Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cirencester March Hare Festival

I'm thrilled to be part of another local Public Art project. The Cirencester March Hare Festival will see 25 large hares and many small ones, decorated by different local artists, gracing the streets, businesses and shop windows in Cirencester, from March to September 2014.
The beautiful hare sculpture has been created by sculptor Alan Dun whose iconic pig will be remembered by many from King Bladud's Pigs in Bath 2008. The decorated hare sculptures will be auctioned in Autumn 2014 and funds raised from the March Hare Festival will be used for the Green Hare projects, focused on improving the environment and engaging young people in Cirencester in association with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

My design 'Harebelle' has been sponsored by The Twelve Bells and little Harebelle, who stands around 15" tall can already be spotted at the Pub and Restaurant on Lewis Lane, Cirencester. The 5' version will be arriving in the spring!

I hope to be able to paint more small hares for the project and these are some of my designs.


Lepus Lazuli


Leap in the Dark

Monday, November 4, 2013

Gorillas looking for new homes

After a summer in the sun on the English Riviera, my gorilla 'Five Minutes to Midnight' will be going to auction along with nearly 30 other life size designs and some smaller school designs, next week.

Great Gorillas project organised by Paignton Zoo and Wild in Art has been hugely popular and entertained visitors and residents alike in Paignton, Torquay and Exeter, winning Tourism Event of the Year at the English Riviera and South Devon Tourism Awards 2013.

'Five minutes to midnight, sponsored by SW legal firm Wollen Michelmore, has had a busy time. He joined the Gorilla Flotilla around Torbay in July, then was situated on Torquay seafront near the Pavilion and English Riviera Wheel during the trail from August to October. Later in October he joined the rest of the tribe at Paignton Zoo for the Goodbye Gorillas weekend event and is now heading for the Charity Auction on 6th November, looking for a forever home.

A Mini 'Midnight' has been hiding out at Babbacombe Model Village on their tiny trail and mini ceramics of him have also been for sale. More will be available from the Wild in Art webshop, running up to Christmas.
I was thrilled that he was also recently voted as the public's favourite gorilla by readers of the Torquay Herald Express. Hopefully 'Midnight' has helped to raise awareness of the urgency to support endangered Western Lowland Gorillas, with his clock and watch faces showing the 'doomsday' warning of five minutes to midnight!

The Auction this Wednesday will raise funds for Paignton Zoo's conservation projects, and proceeds from the sale of 'Midnight' will go to a very special local charity, The Children's Hospice South West which was nominated by his sponsor Wollen Michelmore. Information about the auction can be found here at Great Gorillas. It's not too late to register for telephone of proxy bidding.

Good luck 'Midnight'!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Elephants on the move

The Intu National Tour is on the move.The Elephant Parade's latest herd of decorated elephants began their long journey at Intu Watford in July and will be on the road around the UK until July 2014. They are currently at the Intu Gateshead Metrocentre until 13th October.

It's many months since I started the design process for my elephant 'The Butterfly Effect' which began back in February this year.When I was asked to come up with a design on the theme of Joy, butterflies with their huge array of colours and the feeling of freedom they symbolise, seemed a perfect choice.
The Elephant Parade organisation feel it is important whilst raising funds, to also raise awareness of Asian elephant conservation. I hope that by using nature in my elephant designs to highlight the beauty that exists in the natural world, this encourages the public to think about how important it is to preserve the natural habitat of the elephant.

Design sketch for 'The butterfly effect'

When I decided to cover my elephant in an explosion of colourful butterflies I also wanted to put across the message that we can all do our bit for conservation no matter how small our contribution. I have always been a great believer in the power of the individual as part of bigger effort and after all 1000 people giving a £1 contribution is worth the same as one £1000 contribution!
The expression 'the butterfly effect' came to mind and although I can't claim to know anything about the chaos theory, this phrase has come to represent the idea that a small gesture ... like the tiny flap of a butterfly's wing on one side of the world, can have a knock on effect that is significantly bigger on the far side of the world as it gathers momentum.

I deliberately chose butterflies from all over the planet to represent the international importance of animal conservation. Choices we make in the west have a direct impact on the Asian economy which can lead to changes in the natural habitat of the Asian elephant.
I visited the butterfly farm at Studley Grange to take photographs for inspiration. In total there are 19 butterflies on my elephant, plus a butterfly orchid!

Orange Lacewing at Studley Grange

Marpesia from South America

It has been very rewarding to see people enjoying the elephant parade tour as it travels the UK and helps raise funds and awareness in the fight to save the endangered Asian elephant.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Great Gorillas on the Loose!

The Great Gorillas are on the loose and 30 life size gorillas have hit the streets along the English Riviera in Paignton, Torquay and Exeter.

Down on Torquay harbour front, where 'Five Minutes to Midnight' is situated, I met up with my Clive Meredith, Practise Director for Wollen Michelmore the South Devon Law Firm who have sponsored my gorilla.
Five Minutes ... is in front of the Pavillion in a great position for watching the world go by and with a perfect view of the English Riviera Big Wheel . Who knows, he may remind people occasionally that it's getting late and they should be getting a taxi home!


The wonderful Babbacombe Model Village in Torquay also has a miniature version of the trail with  some of the gorillas even performing useful or dangerous tasks!

There's plenty of time to follow the gorilla trails as the project continues until October ending with the Great Gorillas Charity Auction at The Palace Theatre Paignton on 6th Nov.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Gorilla Flotilla

This week the English Riviera was the stage for a strange invasion.

The Gorilla Flotilla launched the public phase of the Great Gorillas project with a flotilla of 9 vessels with very motley crews!
The flotilla was a spectacular event on a beautiful evening, enjoyed by supporters, artists and sponsors from the balcony of Living Coasts which overlooks Torbay, and a lucky 350 readers of the Torquay Herald Express were aboard the boats with the gorillas!
Organised by Wild in Art in partnership with Paignton Zoo , who celebrate their 90th Anniversary this year, the public art project will raise money for the Cross River Gorilla Conservation project to help the endangered Western Lowland Gorillas in Nigeria and Cameroon, and wonderful local charity the South West Children's Hospice.

The 30 gorillas, painted by different artists will form a trail along the English Riviera from 3rd August - 13th October, along with 20 smaller gorillas specially painted by local schools.
The additional  miniature version of the trail at Babbacombe Model Village which celebrates it's 50th Anniversary this year is sure to prove another really popular attraction.

The trail map will be available in many outlets in Exeter and Torbay or is downloadable here
Great Gorillas Trail map
If you have a smart phone and manage to complete the trail of all 30 gorillas, you will be able to enter a draw to win a once in a lifetime experience to meet the real gorillas at Paignton Zoo. Details to register will be available very soon watch this space!

'Five Minutes to Midnight' ( far side) aboard
'The Fairmile' with one of his gorilla cousins.

My gorilla 'Five Minutes to Midnight' is sponsored by local Legal Firm Wollen Michelmore and I'm delighted that proceeds raised from his sale at the Gorilla Auction, at the Palace Theatre in Paignton on Wednesday 6th November 2013, will go to their nominated charity the South West Children's Hospice.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Elephant Parade Tour Preview

Being an artist is usually a solitary pursuit, but with the chance to meet some fellow artists, and see the public enjoying our work, I put down my brushes yesterday to go along to the Elephant Parade Tour preview at Kings Cross Station in London. The Intu Elephant Parade Tour will be launched at IntuWatford shopping centre on Monday 22nd July, but this was a chance for everyone to get a sneak preview of 13 of the herd.

It was lovely to see the elephants catching the eye of travellers passing through Kings Cross on a busy Tuesday. My elephant 'The Butterfly Effect' was waiting patiently by platform 9, with her 'trunk' all packed waiting for the Watford express!

The elephant tour will visit 14 Intu venues over a period of 375 days, with a herd of 100 new elephants in total. Each venue will host a family of elephants from the herd, which will include some designed and painted by local young people who have won school competitions to make their designs become a reality. All school designs will be on view digitally on a big screen in the venues.
True to being billed 'the people's parade' anyone wanting the chance to see their own design displayed digitally on the tour, can participate via the Elephant tour website.
Two young people taking the chance for a photo opportunity
 before 'The Butterfly Effect' catches the train!
The UK Elephant Parade Tour aims to raises funds for The Asian Elephant Foundation, an international conservation charity whose aim is to raise greater global awareness of Asian elephant conservation and to support projects and organisations that are dedicated to improving the well-being and conservation of the Asian elephant.
The Elephant Parade concept has made it possible to generate funds for projects varying from elephant hospitals and restoration of vital corridors of land to lobbying governments and research. To date, many Asian elephants have been saved and cured, but there are still thousands more that need our support. Please visit The Asian Elephant Foundation website for more information on the work being done for Asian elephants.
Elephants attracting attention at the Kings Cross station preview.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bath Society of Artists 108th Annual Exhibition

The 108th Annual exhibition of the Bath Society of Artists opened this weekend at the Victoria Art Gallery Bath.

I was very pleased to have a woodcut print accepted for this year's exhibition. It's entitled 'Greenman in Ivy' and is part of a series of prints on the Greenman theme that I'm currently working on.

Greenman in Ivy

This year there are over 350 paintings, prints, sculptures and graphic works to enjoy in the exhibition which continues until 31st August.

Here are some of the other Greenman ideas I've been working on.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Guildhall Arts Centre launched

The Guildhall Arts Centre Bristol was launched last night with the opening of their first exhibition 'Inspired'. A mixed collection of paintings, sculpture and prints. I have three wood and lino cuts in the exhibition including 'Dryad' below.

  'Dryad' Hand coloured Woodcut

The former Guildhall and Assize court is part of an ambitious regeneration scheme for the Old City area of Bristol. This remarkable building has been bought by the Trevor Osborne Group who will develop it into a Luxury Hotel, in the meantime giving Art Ventures Ltd the opportunity to run it as an Arts Centre until the end of the year.

Art Ventures plan a series of exhibitions there including the Bristol Art Prize ( moved from Bath this year!) in which all artists entering the Competition will be required to visit Bristol and prepare a painting inspired by a specified viewpoint that they are allocated by ballot and are encourage where possible to paint 'En plein air'.

There will also be temporary studio spaces available for local artists working on a Bristol theme, who do not normally have the opportunity to produce large scale artwork. Commission from sales of work in the exhibitions will go to the Mayor of Bristol's Fund and the Princes Trust, who will also be running a variety of Arts based workshops for local disadvantaged young people.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Elephant 'The Butterfly Effect'

It's great fun painting the coat of many colours for my elephant 'The Butterfly Effect' which I've nicknamed 'Kali' .......short for Kaleidoscope, which is the collective noun for a group of butterflies. Could there be a more beautiful or appropriate collective noun for any creature?


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Elephant has landed!

I'm thrilled to have been commissioned to paint another elephant for the Elephant Parade .This year it's for their first ever UK Tour in partnership with Intu and supported by Elephant Communications

The Elephant Parade hope to reach over half the UK's population with their 'People's Parade', taking their herd of 100 elephants showing designs created by artists, young artists, designers and celebrities to 13 locations. The tour will be launched on the 17th July at a secret location, then starting on 21st July for 4 weeks at IntuWatford, will travel the country including venues at Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff and Nottingham.

The ParadeTour will for the first time include an educational programme aimed at schools, and will be running competitions to find the best young artists creating their elephant designs. Whilst raising awareness about the plight of endangered Asian elephants, thousands of designs produced by young people, will be
enjoyed digitally on big screens at the tour venues with winning designs being recreated on elephants that will join the herds locally.

My design called 'The Butterfly Effect' is inspired by the chaos theory that states that a small change in one place can result in a larger impact somewhere else.
I hope it highlights the importance of each individual making an effort to help the cause of elephant
conservation, however small ...  because like the gentle flutter of a wing, even tiny events can cause ripples that have major impact and can lead to significant change.
The selections of butterflies are native to both Europe and Asia, indicating that elephant conservation is an issue which transcends national boundaries. On a purely visual level the colourful palette and beautiful butterflies are joyous and appeal to the child in us all.

I'll be posting regular updates of my progress on twitter at   ArtistJVC

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Newbridge Arts Trail Open Studio 11th-12th May

The Newbridge Arts Trail is part of the Bath Open Studio events which run throughout May. I shall have my studio open to visitors from 10am - 5pm on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May.

Over 30 local artists will be putting their work on display at around 20 venues in the Newbridge Area of Bath over the weekend. Full information on participating artists and venues is on the website or maps are available from many places locally including shops on Chelsea Rd, Libraries, Tourist Information and Art shops in Bath.

I'll be displaying a variety of work and will have hand made woodcut and lino prints as well as giclee prints and cards for sale at 'direct from the artist ' prices. I may demonstrate some printmaking or even have a large 'wild' visitor in the studio!
Refreshments will also be available.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gorilla swinging his way to the English Riviera

My gorilla 'Five minutes to midnight' for Great Gorillas will be swinging his way down to the English Riviera very soon.
The trail runs from 3rd August until 13th Oct and will include the wonderful miniature version of the trail at Babbacombe Model Village

There will also be a spectacular Gorilla Flotilla along the coast on 23rd July which I hope to get along to and meet everyone from the hard working Great Gorillas team and my kind sponsors Wollen Michelmore.

Really looking forward to the summer, I'm sure Great Gorillas will be hugely popular and hopefully raise lots of funds for the brilliant gorilla conservation work of Paignton Zoo

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Great Gorillas update

Managing Partner Chris Hart, from my Gorilla's sponsor Wollen Michelmore dropped in to the studio to see work in progress on Five Minutes to Midnight

A great fun addition to the event, Great Gorillas have just announced that Babbacombe Model Village will feature a miniature trail of the gorillas in their gardens during the summer as well.
I was also very pleased to learn that Five Minutes to Midnight has been chosen as one of the designs from Great Gorillas to be produced as a miniature ceramic figurine. He will be available locally and from the Wild in Art web shop when the trail goes out in August.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Great Gorillas

From  Wild in Art comes another wonderful public art project which supports endangered animals.

Great Gorillas is organised to celebrate the 90th birthday of Paignton Zoo . Funds raised by the sale of the gorilla sculptures will go to support wildlife conservation including the Cross Rivers Gorilla Project.
The gorilla sculptures will form a trail around Exeter and the English Riviera for 10 weeks starting on Aug 3rd.

My design 'Five Minutes to Midnight' aka Smiley has kindly been sponsored by the South Devon Law Firm Wollen Michelmore

The concept for the design is inspired by the saying 'Five minutes to Midnight' from the symbolic Doomsday clock which heralds impending this case the urgency to conserve the endangered Western Lowland Gorilla. It incorporates a variety of clock faces showing the times as five minutes to midnight. The smiley face watch with no hands symbolises hope and action!

Watch this space for work in progress pics and news updates about the project.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Newbridge Art Trail 2013

I'm very pleased to be participating in the Newbridge Art Trail again this year, having been too busy with the Art at the Edge exhibitions and sculpture trail last year.

                             Newbridge Art Trail 
       Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May 2013

We are a very diverse group of artists based in the Newbridge and Lower Weston areas of Bath. Artwork ranges from painting, printmaking, illustration and sculpture, to jewellery, ceramics, photography, video, mixed media and textiles.

Many of the artists open their studios or homes to display their latest work, giving visitors a chance to see how their artwork is created and buy at competative, 'direct from the artist' prices. Some artists share venues and refreshments are usually available at some venues.

More details will be available in the next few weeks, including the list of this years participating artists and the trail map, at our website

I will have my studio on Old Newbridge Hill open for the trail and will be demonstrating some printmaking and displaying prints, drawings and cards.

'Storm clouds'
hand coloured woodcut

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Support the Elephant Family campaign

I've really enjoyed creating designs for the Elephant Parade sculptures over the past 3 years and hope to work with them again in the future. I'm particularly pleased that money raised from the parades goes to support the work of the Elephant Family charity to save Asian elephants.

          'Mosha the world at your feet'
which I painted for the Copenhagen Elephant Parade

The Elephant Family help the endangered Asian elephant in a number of ways including preserving the natural habitat of the elephant. Sadly 13 elephant have been killed on railway lines in India in the past fortnight alone and today the charity asked for people to sign a letter to the Indian Railways Minister, to support the call to put speed restrictions on the railways going through elephant habitat.

If you would like to support this cause or help Asian Elephants in other ways please go to