Like many natural artists, I have spent most of my life from a very early age drawing for my own amusement and that of friends and family. Having been steered away from a longing for a career in commercial art by an art teacher who felt it was a "man's world" I gave up any ideas of art as a living and trained as a senior secretary which enriched my life in lots of ways with secretarial roles in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London and Peru and the Rugby League Headquarters in Leeds to name but two! This training and experience was later to prove invaluable in my ability to organize and administer exhibitions.
Exhibiting my own work was a new step when I moved with partner Mike and daughter Alex to Sheffield and joined an art class to make new friends and learn how to paint rather than just using pencils – the biggest discovery being pastels which I'd never used before and took to immediately. Through exhibiting my work at shows, fairs and exhibitions, commissions poured in and I was forced finally to give up my "day job" and have never been without commissions in hand for the past 10 years. Fellow artists and the general public appreciate my ability to achieve a true likeness of the subject in portraits and wildlife paintings, and then go one step further to breathe life into them…
My daughter, Alex, now works as a marine life co-ordinator for CPAWS in Vancouver, so my passion for wildlife has certainly had a positive effect in more ways than one. Meeting fellow artist, Irene Nixon, also a wildlife painter had quite an effect on my working life as Irene came up with the idea of using an annual wildlife exhibition to raise funds for worthwhile charities and between us we have now raised over £20,000 for various wildlife charities including the David Shepherd Foundation. This was a great thrill for both artists as we had both been admirers of David's dedication to conservation and love of painting for many years.
Spending much of the year travelling around the UK, I gave demonstrations to art groups on how to "paint" with pencils but have now moved to beautiful Shetland where I hope to have more time to devote to my painting and where I am surrounded by the most stunning scenery and wildlife on my doorstep. I have had to leave behind many of my former responsibilities which have been taken up by other willing volunteers in art events and fundraising events in and around Sheffield, but hope to raise awareness of some of the local concerns about wildlife in my new home.
I remain a Professional Associate of the Society of Amateur Artists and continue to teach on an individual basis and to a small newly formed art group in Shetland and hope there might be some scope in the future for painting holidays to share my good fortune in finding such a beautiful place to live by the sea.
Support for Conservation:
With fellow artist Irene Nixon, for 8 years I administered Wild About Art, an annual exhibition with the main purpose of encouraging art for all ages and raising awareness of, and funds for, conservation and endangered species.
Our tangible contribution is of between £15,000 and £20,000 raised for such wildlife charities as:
The Dian Fossey Foundation for Mountain Gorillas
Global Tiger Patrol
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
British Trust for Ornithology
The Marine Conservation Society, and
The David Shepherd Foundation.
The intangible contribution we have made is enabling such heroes as Sir David Shepherd and Pollyanna Pickering to inspire and educate young and old alike at exhibitions, lectures and informal meetings to make their own contribution to caring for the environment.
Wild About Art was supported by Sheffield City Council from March 2005 when a new venue had to be found and the awe-inspiring Winter Garden - a green oasis in the centre of the city - was made available to us.
Since my move to Shetland, I continue to support wildlife charities in the usual way by donations, offering paintings for auctions and by making donations from sales of my own work. Donations are regularly given to a local wildlife sanctuary, the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary who do great work in rescuing injured wildlife and, where possible, returning them to the wild. I also support local and national animal rescue centres and international wildlife and animal charities.
- Worldwide Nature Artists Group Conservation Award
This has been a great honour for me to receive this award and has inspired me even further to continue this work for conservation.
- Talking Point (2010)
More about Talking Point
A two page article featuring my work and my move to Shetland - This was a real honour to be one of the main features of this specialist magazine as I have been a fan of coloured pencils for most of my life, but particularly since I bought a tin of Karismacolour pencils many years ago as they were on a special offer and I thought I'd find a use for them. They were a bit of an eye-opener as I'd never used coloured pencils of that quality before and they became my main medium for a long time, and I still get a great deal of pleasure from using my original Karisma pencils plus the new Derwent Coloursoft pencils whichI turned to when Karisma was taken out of the UK market. If you've never tried quality artists' coloured pencils, give them a go, you'll be surprised what you can achieve with them. The Shetland pony paintings shown on this website are a mixture of watercolour backgrounds and coloured pencils for the detail and foregrounds, and the combination works well.
Author: Ann Holden
Published by: United Kingdom Coloured Pencil Society
- i'i Shetland (2008)
More about i'i Shetland
An introduction as a newcomer in the art world to Shetland - A four page article describing my move to Shetland and my artwork, including several colour images of my work.
Author: Malcolm Younger
Published by: Millgaet Media Ltd
- The UK Coloured Pencil Society
The Society has been founded with two main aims in mind - to promote coloured pencils as a fine art medium, and to support UK based artists who use, or wish to use, coloured pencils in any way.
- The Society For All Artists
The SAA exists 'to inform, encourage and inspire all who want to paint...' whatever their ability, from complete beginners to professional artists. We help people to enjoy their art, and give recognition to those who wish to advance by their own merit. We bring together artists world-wide and provide an opportunity for companionship and the exchange of ideas and information.
- Artists For Conservation
I was absolutely delighted when I was accepted by the juried panel to become a signature member of the AFC or Worldwide Nature Artists' Group as it was called then. This put me alongside some of my heros in the world of art, such as David Shepherd, John Seerey-Lester and Alan Hunt. To be then given an award for Excellence in Art and Special Contribution to Conservation was the icing on the cake for me but I do feel I would like to share it with my colleague Irene Nixon with whom I helped to raise a lot of money for animal charities over the years with our Wild About Art exhiitions.
All rights reserved. All images and text © Copyright 2024 Anne Barron - Member of the Artists for Conservation Foundation (Formerly
the Worldwide Nature Artists Group) www.natureartists.com.
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of nature art, wildlife art or any other images or text from this site, requires
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nature art, wildlife art and conservation. On this site you will find world-class
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All content appearing in pages featuring Anne Barron is the sole responsibility of Anne Barron. The opinions expressed on these artists' pages are those of Anne Barron and do not necessarily reflect those of the Artists for Conservation