary one, giving the essential features without the details” (from Dictionary.com)

On each visit to Africa I fill several sketchbooks with pencil and watercolor art. I have always referred to these artworks as ‘field sketches’ but as my work evolved I began to wonder if ‘sketch’ is still the appropriate term.

Lets go back a bit. For 10 years I have marketed my art through my website and social media sites because I want people to see, enjoy, learn from, and buy my work. Sketching in the field from life, without any photo or video reference, is vital to my artistic process; great fun; expands my knowledge of animal anatomy and behavior; and makes me a better artist. From a marketing perspective it also separates me from artists who work only in the studio from photos, and I try to make this crystal clear to everyone who sees my work. In a face to face conversation I can explain all this quite easily, but when you see my work briefly on the internet, I need to get this point across as quickly as I can, so terminology becomes very important, hence my use of the easily understood term ‘field sketches’.

Cheetah Trio Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls

Cheetah Trio “Field Sketch” by Alison Nicholls

Over the years, as my skills improved, I began to experiment with my field sketches. First, I started thinking more about composition while I sketched. The underlying pencil sketch for Cheetah Trio was created while I watched wild cheetahs in Botswana. But the cheetahs were lying further apart than they are shown in my sketch. I moved them closer together to create a better composition. I used both my ability to sketch from life, and my compositional skills to create the field sketch you see. Maybe you think I should sketch exactly what I see, but I would suggest that every piece of art has been composed to some extent by the artist. Even a field sketch artist has chosen which pose to sketch – if they sketched exactly what they saw, you would come across more sketches of animals relieving themselves! Secondly, as you see in Cheetah Trio, I began adding watercolor to my pencil sketches. As animals don’t remain still for lengthy periods of time, I usually have to do this back at camp – adding color from memory and imagination in varying proportions.

So according to the definition of a ‘sketch’, my works in pencil definitely qualify – they are executed hastily and contain only essential details. I add watercolor in a more leisurely manner, so does the painted piece still qualify as a field ‘sketch’? Or as field work? Or as a watercolor painting?

I’m sure I’m being overly pedantic, but terminology matters, particularly on the internet, and yet I’m guessing every artist has their own very specific ideas of what these terms mean. (As an aside, one of my pet peeves is seeing artworks described as ‘sketches’ when they are small, detailed pencil drawings, which obviously have taken many hours to complete from photographic reference.)

So…does any of this matter?
When you search for ‘field sketches’ online, what do you expect to find?
I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Elephants Browsing in the Bush, watercolor Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls ©2016

New Elephant Field Work by Alison Nicholls

Yesterday I got back from my latest trip to South Africa and Botswana, where I had a number of great elephant sightings. One memorable morning included a herd of 40 elephants who spent time carefully touching and smelling the bones of a dead elephant cow (more about that coming soon).

Elephants Browsing in the Bush, watercolor Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls ©2016

Elephants Browsing in the Bush, watercolor field work by Alison Nicholls ©2016

This new sketch shows a more muted palette of colors than usual, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I decided to use more grays, usually mixed from 3 primary colors. This piece started with a Naples yellow wash, which can still be seen on the elephants, so I mixed the background gray from the same yellow plus alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue. (I never use black and white to make gray. In fact I never use black at all and just removed it from my field box. I use white occasionally, usually with cerulean blue to get a subtle sky blue.)

Using the gray to paint the negative shapes around the elephant made them really stand out, and I finished off the piece with same mixture but with more crimson added to create a lovely subtle brown. I used my rigger brush to pull some of this brown out in the foreground as sticks, and also used it to emphasize some of the features on the main elephant. 

I think another reason for my muted palette is the severe drought which has affected most of southern Africa, leaving bare, parched earth devoid of vegetation. Many grazers and browsers are struggling from lack of food, and their poor condition leads to fairly easy pickings for many predators. Elephants are able to strip trees of their bark, dig up tree roots and even eat unpalatable-looking sticks and thorns, but their search for food can be hugely destructive.

I hope this year’s rains will be slow, steady and long lasting, so the vegetation can recover. On my next visit I hope to be painting with more greens – which also look great with grays and yellows.

Until next time…enjoy the elephants.
Alison

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn gallery, Greenwich, CT, with artist Alison Nicholls

An Exhibition in Images: Opening Reception

Part II of an exhibition in images features the Opening Reception. The exhibition is Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut, which features field work and studio work from 7 Signature members of the Society of Animal Artists. Each artist works in a different region of the world: Alison Nicholls (Africa); David Rankin (India); Karryl (Rocky Mountains); Carel Brest van Kempen (Central America); Kelly Singleton (Alaska); Sean Murtha (Long Island Sound) and Susan Fox (Mongolia). The exhibit is on display until May 4, 2016.

Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn gallery, Greenwich, CT, with artist Alison Nicholls

The fun begins… (l to r) Susan Fox, David Rankin, Karryl, Sean Murtha, Alison Nicholls

Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn gallery, Greenwich, CT, with artist Alison Nicholls

Pre-opening photo shoot…

Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn gallery, Greenwich, CT

Guests start to arrive…

Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn gallery, Greenwich, CT, with artist Alison Nicholls

Alison Nicholls with Ambassador & Mrs Ntwaagae of Botswana…

Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn gallery, Greenwich, CT

More guests arrive…

Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn gallery, Greenwich, CT, with artist Alison Nicholls

Another pre-opening shot, in front of work by Carel Brest van Kempen…

Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn gallery, Greenwich, CT, with artist Alison Nicholls

A few words by one of the curators, Lillian Lum…

Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn gallery, Greenwich, CT

The guests listen to the brief presentation…

Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn gallery, Greenwich, CT

Stripes are in… (artwork by David Rankin)

Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn gallery, Greenwich, CT

Seeing the exhibit…

Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn gallery, Greenwich, CT

Sculptor Karryl explain her work to a young visitor…

Wildlife Art: Field to Studio at the Flinn gallery, Greenwich, CT

Pinnacle, sculpture by Karryl, presides over the reception…

Over 260 visitors attended the opening reception and the evening was a resounding success. But this was just the start of a busy weekend of events. Next time I will show you images from the Children Sketching Animals!

Wildlife Art: Field to Studio is curated by Lillian Lum, Claudia Schipper & Alice Sherwood. It is on display until May 4 at the Flinn Gallery in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Please come and join me for a guided tour of the exhibition!
Alison

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com
A donation is made to African conservation from every sale.

Carmine Beeaters by Alison Nicholls ©2015

African Wildlife Sketch #11 – Carmine Bee-eaters by Alison Nicholls

It was incredibly windy on the morning I saw these Carmine Bee-eaters nesting on a flat riverbank in Linyanti. It was so windy that I couldn’t even begin to sketch them, so instead I concentrated on memorizing their stunning colors and trying to figure out if I could even create these colors from the very limited palette I have available in my field sketch kit. After a few minutes we moved away and stopped for morning tea and even though the wind continued to blow, I got out my paints and huddled down next to the vehicle to create this sketch. Although it may be far less dramatic and detailed than many of my other field sketches, the fact that I managed to create this sketch at all (and get close to the stunning colors of these amazing birds) makes this quite an achievement in my eyes!

Carmine Beeaters by Alison Nicholls ©2015

Carmine Beeaters by Alison Nicholls ©2015

These field sketches were created during my Aug/Sept 2015 African trip. All my field sketches, are created in Africa directly from life, or sketched back at camp purely from my memory of sightings. They are completely finished in Africa and I use no photos or video reference at any time in their creation. It is always tempting to add finishing touches back in the studio, but I avoid this to ensure that my field sketches really are field sketches. 

This Original Field Sketch is watercolor and pencil on watercolor paper, 11×14″ and priced at US$300. 

A donation will be made to African conservation from every sale.

Until Nov 22, I will be sharing 1 of my new African field sketches every day. The new sketches are shown to my newsletter readers a full day before they are shown here. Click here to Join my Mailing List and see the sketches as soon as they are released, or see them here 1 day later.

Wherever and whenever you see them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them.
Tomorrow’s sketch is of a bull elephant drinking.
Until then…
Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Playtime Field Sketch, watercolor by Alison Nicholls

African Field Sketch #10 – Playtime – painted dogs – by Alison Nicholls

I believe that Painted Dogs (African wild dogs) are one of the most difficult sketching subjects in the African bush, because when they are active, they are hyper-active! The better I know an animal, the better my sketches will be, so by the end of my most recent trip to southern Africa, having seen 4 different packs, I was able to capture some of the more entertaining, playful moments. While the dogs were playing, leaping over grass and chasing, I was watching rather than sketching, but I am then able to create sketches of particular moments, from my memory, a few minutes later. That is how this sketch was created.

Playtime Field Sketch, watercolor by Alison Nicholls

These field sketches were created during my Aug/Sept 2015 African trip. All my field sketches, are created in Africa directly from life, or sketched back at camp purely from my memory of sightings. They are completely finished in Africa and I use no photos or video reference at any time in their creation. It is always tempting to add finishing touches back in the studio, but I avoid this to ensure that my field sketches really are field sketches. 

This Original Field Sketch is watercolor and pencil on watercolor paper, 11×14″ and priced at US$300. Limited Edition Giclées are also available, priced at US$120 each. Only 10 copies are available, printed using archival inks on watercolor paper, 11×14″, all signed and numbered by me.

A donation will be made to African conservation from every sale.

Until Nov 22, I will be sharing 1 of my new African field sketches every day. The new sketches are shown to my newsletter readers a full day before they are shown here. Click here to Join my Mailing List and see the sketches as soon as they are released, or see them here 1 day later.

Wherever and whenever you see them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them.
Tomorrow’s sketch is of carmine bee-eaters!
Until then…
Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Browsing Giraffe Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls ©2015

African Wildlife Sketch #5 – Browsing Giraffe

When I sketch giraffes I realize just how strangely they are put together. Whereas circles form the basis of most of my animal sketches, with giraffes there seem to be more triangles involved. Their necks look ridiculously thin from some angles, their knees and feet are huge when seen up close, they have an amazingly long tongue and big males often have faces covered in lumps. Somehow, despite all this, they manage to be one of the most elegant animals in the African bush!   

Browsing Giraffe Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls ©2015

Browsing Giraffe Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls ©2015

All my field sketches, are created in Africa directly from life, or sketched back at camp purely from my memory of sightings. They are completely finished in Africa and I use no photos or video reference at any time in their creation. It is always tempting to add finishing touches back in the studio, but I avoid this to ensure that my field sketches really are field sketches. 

This Original Field Sketch was sold yesterday, but Limited Edition Giclées are also available, priced at US$120 each. Only 10 copies are available, printed using archival inks on watercolor paper, 11×14″, all signed and numbered by me.

A donation will be made to African conservation from every sale.

Until Nov 22, I will be sharing 1 of my new African field sketches every day. The new sketches are shown to my newsletter readers a full day before they are shown here. Click here to Join my Mailing List and see the sketches as soon as they are released, or see them here 1 day later.

Wherever and whenever you see them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them.
Tomorrow’s sketch is of a zebra in mopane scrub.
Until then…
Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Hippo Pod Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls ©2015

African Wildlife Sketch #4 – Hippo Pod

I have hardly any sketches of hippos, because you normally just see their ears, eyes and nostrils protruding above the water. This pod were partially submerged, but the way they were lying gave me just enough to sketch. It is a very simple piece, but I think its simplicity makes it effective.  

Hippo Pod Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls ©2015

Hippo Pod Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls ©2015

All my field sketches, are created in Africa directly from life, or sketched back at camp purely from my memory of sightings. They are completely finished in Africa and I use no photos or video reference at any time in their creation. It is always tempting to add finishing touches back in the studio, but I avoid this to ensure that my field sketches really are field sketches. 

This Original Field Sketch is watercolor and pencil on watercolor paper, 11×14″, and priced at US$300. Limited Edition Giclées are also available, priced at US$120 each. Only 10 copies are available, printed using archival inks on watercolor paper, 11×14″, all signed and numbered by me.

A donation will be made to African conservation from every sale.

Until Nov 22, I will be sharing 1 of my new African field sketches every day. The new sketches are shown to my newsletter readers a full day before they are shown here. Click here to Join my Mailing List and see the sketches as soon as they are released, or see them here 1 day later.

Wherever and whenever you see them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them.
Tomorrow’s sketch is of a browsing giraffe.
Until then…
Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Creepers and Cheetahs Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls

African Field Sketch #1 – Creepers and Cheetahs

Field Sketch #1: Creepers and Cheetahs was sketched on one of those rare occasions when I have time to sketch the animals and then add the background too. I was fortunate that the cheetahs had chosen such a beautiful place to rest, lying half way up a termite mound, with the lovely loops of the creepers (vines) behind. The black bird perched there is a fork-tailed drongo. The watercolor was added when I returned to camp, purely from memory, with no use of photos or video.

Creepers and Cheetahs Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls

Creepers and Cheetahs Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls

The Original Field Sketch is watercolor & pencil on watercolor paper, 11×14″, priced at US$300. Limited Edition Giclées are also available, priced at US$120 each. Only 10 copies are available, printed using archival inks on watercolor paper, 11×14″, all signed and numbered by me.

All my field sketches, are created in Africa directly from life, or sketched back at camp purely from my memory of sightings. They are completely finished in Africa and I use no photos or video reference at any time in their creation. It is always tempting to add finishing touches back in the studio, but I avoid this to ensure that my field sketches really are field sketches. 

A donation will be made to African conservation from every sale.

Over the next few weeks (Nov 1- 22), I will be sharing 1 of my new African field sketches every day. The new sketches are shown to my newsletter readers a full day before they are shown here. Click here to Join my Mailing List and see the sketches as soon as they are released.

Wherever and whenever you see them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them!
Until tomorrow…
Take care
Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

African Field Sketches by Alison Nicholls ©2015

Want To See My New African Field Sketches?

All my new field sketches have now been scanned and I am ready to show them to you! 

I will be releasing them on my blog and on social media, one every day, for 3 weeks, starting on November 2nd.
Why November 2nd?
Because before I put them online here, I will be showing them to my newsletter readers – starting on November 1st. So they get to see them a day in advance.

If you also want to see them on the day they are released, use this link to Join My Mailing List. Or, you can wait to see them here. But some of them may be sold by the time they are posted here…

African Field Sketches by Alison Nicholls ©2015

African Field Sketches by Alison Nicholls ©2015

Shown above is a montage of a few of the new pieces you will soon see in detail. All my field sketches, are created in Africa directly from life, or sketched back at camp purely from my memory of sightings. They are completely finished in Africa and I use no photos or video reference at any time in their creation. It is always tempting to add finishing touches back in the studio, but I avoid this to ensure that my field sketches really are field sketches. 

Remember, if you want to see them on the day they are released, you can Join My Mailing List. Or, you can wait to see them here, a day later. Wherever and whenever you see them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them!

Until November 1st…(or 2nd)!
Take care
Alison

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Alison Nicholls sketching in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

Artist + Elephant = Magic!

As an artist who sketches African wildlife in the field, it can be difficult to get this kind of photo. If I’m on my own, I never manage to get these kinds of photos. So its wonderful to have a husband who takes these kinds of photos for me – often without my knowledge!

Alison Nicholls sketching in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

Alison Nicholls sketching in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe. Photo by Nigel Nicholls.

I can never have too many photos of me sketching elephants. Thank you, Nigel!

Until next time…
Take care
Alison

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Bryant Park watercolor sketch by Alison Nicholls

3 Artists. 3 Hours. 3 Styles.

Bryant Park in New York City was the scene of this sketching outing. Some unsuspecting park goers provided the models, and 3 very different artists interpreted the scene very, very differently.

First – a pen sketch by Hazel Jarvis, who uses simple lines to create beautiful, expressive sketches.

NYPD - sketch by Hazel Jarvis

NYPD – sketch by Hazel Jarvis

Next – a graphite drawing by Rachael Grimm, who uses tone, shading and line to create her more detailed drawings.

Park Goer - drawing by Rachael Grimm

Park Goer – drawing by Rachael Grimm

Finally, a few of my watercolor sketches, created with a rigger or outliner brush. It allows fine lines, but when sketching, the long hairs of the brush don’t allow for complete control of the line.

Bryant Park watercolor sketch by Alison Nicholls

Bryant Park watercolor sketch by Alison Nicholls

I was experimenting with this and plan to use it on this year’s Art Safari as I think it will be a great, expressive way to capture wildlife in watercolor.

Bryant Park watercolor sketch by Alison Nicholls

Bryant Park watercolor sketch by Alison Nicholls

It amazes me that we all sat there together, at the same table, in the same park, and the resulting artwork is so different in each case.

Bryant Park watercolor sketch by Alison Nicholls

Bryant Park watercolor sketch by Alison Nicholls

When you learn to draw, you are often told to draw what you see, not what you think you see. I agree with that completely, but it does beg the question, are we seeing different things?
I believe we are. And that’s what makes art so exciting!

See more of Hazel’s Art.
See more of Rachael’s Art.
See more of My Art.

Alison
www.ArtinspiredbyAfrica.com

Bryant Park watercolor sketch by Alison Nicholls

Bryant Park watercolor sketch by Alison Nicholls

 

Howling Wolf sketch by Alison Nicholls

Wolf + Sketchbook + Spring = Art Safari!

My next Wolf Sketching Workshop at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem will be May 3rd from 9am – 12 noon. Join me and learn how to capture a live wolf in your sketchbook! Any level of sketching experience (or none!) is just fine.

Howling Wolf sketch by Alison Nicholls

Howling Wolf sketch by Alison Nicholls

In addition to sketching several of WCC’s ambassador wolves, you will have a chance to see the critically endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves. Please contact me if you have any questions, or use the link below to sign up for the workshop. Spring is finally here, so join me for a wonderful morning watching and sketching wolves!

Atka, the Arctic wolf

Atka, the Arctic wolf

Atka (above), Zephyr, Alawa, Nikai and I, hope to see you there!
Alison

Wolf Conservation Center
Wolf Sketching Safari, May 3, 9am-12noon.
$70 per person. Pre-Registration is Required.

Exhibit Visitor sketch by Alison Nicholls

Yes, I Fell For It…

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City has a great exhibit on at the moment: One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Works. It documents the mass migration of African Americans, across several decades, from rural southern states to urban northern states. Well worth a visit! But I was there to do some sketching…

Exhibit Visitor sketch by Alison Nicholls

Exhibit Visitor sketch by Alison Nicholls

It was at the African People & Wildlife Fund in Tanzania, where I began sketching people and now I can’t seem to stop! The funny thing is that I usually have much more trouble sketching people in western clothing, than I do sketching the Maasai in Tanzania. I wondered why that was and realized I was falling for a common trap – sketching what you think you know, rather than what you actually see. I know western clothes. I wear them myself. So I thought I could sketch people wearing western clothing without spending too much time looking. Wrong!

At the Exhibition sketch by Alison Nicholls

At the Exhibition sketch by Alison Nicholls

So, on this trip to MOMA I made a conscious decision to start looking for the simple shapes that I use when sketching in Africa. And wouldn’t you know it, my sketches were so much better!

Check out the work of my friends and fellow artists, who joined me on my MOMA sketching trip: Hazel Jarvis and Rachael Grimm.
More soon!

Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com (or wherever I happen to be!)

Alison Nicholls' new book: An Artist Visits the African People & Wildlife Fund

Have You Created a Monster?

Thank you to everyone who has helped make my book such a success! I have received so many orders that I will need to print more copies.

Alison Nicholls' new book: An Artist Visits the African People & Wildlife Fund

Alison Nicholls’ new book: An Artist Visits the African People & Wildlife Fund

I could never have guessed that the response would be so positive and of course I am thrilled. But you may have unleashed a monster – I am now planning my 2nd book, this time based on African wildlife! More about that soon…

Art Inspired by Africa: An Artist Visits the African People & Wildlife Fund

If you have placed an order, your book will be in the mail as soon as I’ve signed it. Thank you again for your support!

If you not yet placed an order but would like a signed copy… please remember that after April 30, the book will be available on Amazon.com, for a higher price. At the moment a signed copy is available from me for only US$35.

If you live in the USA, you can place an order here. Shipping within the US is US$6.

If you live outside the USA, please drop me an email and I can send you a shipping quote (shipping to the UK or New Zealand is $15).

A donation is made to the African People & Wildlife Fund from every sale.

Thank you!
Asanteni Sana!  (Kiswahili)
Ashe Naleng!  (KiMaasai)

Learn more about the African People & Wildlife Fund.
See more of my African Field Sketches.

Alison
www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Atka, the Arctic wolf

Join Me To Sketch Wolves!

My next Wolf Sketching Workshop at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem will be May 3rd from 9am – 12 noon. Join me and learn how to capture a live wolf in your sketchbook! Any level of sketching experience (or none!) is just fine.

Howling Wolf sketch by Alison Nicholls

Howling Wolf sketch by Alison Nicholls

In addition to sketching several of WCC’s ambassador wolves, you will have a chance to see the critically endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves. Please contact me if you have any questions, or use the link below to sign up for the workshop. Spring is finally here, so join me for a wonderful morning watching and sketching wolves!

Atka, the Arctic wolf

Atka, the Arctic wolf

Atka (above), Zephyr, Alawa, Nikai and I, hope to see you there!
Alison

Wolf Conservation Center
Wolf Sketching Safari, May 3, 9am-12noon.
$70 per person. Pre-Registration is Required.

Alison Nicholls' new Book featuring Art from Tanzania

And The Winner Is…

The results are in, and they were pretty overwhelming.  74% of voters chose the Yellow Cover for my new book!!!
Art Inspired by Africa:
An Artist Visits the African People & Wildlife Fund

Alison Nicholls' new Book featuring Art from Tanzania

Alison Nicholls’ new Book featuring Art from Tanzania

I’m glad I asked you to vote for the cover design, because my instinctive choice was the White Cover! Some of you will argue that I should go with the white cover because it was my choice and I am the artist, but I have to disagree. If almost three quarters of you chose the yellow cover, then I’m going with you – after all, one of the purposes of this book is to publicize my art and the work of APW. And the best way to do that is to have a larger number of people pick up the book!

Because the results of the poll were so clear, I decided to close the contest early. So the name of the winner was pulled today.  And guess what – the winner is another artist!

Shukas, a sample page from my upcoming book.

Shukas, a sample page from my upcoming book.

The winner is Ray Brown, a talented artist and friend. You should check out his art too – after you’ve ordered a signed copy of my book!

Field Sketches, a sample page from my upcoming book.

Field Sketches, a sample page from my upcoming book.

Pre-order a copy before April 30, 2015, and you will get a personally signed copy for the stupendously, ridiculously, low price of only US$35 excluding postage ($6 in the USA). After April 30, the book will be available on Amazon.com but at a higher price. I am ordering the books now and they will available late April or early May. A donation is made to APW from every sale.

Living Walls, a sample page from my upcoming book.

Living Walls, a sample page from my upcoming book.

If you live in the USA, you can order here:
Art Inspired by Africa
An Artist Visits the African People & Wildlife Fund

If you live outside the USA, drop me an email or leave a comment and I will let you know shipping costs for your country.

Pre-order Your Signed Copy for US$35 before April 30, 2015.

Alison Nicholls' new Book featuring Art from Tanzania

Alison Nicholls’ new Book featuring Art from Tanzania

Book Details:
This is the 1st book in my Art Inspired by Africa series, and it features images of art created as a result of my visits to the African People & Wildlife Fund (APW) in Tanzania. There are full-page images of my field sketches and studio paintings, all accompanied by personal notes or journal excerpts. The foreword is by Dr. Laly Lichtenfeld, APW Executive Director, and other APW staff have also contributed to their comments to the book. Photographs and text explain specific APW programs on the Maasai Steppe and my work with local school children. The 46-page book is printed on full-color premium lustre paper, in a softcover 8×10″ landscape format. A donation is made to APW from every sale.

Congratulations to Ray Brown! (check out his amazing graphic art using the link).
Learn more about the African People & Wildlife Fund in Tanzania.
Until next time…
Take care
Alison

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com
Donating to African conservation from every sale.

Shukas, a sample page from my upcoming book.

Take a Look Inside my Art Book!

Work on my book is progressing nicely so I thought I’d give you a sneak peek at a few pages.

Living Walls, a sample page from my upcoming book.

Living Walls, a sample page from my upcoming book.

Art Inspired by Africa – An Artist Visits the African People & Wildlife Fund features field sketches created at the African People & Wildlife Fund (APW),  studio paintings inspired by my visits, excerpts from my field journal, a foreword by Dr Laly Lichtenfeld (Exec Dir. of APW) and details of APW programs.

Field Sketches, a sample page from my upcoming book.

Field Sketches, a sample page from my upcoming book.

The book will be approximately 50 pages, in a landscape 8×10″ format and will be available for sale in late April. As with my sales of field sketches, paintings and limited edition giclées, I’ll be making a donation to conservation from the sale of every book. This will go to help APW’s work on the Maasai Steppe of Tanzania

Shukas, a sample page from my upcoming book.

Shukas, a sample page from my upcoming book.

But one lucky person can win a signed copy by helping me choose the cover design. There are two options shown below – white or yellow. You can vote by leaving a comment here or on my Facebook page. I’ll be announcing the winner and the cover choice on March 31st!

Art Inspired by Africa Covers

Art Inspired by Africa Covers. Tell me your choice in a comment and you might win a copy!

Now I really must go and finish writing the Introduction!
Until next time…
Alison

Learn more about the African People & Wildlife Fund.

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com
Donating to African conservation from every sale.

 

Children in Tanzania, field sketch by Alison Nicholls

Send a Scholar to School!

I haven’t run any marathons recently. Not even a half marathon. I haven’t done any long sponsored walks, although I really should be paid for the amount of time I spend walking my German Shepherd dog. I have not even entered any sponsored hot-dog eating competitions. (My dog’s ears just perked up. You can be paid to eat hot-dogs, wow, humans are Amazing!) What this all means is that I have not asked you to sponsor me to do anything.

Children in Tanzania, field sketch by Alison Nicholls

Children in Tanzania, field sketch by Alison Nicholls

So yes, you guessed it, I am about to appeal for your money. But not for me.  Instead I want you to consider a donation, of any amount, to help send a scholar to school. In Tanzania!

The scholars I refer to are Noloholo Environmental Scholars. The African People & Wildlife Fund in northern Tanzania created this scholarship program, to allow children from the Maasai Steppe the opportunity to go to a good boarding school in Arusha for their secondary education. Most of these children would have very little opportunity to continue their education beyond Grade 6 (end of primary school) if they did not receive the scholarship. During their vacations from boarding school they mentor other students who want to follow in their footsteps – and there are many who want to follow in their footsteps. As you can imagine, this program is changing lives. Some of these children may be future conservationists, but whatever they choose to do, they will be raising living standards and expectations not only for themselves and their families but for their communities as a whole.

So please take the time to look at this link and see if you can help with a donation of any amount.

Noloholo Scholarship Fund
Asante sana! (thank you very much in Kiswahili)

Until next time…
Alison

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com
Donating to African conservation from every sale.

Free Shipping within the US to celebrate my new website. Plus half-price international shipping!

Celebrating Art Inspired by Africa Website!

Free Shipping within the US to celebrate my new website. Plus half-price international shipping!

Free Shipping within the US to celebrate my new website. Plus half-price international shipping!

If you haven’t already visited my new website, here’s a good reason to do so – to celebrate the launch, I am offering Free Shipping within the US and half-price shipping to international destinations, for the entire month of February!

Are you still here?
Oh yes, sorry, here’s the link!

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Until next time…
Alison

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New website www.artinspiredbyafrica.com by Alison Nicholls

New Year – New Website!

New website www.artinspiredbyafrica.com by Alison Nicholls

My new website – www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com – can be viewed on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

I hope you are having a wonderful start to 2015. I thought this would be the ideal time to unveil my brand new website, which you can view from your computer, tablet or smartphone!

I wanted to create a website with clean, simple lines, to best display my colorful African acrylics and watercolor field sketches. Kim Bruce of Artbiz helped me achieve this, and it has been a pleasure working with her. I hope you agree that the result was worth the effort. Take a look and you’ll see my Paintings, Sketches and Limited Editions, plus Art Safaris (there are just 2 places remaining on this year’s safari) and completely new pages for The Artist and my Conservation Sketching Expeditions. There is a new shopping cart with shipping options and you’ll find my Blog on the website too. I’m thrilled with the new design and hope you will be too – so take a look and let me know!

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Uploading all my images and text took a fair amount of time and by the time I finished I was seeing my website in my sleep, which makes it difficult to spot errors. So, in case you need more encouragement to visit my new site, I’m offering a free gift to whoever finds the best (or worst) error in my new website, or whoever makes the best suggestion for improvement. A couple of exceptions should be noted – giving my work away for free will not be considered a valid suggestion, and US spellings do not count as errors!!!

Finally I’d like to thank Dale Simmons of Ezpics, who worked with me on my previous website for over 10 years. He was great to work with, and I’ll be keeping in touch for more chats about conservation and life in Montana. Thanks Dale!

www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com

Until next time…
Alison

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Shimmer & Shukas by Alison Nicholls

Art Challenge Day 5 – People and Conservation

Shimmer and Shukas Field Sketch, watercolor 11x14" by Alison Nicholls

Shimmer and Shukas Field Sketch, watercolor 11×14″ by Alison Nicholls

The Herd, acrylic on canvas 24x20" by Alison Nicholls

The Herd, acrylic on canvas 24×20″ by Alison Nicholls

Living Walls, acrylic on canvas 29x29" by Alison Nicholls

Living Walls, acrylic on canvas 29×29″ by Alison Nicholls

Although I had painted landscapes and wildlife, I never thought I was interested in painting or sketching people. But as I got to know Botswana better, I did try my hand at a couple of pieces. However, I was never comfortable sketching people without their permission and was too shy to ask. As with so many things in life, it was only after I left Africa that I realized what a chance I had been missing all those years. But luckily for me, it was also at this time that I became familiar with the African People & Wildlife Fund in Tanzania and arranged with Dr Laly Lichtenfeld to spend time at the project sketching. While I was there I learned about APW’s work with the local communities and saw firsthand some of the complex conservation issues facing both people and wildlife. I knew I wanted to include these issues in my work and began composing some conservation-themed paintings which show issues like human-wildlife conflict.

My visits to APW grew out of my visit to the Painted Dog Conservation project back in 2007, but with APW I moved into the realm of painting people. Frankly, when I first visited, I had absolutely no idea how much I was going to enjoy this! The conservation of wildlife and habitat depends on the decisions that will be made by people who share the land with wildlife. If their lives are made easier by the elimination of wildlife then it will be difficult for wildlife to survive and roam freely. The work of conservation organizations can help to provide workable solutions, but it is the people who will make the ultimate decisions – which is why I am pleased to finally incorporate both the people and wildlife of Africa in my art.

These days I make a donation to African conservation from the sale of every original painting, original field sketch and limited edition giclée and I aim to use my work to explain complex conservation issues and highlight solutions which are being used in the field.

Thank you for following my week of Art Challenge posts, I hope it gave you an insight into my artistic journey. Life as an artist has its ups and downs but I never want to do anything else. Its been a wild adventure so far. Long may it continue!
Alison

Learn more about the African People & Wildlife Fund.
Learn more about Painted Dog Conservation.

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Atka the Arctic Wolf studies my Art

Wolf-Approved Art by Alison Nicholls

Atka the Arctic Wolf studies my Art

Atka the Arctic Wolf studies my Art

Last night I and my artwork attended Wine & Wolves, the annual benefit for the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem. Atka the ambassador Arctic wolf made an appearance and decided my art was worth a closer look!

If you would like to see more of the art that Atka approved of, you can check it out on my website: www.ArtInspiredbyAfrica.com. Don’t forget to take a look at my Seasonal Offers which are available until the end of December.

Learn more about the Wolf Conservation Center.

Until next time…
Alison

Art Inspired by Africa and Conservation
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Watering the Cattle, field sketch 11x14" by Alison Nicholls

Watering the Cattle, Tanzania Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls

Watering the Cattle, field sketch 11x14" by Alison Nicholls

Watering the Cattle, watercolor field sketch 11×14″ by Alison Nicholls

“Cattle drank in lines at the trough then ambled away to graze; Maasai men leant against their sticks in the shade of the trees; donkeys, often fully loaded with water, stopped for a drink before heading home (often with no owner in sight); men flew past on bicycles down to the stream, filled their water containers then slowly pushed their bicycles back up the hill; children herded goats and sheep and stopped to stare (if they were brave they would come to see my sketch then talk and laugh as they left); whistles, shouts and cow bellows floated out across the karongo (stream).”   An excerpt from my Journal, June 11 2014, during my latest visit to the African People & Wildlife Fund in Tanzania.

See more of my African Field Sketches, all of which are available for sale with a donation to African conservation. I also have a number of Seasonal Offers available until the end of December.
Learn more about the African People & Wildlife Fund in Tanzania.

Until next time…
Alison

Art Inspired by Africa and Conservation
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Celebration Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls

Celebration Field Sketch by Alison Nicholls

This sketch does not feature your typical US Thanksgiving Day celebration!
In fact it is a sketch of Maasai men dancing at a wedding in Tanzania.

But all around the world, people everywhere celebrate important events. So I would like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving by sharing this sketch with you, from a celebration of a different kind that I was lucky enough to attend.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Alison

Art Inspired by Africa and Conservation
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Yes, it is still that time of year!
So here are my Seasonal Offers #4 and #5.
(You can find #1, #2 & #3 in my previous post here)
My usual donations to African conservation organizations apply to all purchases. Browse or graze your way through my offers then find one that works for you!
Surprise Gift with Every Original by Alison NichollsBuy any Original Painting or Field Sketch and you will receive a special Surprise Gift from me (I’m not giving any clues)! My usual donations to conservation organizations apply. Offer expires 12/31/2014. Free Shipping Offer also applies (see below).

 

3 prints for 300 by Alison Nicholls

Buy any three 11×14″ Limited Edition Reproductions and pay only US$300. Although you are receiving a discount, my donations to African conservation will be made as if you have paid the full price. This offer will expire after 10 buyers have redeemed the offer or on 12/31/2014. Free Shipping Offer also applies (see below).

Free Shipping by Alison Nicholls

Free Shipping on all artwork mailed to a destination within the lower 48 states of the United States. Half-price shipping on all artwork mailed elsewhere, including Internationally. Combine this offer with any of the other offers shown below! Offer expires 12/31/2014. My Last Shipping Date will be Wednesday December 17 (with guaranteed delivery within the US by December 24).

Thank You for spending time browsing or grazing!
Alison

Art Inspired by Africa and Conservation
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