Leading wildlife artist Pip McGarry is due to burst through our doors here at The Frame this October, and we are incredibly excited to see what he has to offer this time around.
He is one of our hotly-anticipated and most exclusive artists; you only need to take one glimpse at his work to see why. He is recognised as one of the world’s leading wildlife artists, and he carries an international reputation for his oil paintings of big cats and African animals.
We caught up with Pip, amid the bustle of exhibition preparations, to put our ‘Artist Interview’ questions to him:
When did you start painting and what motivates you? I started painting in 1979 as a raw amateur, following a lecture by a famous wildlife artist – I had no clue what I was doing when I started and am entirely self-taught. I am motivated by trying to produce wildlife paintings that excite people!
How would you describe your style? My style is one that I can only describe as a ‘hybrid’ one, consisting of all sorts of styles and ideas I have picked up over the years, mainly from looking at paintings I admire and a huge amount of practice and trial and error.
What do you consider to be the best painting you’ve ever done? A painting of a tiger leaping in water called ‘Leap of Faith’ was arguably my best picture, painted towards the end of 2014. It was certainly my largest, with a canvas of 51 by 67 inches. I knew I had something special when it was finished and I put it up for sale at £130,000. I accepted £80,000 for it within a week of it going on display, however, I think that in the right place it could have achieved £250,000 upwards quite easily.
Do you find certain paper, paints or brushes make a big difference to how you paint? Again, my ‘hybrid’ style has led to me using anything that works. I paint in oil, but I use all sorts of brushes and even palette knives. The brushes I use have evolved over many years of painting and I now have certain brushes and implements that achieve specific desired effects.
What has painting given back to you? It has given me everything really – independence for one thing; I work for myself and live and die by my own efforts and it has led to a lifestyle I would not have been able to afford under normal circumstances. It has also given me a certain amount of credibility. In 2004 I even had a television series in the Meridian region, teaching celebrities to paint. I have been able to take many groups of artists and photographers on safari to Africa, including Tanzania, Kenya and Botswana and my work has also allowed me to raise many thousands of pounds for conservation causes. Plus, I really do still enjoy the painting process!
What inspires your work? The feeling that I am producing something that people want and would like to own. I like the feeling of being able to make a living from something that was just once a hobby – art has been in my family for a few generations and it is nice to know I am carrying that forward.
What are you currently working on? I am just starting to turn my full attention to my forthcoming exhibition with you at the Frame in Odiham, which is in October. I have some pictures already in the pipeline but also want to start some new major exciting pieces for the show.
What can we expect from your exhibition? Certainly, I am aiming for a vibrant new collection of exciting paintings of big cats and African animals. We have had such amazing success at The Frame Gallery over the years (three of our last four shows have each grossed over £100,000 in sales) that I am worried we are due a big dip somewhere along the line. But having said that, I am confident you and your amazing team will once again produce a dazzling and successful event!
We hope so too, Pip!
Pip’s exhibition runs from Saturday 1st – Sunday 16th October 2016. Further details will be released soon, but please call The Gallery on 01256 701082 if you have an enquiry.