Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Anglian Wolf Society’s art and photography workshop

I have had the most incredible day in the company of two beautiful wolves at the Anglian Wolf Society in Bedfordshire (literally less than 15 minutes away from home!). Observing, drawing and photographing them, as well as learning all about what the society does to educate the public and raise funds for conservation. I even touched one of the wolves, Kaya – although through the wire fence of course!

The Anglian Wolf Society is a non-profit study group case in North Bedfordshire and run almost entirely by volunteers. Although our site is not open to the public, you can visit us and our wolves by booking a visit in advance and becoming a one-day visit member. You can adopt one of our wolves or become a full or associate member of the society and enjoy a number of extra benefits.

In the wild, environmental erosion and persecution by humans have brought wolves to the brink of extinction in most parts of the world. It is only by improving people’s understanding of the wolf that public opinion can be shifted in favour of relieving the inhumane and environmentally dangerous pressure on their species.

I visited the Society today to attend an art and photography workshop, rather than a regular one-day visit. The art side of the workshop was run by Victoria Parsons who is a wonderful wildlife artist, specialising in highly detailed watercolour pencil pieces – I won’t share any specific artworks of hers, but here’s her website.

I learnt a lot, drawing techniques wise, and really benefitted from the fact that there were only four of us (well, there were five in total but one was only interested in photography). I’m ashamed to say that, although I’m obviously still a creative person on a day-to-day basis, I haven’t really done much hands-on drawing or painting recently. BUT apparently that wasn’t a problem as I’ve still got the skills!

This drawing is in the A4 sketchbook that we were kindly provided. Drawing from a photo.
And this drawing (obviously still a work-in-progress) is on larger, higher quality paper.
Still drawing from the photo but starting to colour, afterwards, observing the real wolf, Kaya.

Of course, I’m sure you are eager to see the photographs that I took throughout the day. And so you should be, as there are some pretty good ones! We were lucky enough to catch them during feeding time when they each had a rabbit. For some reason they were both pretty slow eating their dinner so I was able to snap a lot of photos. I also captured some howling action later on.


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