Hello! I have exciting news! This year I'm really striving to push my work and embark on much more ambitious personal projects. This particular idea is one I've been thinking about for quite a while. It is likely to take me a good chunk of the year to complete and it's success very much relies on people (and their pets) in my local area getting involved!
I want to produce a series of paintings titled 'Pets of Hastings'. As the title suggests, the concept is quite simple - I want to create a series of paintings inspired by the pets (and their owners) that live in and around Hastings, with the end goal of holding an exhibition of them all later in the year. I'm always so inspired whenever I walk around Hastings, I nearly always see something I'd like to paint so I'm hoping to create a wide range of colourful patterned and scenic backgrounds all inspired by the town and the owners the pets live with.
To kick off the project, I painted my scruffy best friend and muse, my Shihtzu cross Tovah! The background was inspired by the incredible Victorian explorer, biologist and botanical artist Marianne North, who originated from Hastings. She traveled the world in pursuit of interesting plants to paint and has a number of them are named after her - including this ' 'Miss North Pitcher Plant' a species that are endemic to Borneo. This is a A3 gouache painting on braced wooden panel but I'm hoping to create a range of sizes for the project from A5 to A2, or maybe even bigger!
So if you live in Hastings or nearby St Leonards-on-sea and think your pet would make a beautiful work of art email : firstname.lastname@example.org with the title 'Pets of Hastings' in the subject line. Tell me a little about you and your pet and include a high res, clear photograph of them if you have it. You can read through my photograph guidelines here. I'd be particularly interested in hearing from creative people - artists, illustrators and independent business owners as I'd particularly love to explore the relationship that creative people have with their pets. You can also include a link to your Instagram if you have one.
Unfortunately I won't be able to paint every applicant so I will only be in contact if I think your pet will be suitable for the project. I may have to organise with you to come and photograph them if you don't have suitable photographs so bear that in mind if they are particularly camera shy! If I do choose your pet for the project I will send you a high res image of the completed painting. I'll also be offering 20% off the original artwork and prints can be arranged if you wish. You wouldn't be under any obligation to buy them at all - I just hope that enough people want to get involved that I can make a success of this project!
Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from you soon!