Alison Nicholls

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Bull Elephants

Alison Nicholls

I am a Signature member of Artists For Conservation and the Society of Animal Artists, a member of The Explorers Club and an artist member of the Salmagundi Club. My art has been widely exhibited, including at the Botswana Mission to the United Nations in Manhattan, and the US Department of State used my art to promote the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking initiative. I lead Art Safaris in South Africa for Africa Geographic and frequently lecture about art, Africa, wildlife and conservation. I have lectured at the Explorers Club, in schools, for private organizations and for volunteers at the Bronx and Central Park Zoos. In 2019 I was honored to be asked to join African People & Wildlife’s International Advisory Council. I am English by birth but live in Port Chester, New York with my husband, Nigel.

Botswana and Zimbabwe were my home for a number of years and although I have traveled extensively throughout my life, Africa inspires my art in ways unmatched by any other place. Plein Air painting (painting outdoors from life) requires confidence and speed, but has taught me incredible lessons. I usually work in pencil or pen first, then add watercolor. I don’t have an easel or a chair because I usually stand when sketching people, or need to be in a vehicle when sketching wildlife. Decisions about light and composition must be made quickly, as the person or animal I am sketching may move away at any time. In addition to being great fun, plein air painting allows me to meet fascinating people, has given me a great understanding of wildlife anatomy and behavior, and is the best way I know to improve my artistic skills.

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