Friday 24 May 2024

"Collectable Limited Editions for your Home"

Gary Hodges

Gary Hodges

Gary Hodges was born in 1954, and has had a deep love for nature since childhood.
In 1979 Gary Hodges began applying his keen sense of observation to his drawings and is now Britain's leading wildlife pencil artist.

Gary Hodges gave up his day job around 1989 to concentrate on his drawings and, shortly afterwards, began to publish his limited edition prints himself. By retaining control of every stage, from drawing, to publishing, to selling, Gary Hodges has never had to compromise on the very high standards he has set himself.

Gary's first two limited edition prints were published by Greenpeace in 1987. He began publishing prints himself in 1990, having been turned down by fine art publishers because "black and white" prints "wouldn't sell". At first he sold, slowly but steadily, through exhibitions and mail order catalogues of charities. An edition of 850 prints might take two or three years to sell out. Then, as his talents began to be more widely appreciated, galleries began to take his prints in greater numbers. Following his hugely successful exhibition and auction at the Mall Galleries in 1994, demand for his work escalated and he began to sell out his editions within a matter of weeks. A secondary market was created and prices of some early prints began to rise sharply in value. Now, such is the popularity of his work, he has had to increase edition sizes, but still has to cut back on the pre-publication orders from galleries ("Plea for the Rainforest" was over-subscribed by 350 copies even though the edition was increased to 1500).

Gary Hodges is a genuinely sincere and generous human being who cares quietly, but passionately, about the conservation of the animals he draws. Through Hodge's drawings he has already raised his first quarter of a million pounds for charity and is well on his way towards the second quarter million - a phenomenal achievement for one individual in such a short time.

Gary Hodges drawings stand out from the crowd because he combines a remarkable technical ability with a deep feeling for the subject and a sensitive understanding of its individual character. Gary Hodges's sense of design and composition, often focussing on only a part of the animal, always results in a striking image that demands the viewer's attention and thought. Others have tried to achieve the same effect in pencil, but the result often looks ordinary by comparison.

Gary Hodges may use very many different grades of pencil in a drawing. Each grade is put to good effect as he painstakingly builds up tones and textures, working on small areas at a time. The range of textures he creates - tough hide, fluffy fur, preened feathers, dry scales - is extraordinary. Often there is a touch of humour - the big paw or menacing tooth - but in the end it is the eye that fixes itself upon the viewer. It is here that he begins each drawing.

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