A Bear at the Hepworth

SOMEWHERE DEEP in the vaults of the new Hepworth Gallery by the river in Wakefield, in the reserve collections, there’s one of my paintings; a 6ft 6 x 4ft acrylic on canvas of Waterton’s World, along with a sketchbook of the working drawings that I made for it. These were of South American birds collected by the naturalist Charles Waterton between 1812 and 1824. The sketchbook is handmade; a large-format section-sewn hardback filled with Saunders hot-pressed paper. It proved too cumbersome for everyday use and I only ever filled a quarter of the pages. I must pop in to the Hepworth and draw something special in it some day!

My painting has yet to make it into the public galleries but this cuddly bear and the bear tile, the work of our talented neighbour Alice, aged 6, have been exhibited at the Hepworth as part of a show of work by local children. An artist came into her school to work with them.

Alice tells us that her favourite modelling clay creation is this cheerful hedghog (right) but she explains that as it was made more recently it wasn’t included in the show.

Finding a battered butterfly in the garden, she used her watercolours for this large painting which she kindly presented to us.

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