A E London Journal

Sun, Dec 3rd, 2017

Interview in Earthfire Institute's Newsletter

In August, I was able to savor several days relaxing and sketching the wild inhabitants of the Earthfire Institute in Idaho. A very special wildlife sanctuary nestled at the base of the Grand Tetons, the Earthfire Institute is dedicated to helping people see wildlife and nature with new eyes. Learn more at www.earthfireinstitute.com

Excerpted from "Art is Like a Prayer" -- An Interview with Anne London by Susan Eirich, Executive Director of the Earthfire Institute

Susan: Why did you decide to do wildlife art?

Anne: You know, I don’t remember the decision it was so early. Even as a small child, it was so early for me it doesn’t feel like decision.

Susan: Could you talk a little bit about how you try to capture the soul of not just the animal species, but that particular animal? Or its intelligence or qualities?

Anne: Well, I have to say—this question, and I hear it often—how did you get the animal’s personality or soul into that painting? I would pose a different question: how can you leave it out? Because if you are looking at real models, and that is a key factor to what I do, if you’re looking at real models, real living beings, you’re not thinking “the hipbone is connected to the leg bone.” You’re thinking, “Oh, the emotional state of that animal as it looks at me is really something.” Everything else is just descriptive, like the carriage that holds that emotion. I do spend a lot of time studying the carriage, so that I can get it right, but the soul part—I’m more nonplussed when I see really technically great work—that has left that out. It seems as though it’s more work to leave it out. It’s almost like trying to create a real animal from a taxidermy one – you can get all the parts completely right, but you don’t have a light behind the eyes. If you start from something that’s not alive, let’s say you only work from photographs (and I will use a photograph for back up here and there for a certain detail), but if you only work from photographs, then you’re only getting the same kind of empirical information that a camera can deliver to you.

When looking at another living being from a position of emotional presence, you have the ability with your brain and your two eyes and your whole being to record that other being’s state. A camera is never going to be able to do that. And there’s some great photography out there, don’t get me wrong, but there’s just something much more arresting looking at a living being. Especially as an artist, when you draw from life, the feeling of that creature informs your line and shading in a way that just duplicating from a photograph cannot.

And I think most artists would agree with that. It’s hard— harder to work from a moving creature—you know, they don't pose for you, but the rewards are stupendous.


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Wed, Nov 22nd, 2017

My art benefits more international conservation work this year

One of this year's milestones was being invited to show my art internationally in Paris, London,Tokyo,Namibia and South Africa as well as being featured by internationally recognized organizations and events.

I exhibited three pieces at The Louvre, Paris—Salon International d'art Contemporain. It was a real thrill and my art is now being shown at an exhibition In Helsinki, Finland by an internationally recognized gallery that loved my work.

I was also invited to participate in an exhibition at the Royal Geographic Society in London through an event called SKETCH FOR SURVIVAL with the proceeds going to Wildlife conservation programs all over Africa.

In July, we sent art for a Rhino Anti Poaching event in Johannesburg to help establish a scholarship program with the Southern Africa Ranger College. Through them,we have started a program using my art to raise ARTS FOR ANIMALS funds for Park Ranger scholarships for deserving African students.

My work was also chosen again to exhibit in the ARTISTS FOR CONSERVATION annual " International Exhibit of Nature in Art" and, again, on their annual calendar. ARTISTS FOR CONSERVATION is the planet's leading artist group dedicated to supporting the environment, spanning 5 continents and 27 countries. Comprising many of the world's most gifted nature artists, AFC is a driving force in the global artistic movement for conservation, inspiring other artists,individuals and organizations to preserve and sustain our natural heritage. AFC has certainly been an inspiration for me and given me a benchmark to aspire to in making a difference on our planet.

Anne is also a "Signature Member" of THE SOCIETY OF ANIMAL ARTISTS, an organization dedicated to excellence in the portrayal of Animals with an exclusive membership of over 500 members worldwide. "Signature Members" are those few members eligible to vote and are considered to have achieved the highest level of artistic achievement. She was chosen again this year for their prestigious, annual, "Art and the Animal " exhibition .

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Tue, Nov 14th, 2017

Working at the ARTS FOR ANIMALS Wildlife Arts Center

We were eager to get back to the Lori O'Neal wildlife Center we built three years ago to connect creativity and conservation for local children. We were looking forward to seeing all our friends and the children we have been working with for the past several years. We brought lots of art supplies and several new pieces of art from our friends here in the United States, mounted on aluminum panels so that they could be used to decorate the new Leiden outdoor Gallery

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Thu, Nov 9th, 2017

On to our ARTS FOR ANIMALS work in Zambia and Zimbabwe

After leaving our friends in Dar es Salaam, we flew back to Johannesburg to pick up several suitcases full of art supplies, educational materials and wristbands for our work in Zambia and Zimbabwe. We flew through Zambia and drove across the famous Zambezi Gorge bridge into Zimbabwe to avoid the high Zimbabwen import taxes.The next day we drove west through the hot,arid bush near Hwange National Park to work with our friends at Painted Dog Conservation.

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Tue, Nov 7th, 2017

Our second" bucket list "adventure -Tanzania and the great Wildebeest/Zebra Migration

Each year almost one million Wildebeest and Zebra follow the rains across the Serengeti plains in Kenya and Tanzania
The wildlife on the Serengeti birth their young in January and February right after the rains turn hundreds of square miles green with new grass.They then follow the rains south and then back north for a constant supply of grass for their young .It's an annual circuit called the "Great Migration Route", and each year ,it's most dramatic moment is the crossing of the Mara river with it's huge,hungry crocodiles. It's been several years since we visited the Serengeti and we had forgotten it's vastness and it's beauty. Very different from Southern Africa ,our usual "haunt".

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Sun, Oct 15th, 2017

Gorillas in the mist!

We journeyed into the misty,highly cultivated hills of Rwanda to Volcanos National Park, home of the endangered Mountain Gorillas. Rwanda is a beautiful country of rolling hills and steep volcanic valleys. Our treks into the mountain forests were pretty intense but the cool temperatures helped .Once we found the gorillas it was truly magical as we watched them ,eat, rest, and play together from just a few feet away. Absolutely awesome and in the top five moments of our entire lives!!

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Wed, Oct 11th, 2017

Gorillas,the great migration and teaching conservation,2017

Our African journey this year takes us to Rwanda to visit our friends with the Gorilla Doctors and trek into the bamboo forests to draw Gorillas. Then to the Serengeti plains in Tanzania to ,hopefully, watch thousands of zebra and wildebeest crossing the Mara river during their annual migration. Then ,after two weeks in central Africa, finally back to our Wildlife Arts Center in Zimbabwe to bring educational supplies and teach kids the importance of their wildlife. First, we flew into Rwanda's Capital,Kigali and then the 3 hour drive to Volcanos National park.

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Fri, Sep 22nd, 2017

Summer Adventures 2017

This has been a very busy ,but quite successful summer. We made many new friends and had some really incredible wildlife encounters, thanks to our new friends at Earthfire Institute.
In October,we are invited to exhibit work in London and Paris ( at the Louvre' no less!) and also pledged to help conservation exhibitions in Namibia and South Africa . This on top of our shows and exhibit schedule across the United States.
Of course , all this comes the same month we had planned (for two years) to be in Rwanda and Tanzania .So, it has been a summer packed with signing contracts, shipping art all over the planet,and making exhibition arrangements ,etc.,etc.,..... This was hard since we were only home 2 weeks the entire summer! We managed to "sneak in" some great hiking and wildlife adventures and supported a dear friend who is battling cancer in Los Angles.
We are ready to relax ( and actually looking forward to it) on the 15 hour flight to Africa!

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