Amy Jones: Yorkshire Animal Artist.
I received my art education in Surrey before taking an MA in Fine Art at Falmouth College of Art in 2001. At college I started to create oil and watercolour paintings of the town where I grew up, Abergavenny in South Wales. This locality became my main subject for many years. To create a sense of place I began by drawing on location. Once in the studio, I used my drawings and memory to capture the energy and beauty of the Welsh landscape.
I exhibited this work at a number of galleries in London, Wales and the South West. In 1997 I was awarded Third Prize for the Sunday Times / Singer & Friedlander Watercolour Competition and in 1999 I received a Commendation in the Laing Landscape Competition.
I settled in South Yorkshire in 2009, since then I have taken a new subject; the animals that populate the landscape. This subject was inspired by a ram I noticed whilst I was exploring the local area, looking for new scenes to paint. The ram looked old and craggy and reminded me of the sculpture She-Goat by Pablo Picasso. I took several photographs of him and the other sheep in the flock. Drawing the ram gave me the impetus to take a fresh theme and focus on drawing sheep and other farm animals.
I begin these drawings by sketching from life and taking photographs with a digital SLR camera. I like to observe each animal closely to gain an understanding of its character. I portray these animals in their normal surroundings, behaving as they would naturally. I enjoy the technical challenge of reproducing the anatomy accurately while maintaining a sense of movement. I have found inspiration for these drawings in Henry Moore’s Sheep Sketchbook and the work of Beatrix Potter (whose illustrations are fascinating because they show keen observation of the anatomy and mannerisms of animals).