This year's Cover Competition was won by Clive Meredith, with his painting "Evening Light Hare". The two runners up were Chris Halliwell and Pam Gallaway. Read more about our winners below.
See a gallery of the shortlist here.
Hampshire-based Clive Meredith has been a professional artist since 1993 and specialises in detailed portrayals of wildlife from Britain and abroad.
Clive's initial interest in wildlife and the countryside was fostered in his early years. The son of a dairy farmer he spent hours out of doors in the Shropshire countryside, where he grew up, birdwatching and observing our native animals. Nowadays Clive can often be found armed with camera and binoculars walking the shoreline at his home in Warsash or in the more exotic climes of the Far East or Africa looking for subjects and inspiration for his paintings and drawings.
Working in both graphite pencil and oils, Clive is entirely self-taught ,with each painting or drawing created over many hours with meticulous attention to detail,aided by an extensive knowledge of his wildlife subjects and many hours spent in the field observing and photographing them to achieve the stunning realism that he is renowned for. Clive believes it is absolutely vital to observe his subjects in their natural environment to be able to distil something of the animals' character into every image.
Whether in oils or graphite the focus of his images is very much centred on the animal, preferring a detailed depiction with drama often added by the use of atmospheric lighting and clever cropping.
A published artist with over 60 limited edition releases and a large collector base for both his original artworks and his limited edition prints, Clive's art can be found in galleries and homes throughout the UK and worldwide.
Clive has exhibited widely with annual appearances at many prestigious events including the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Badminton horse trials, NEWA, the CLA Game fair, New Forest and Hampshire county show and The London International Horse Show to name but a few.
Clive's works have made regular appearances in the DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year competition at The Mall Galleries in London gaining a 'highly commended' award. He was also named Wildlife Artist of the Year 2010 by Wildscape magazine after winning the prestigious annual competition with his stunning drawing 'The Egret Pool'.
His work has been featured in many publications including Wildscape magazine, Hampshire Life, Solent Life magazine and Artist's and Illustrator's magazine. Animal conservation and rehabilitation are causes dear to the artist's heart and Clive has been fortunate enough to be able to use his original artworks and prints to help raise vital funds for many vital wildlife charities over the years.
"When working in oils I use W&N Griffin alkyds for underpainting and a combination of W&N artists oils and Michael harding oils for the top coats and details on either stretched fine detail cotton canvas or prepared MDF panel. I tend not to use many mediums and use only Liquin and Artists painting medium from the W&N range. All my oil paintings are framed in hand-finished bespoke frames, coloured to suit each individual painting and ensuring each is truly unique.
"When working in graphite I use Derwent graphic pencils and Conte Pierre Noire pencils on Arches HP watercolour paper which I often stretch before use.
"I do accept commissions in graphite and have clients scattered across the globe for whom I have produced unique drawings. My original paintings and drawings along with a range of limited edition prints and fine art cards can be found on my website. I have a studio blog where I post wip's and details of upcoming events and projects I'm working on and a facebook page where I can engage with both fans of my art and fellow artists."
My art is eclectic and diverse. I work in a wide range of styles and medium ranging from large minimal abstract paintings to photo realism. I use a wide variety of materials - sand soil, even crumbling masonry and found objects. I have exhibited my work in the UK, USA and Europe and completed commissions in oil, pastel, watercolour, pencil and ink. My portfolio includes, illustration, landscapes, historical scenes, portraits, photography and sculpture. I am currently working on a series of highly detailed portraits of famous musicians and writers including David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Iggy Pop, and Charles Bukowski. If you wish to contact me please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I live and work from home in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. My 'studio' is a converted spare bedroom where I am joined by a collection of the family dogs at my feet when I am up there working. Dogs and horses, especially the heavy horse, are my favourite subjects. I use a mixture of watercolours, pastel, charcoal and gouache to try to capture the character and vitality of the animal I'm painting.
As I don't have a website (yet) nor do Facebook or Twitter etc, most of my commissions are from "returning" clients or "word of mouth". If, however, you are interested in my work you are welcome to contact me on email@example.com for further information.
May I also take this opportunity to thank everyone who voted for my entry - I am absolutely delighted to have reached the top 3!