Two years ago, when I created two animal paintings to promote my novel, Jungle Jeopardy, I had no idea those paintings would lead to a new series of work featuring animals for each letter of the alphabet. One of those earlier paintings was of Billy, the black jaguar in my book. I called it my Henri Rousseau painting.
|"Billy the Jaguar" acrylic painting ©Mary Montague Sikes|
As the alphabet series developed last April, I painted another more traditional jaguar that is not black. All through April, my fascination with wild animals grew. I borrowed photos from my daughters who had visited Tasmania last November and used them as references for paintings of koalas, Tasmanian devils, wallabies, seals, and more. Since I've never seen a unicorn and needed one for the letter "u", I used photos I took last year in Avon, Colorado of a wild horse sculpture to develop my painting of one.
Animal Alphabet, an exhibition of these paintings, will be on view at Prince George Art & Frame in Williamsburg from November 1 until November 30.
"This show will demonstrate Sikes affections for animals as well as her discipline in connecting each animal with a letter in the alphabet," says Fred Miller, owner of the gallery.
Mary Montague Sikes: Animal Alphabet will open with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, November 1. Refreshments will be served at the opening to which the public is invited. I'll be available at the opening to discuss my work and also will be at the gallery on Saturday, November 2 from 1 to 3 p.m. demonstrating several of my painting techniques.
Prince George Art & Frame is located at 107 Colony Square Shopping Center, 1303 Jamestown Road in Williamsburg. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, please call the gallery, 757-229-7644.