by Kate Jenvey
In my hometown of Benalla, north-east of the state of Victoria, Australia, I am fortunate to have a wonderful regional art gallery that is located on the banks of a picturesque lake. It is home to a wonderful, permanent collection of fine art. The Benalla Art Gallery (pictured above) comes under the directive of the local council and provides a selection of well-lit, roomy spaces to host a variety of visiting exhibitions throughout the year.
In January last year I was granted an exhibition at the gallery and a few weeks later the director made an appointment to visit my studio and discuss the finer details. After perusing my artwork, we decided to make up the exhibition including both color pencil and graphite for a nice cohesive display of at least 24-30 works. This became a very exciting milestone for me as I had not, as yet, had a solo with only drawings, they have always included my paintings. The date was set for early February 2017 and I immediately got to work on planning and developing the concept and structure for the exhibition.
Since my childhood, most of which was spent in East Africa, I have been inspired by nature and have always enjoyed being out in the wild, soaking up the sights and sounds of the bush. I find the diversity of birds and animals fascinating and enjoy watching and studying all forms of wildlife. From this background sprung the name for my show, “Drawn to the Wild.”
With the use of my photos, notes and sketches, I developed the concept of each piece, aiming to capture the spirit of each bird and animal as they go about their daily routine. My style is realistic and that is why I enjoy using pencil so much as it slows the creative process down and I can relish each little detail of these gorgeous creatures with my pencil.
I managed to garner a few pieces that I had completed late in the previous year but the bulk of the exhibition was created last year, in 2016. I find I work best if I have numerous pieces on the go at one time. That way if I reach a stale point throughout the day, I can put that one away and start afresh on another piece with renewed energy and insight. After a few days I will pull out the original piece and reassess it with fresh eyes and make adjustments if needed. I worked consistently throughout the year and also had to be mindful to work with my framer and not swamp her with work at the last minute. It became a very full and busy year but I loved working towards my end goal. As the new year of 2017 approached I was on track and had 32 drawings ready for display.
Gold 'n' Sunlight and Gold 'n' Sunset
I have always felt that Mother Nature is the most awesome designer and so I aim to pay homage to her incredible handiwork with my realistic interpretations of her creatures and deviate only with a little artistic expression. The exhibition became a collection of wonderful moments I have witnessed traveling across the globe and I love to share these moments with others. I feel very privileged to have my work hanging in such a gorgeous place and am delighted so many have been to visit the exhibition to enjoy our beautiful wildlife from around the world.
Gold 'n' Sunlight was featured in the Step by Step from the October 2016 issue of COLOR Magazine. Learn more about Kate's process for adding gold leaf to colored pencil art for simply stunning results.
Kate Jenvey SAA, AFC is an artist originally from Kenya, now living in rural Victoria, Australia. A childhood love of drawing has led her now to a full time art career. A lifelong fascination with nature has been her artistic inspiration that she incorporates into her realistic detailed drawings.
See more from Kate at www.katejenvey.com.