Inspiration is what makes an artist tick. When last I presented work to the Spaniel Journal, I explained the process of creating a piece from clay to bronze. But how to get the clay piece in the first place is another story.
I am attracted by movement, so my first inspirations are always imbalance or twists or speed. My second inspiration is depicting the moment that is often missed and yet moves us. Cockers are passionate, they are ten feet tall and bullet proof - they will traverse the countryside, the fences and the walls, to return to you your quarry. What could be more inspiring than that! "What a go!" as Munnings would say.
Is the image of a very small dog and a big pheasant the best way to depict this inspiration? I think it is. Though to the uninitiated it may appear to be a puppy, but to those touched by the English cocker it speaks volumes. Memories of moments in the field have been told to me after seeing this work. Tales from Scotland to South Africa, from Georgia to all different corners of North America, the western states the northern states et al - I have been entertained with so many lovely stories that this work has brought back to the viewer. It is lovely that my vision of a passionate little cocker "carryin’ the mail" at top speed, represents a special moment for so many.
"Cockers are passionate, they are ten feet tall and bullet proof - they will traverse the countryside, the fences and the walls, to return to you your quarry."
When first I started this work, I was concerned that the pheasant might be too large. So I started reviewing videos to make certain the relationship was accurate. I then asked, as I am known to do, a committee of knowledgeable friends. I talked to gunmakers in Scotland, trainers in Texas, and field trial judges - anyone who would look at the work and take the time to comment. Once I felt I had done justice to the subject, I presented it.
This year my little hero and his big pheasant will be presented at the CLA Game Fair in England hosted by Belvoir Castle. It will be the first time we attend. I am thrilled to be presenting my work at such a lovely venue, and too, I am very excited to explore the countryside of England and Scotland. The inspiration continues and I hope to bring more work to you in the future.