In­ter­na­tional Prize Win­ners

All the Prize Win­ners in In­ter­na­tional Artist mag­a­zine Chal­lenge No. 107, Wildlife.

International Artist - - Contents - Con­tact De­tails Email: cher­scre­ Web­site: www.cher­scre­

Beauty in Na­ture

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 case to amaze me.” In the last two years, An­der­son has won awards in­ter­na­tion­ally and has be­come a mem­ber of the Artists for Con­ser­va­tion and Women Artists of the West. “My hus­band, John, and I have built en­vi­ron­ments and have res­cued ex­otic an­i­mals such as gi­raffes, ze­bras and we raise An­dalu­sian horses on our ranch in Chan­dler, Ari­zona.”

My In­spi­ra­tion

Wildlife in it­self is fas­ci­nat­ing and ever chang­ing. I have al­ways had a soft spot in my heart for birds and have pho­tographed hun­dreds of va­ri­eties. Fancy Feath­ers be­gan as an ob­ser­va­tion trip to the zoo where I spent sev­eral hours watch­ing the greater flamin­gos in­ter­act with each other and wade in the wa­ter primp­ing and preen­ing their feath­ers. I re­al­ized the in­cred­i­ble pal­ette of col­ors that their wings, when ex­panded, ex­posed to the eye. I wanted a unique pose and point of view of the mag­nif­i­cent bird and waited pa­tiently for the right light­ing and for the one bird that would be will­ing to of­fer me the view I had al­ready vi­su­al­ized in my mind, and then, there it was! Per­fectly opened and hard at work ar­rang­ing its feath­ers.

My De­sign Strat­egy

My ideas al­ways be­gin with my cam­era and find­ing the right op­por­tu­ni­ties. My hus­band and I travel around the world and my cam­era is al­ways ready for the one shot that I know in that ex­act mo­ment will be­come my next paint­ing. Although I am a graphic de­signer by trade, I never Pho­to­shop my images be­cause the beauty of the pho­to­graph is in it be­ing cap­tured ex­actly as it is.

My Work­ing Process

Once I have the im­age, I de­cide the medium to best work it in. Some­times wa­ter­col­ors are pre­ferred be­cause of the blend­ing ver­sa­til­ity; most times, I work acrylic paint be­cause of the opac­ity, vi­brant pig­ments and dura­bil­ity. I of­ten choose to work with both medi­ums where I start in wa­ter­col­ors and then add the de­tail in acrylics. In the case of Fancy Feath­ers it was all done in acrylic paint with hours of fine de­tail work that took ap­prox­i­mately four months to com­plete. My fi­nal goal is al­ways to pro­duce a work of art that is true to my sub­ject and its sur­round­ings and is as re­al­is­tic as it is alive.

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