Beauty in Nature
Anderson was the Grand Prize winner of International Artist magazine’s Challenge No. 107, Wildlife.
Cher Anderson says her wildlife artwork can be described as “an interpretation of what I see filtered by the emotion of the moment.” She paints realistically with the aim of rendering the creatures and environments as accurately as possible. She will analyze her paintings by reviewing and correcting the elements that are critical to the composition.
Anderson elaborates, “I think it is important to represent my subject accurately in its environment. Seasons change, plumage, fur and the colors surrounding the animals, and it is very easy to make a mistake by placing an animal in the wrong surroundings with the wrong coat for the season. Birds go through plumage changes not only during the seasons, but also at different stages of their lives. I research and study what I will be painting to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Inspiration can strike at any moment for the artist, who resides in Arizona, so she takes a camera with her everywhere. “Sometimes the best photos are the least expected,” Anderson says. She adds, “I find myself especially fascinated by birds and have painted more birds than anything else because they are so unique to each other and incredibly beautiful. They never cease to amaze me.”
Her first wildlife painting was The Hunter, depicting a peregrine falcon, which she created after a workshop. “I was in the presence of this majestic bird and was able to photograph him and study him as he perched,” she says. “This species was endangered due to the use of DDT pesticides that would cause their egg shells to thin and break while being incubated. They have made a great recovery since the pesticide has been banned from use. It took me six months to complete as I painted him feather by feather until perfected. The Hunter has won multiple awards internationally and is currently touring with the 2017 Artist for Conservation exhibit.”
The desert birds have also been inspiring subjects for the artist, including the red-tailed hawk that appears in her painting Fire in the Sky. “Their beauty and majesty as they soar and float above our heads is a reminder of their freedom and strength,” she explains. “I wanted to paint this beautiful raptor because of the variety of color and hues in their plumage. With the sun shining through its luminous feathers, auburns, coppers, grays, purples and golden tones lit up like a flame of fire against the
1Cher Anderson works in her studio.2The Hunter, acrylic on board, 18 x 14"