Meet the Maker - The Animal Artist
With our Christmas fair just around the corner, we thought we would introduce you to a few of our wonderful stall holders - meet Andy Bibbings, The Animal Artist
Please tell us a little bit about yourself
I’m a fine watercolour artist based in Newlyn, Cornwall, and am entirely self-taught. I started painting and drawing from a very early age, with my work being borne from my love of animals. Over the past 7 years I have been building my portfolio of animal portraits and in the past 18 months have become fascinated with painting sea life. In 2015 I retired from being a front-line Police Officer to pursue my painting career and become a professional artist in Cornwall.
My paintings are created at my home studio where I live with my wife Sarah and our two rescue dogs. When not painting I can often be seen walking the coastline looking for seals and dolphins. I also work seasonally as a Castle Guide on St. Michaels Mount.
How would you best describe your art?
My watercolours are vibrant and detailed, having developed my own style of painting over the years. I use a bold but fine detail technique and am enjoying my new-found love of sea life and marine species, to add to the dogs and horses I’ve had become known for. I enjoy producing sea life art that is formal, traditional, and the kind of thing you might find in a very special specimen book dating back to perhaps Victorian times. It is important for me to create a truly unique and special image which is very local to West Cornwall, and specifically Newlyn, where I have had a good working relationship with fish and crustacean suppliers.
What can people expect to find on your stall?
Limited edition fine art prints, mounted and framed, ready to be hung on your wall. Sea life art products including tea towels, place mats, coasters, and a very special range of fine bone china consisting of mugs/plates/pasta bowls and large serving bowls.
Where do you find your inspiration to draw and paint?
My inspiration comes from living in Newlyn overlooking the harbour and the sea, and the huge range of life that exists there. I regularly walk down to the quayside, fish mongers and live keeps, where I takes the photographs that I works from – I’m currently concentrating on painting fish found in British waters.
What is your favourite part of the creative process?
My favourite part of the painting process is breathing life into the initial sketch. Placing colour and detail and shine to the piece and capturing detail that many might miss or not have noticed before. Also sending my work all over the country, into Europe, and more recently to Australia. I am amazingly humbled that my work is appreciated and sought so far away.
Describe your art in three words
Colour - Detail - Passion
Where in Cornwall can you be found when not making and creating?
When I'm not actually painting and creating you can find me on the coastline, particularly near Newlyn Harbour, taking photos of the fish and crustaceans being brought in, as new study's to paint from.
I can also be found running my stand of products every Tuesday morning at Sennen Market (between 9 and 12), or at larger agricultural and animal shows, eg. The Royal Cornwall Show, and Game Fairs all over the South West. I hope to feature at the "Discover Dogs" Show in London in 2020, and then Crufts, to take Dog Portrait Commissions.
What is your favourite thing about Christmas in Cornwall?
My favourite thing about Christmas in Cornwall is the food !! Having special festive meals with family and friends, using locally grown and reared vegetables and meats, not to mention creams and cheeses. We really are very good at that kind of thing. Also the interaction with my customers at Christmas Markets and events.