STARVING ARTISTS presented by Mike Sibley Fine art.  Click to see Mike's dog prints and art at www.SibleyFineArt.com....  Caricature of Mike Sibley by Phill Bearden.

Hall Of Fame
'Lion of Judah' graphite pencil drawing by Pamela Maxwell
"Lion of Judah"
This is the latest drawing submitted by our Gold member Pamela Maxwell who revels in portraying African big cats.

For an artist who has been drawing for a relatively short time, Pamela's drawings possess a maturity far beyond that short time-span. She so obviously has a natural ability and affinity to her subjects. It's not simple to explain but I can always tell when a drawing is a copy of reference or is a recreation that used the reference as a guide. Pamela's work is the latter, because it possesses a life that mere copying always omits.

Visit Pamela's gallery to see more of her superb drawings.

I'm so pleased Pamela decided to join us here at SA and delighted to make "Lion of Judah" my current Editor's Choice.
    MIKE

'Agnew Meadows' Graphite pencil drawing by Diane Wright
"Agnew Meadows"

This is one of two drawings submitted by our Gold member Diane Wright to the Pencil Art Society who awarded her Master Pencil Artist Status (MPAS) as a result! It was good to be reminded of this superb drawing.

I have long admired it for its wonderful and evocative mix of cool foreground and sunlit background. While standing in the cool shade, it's as though we're being enticed to venture forwards to embrace the warmth in front of us.

Visit Diane's gallery to see more of her superb drawings - from rural scenes to historic buildings... and more.

I was so pleased to be reminded of "Agnew Meadows" and it richly deserves to be my Editor's Choice.
    MIKE

'Triumph TR4' Pastel painting by Hazel Adlam
"Triumph TR4"
As I'm a graphite artist I have never worked with pastels but I admire anyone who does. It appears to be such an unforgiving medium that can quickly lose definition in all but the most accomplished of hands. Our new Gold member Hazel Adlam's hands are most certainly accomplished! And this stunning portrait of a Triumph TR4 is full of potential problems, such as inaccurate ellipses, yet Hazel has avoided every one. How she obtains the crisp detail and smoothness of the gleaming body panels with a chalky medium defeats me. The composition is wonderfully balanced too - those touches of highlighting on the floor are perfectly placed visual guides.

Visit Hazel's gallery to view a close-up of this delightful painting, and while you're there, take an envious look at Hazel's own Classic 1967 MBG GT resplendent in Bermuda Blue!
    MIKE

'Nala' - a Hungarian Vizsla' Coloured pencil drawing by Marie Huntrods
"Nala"

This is 'Nala', a Hungarian Vizsla pastel painting by our Gold member Marie Huntrods and I was immediately attracted to it, because of its sheer presence and sense of reality.

The dog's owner bid for and won a gift voucher donated by Marie to a Vizsla charity and they must have been thrilled to receive such a beautiful and accomplished drawing.

Visit Marie's gallery to see a detailed close up and to enjoy more of her lovely work.

As soon as I saw it, I knew this would be my Editor's Choice.
    MIKE
'Rex, a Bulldog puppy' Graphite pencil drawing by Alexandra Riley
"Rex, a Bulldog puppy"

If you enjoyed Alex's work last time you're in for another treat! And just because I'm feeling devilish, here's a close up. Visit Alex's gallery for the whole pup.

Our Gold member Alexandra Riley has steadily progressed and this is a stunning piece. It's full of wonderfully studied features and oozes character.

Visit Alex's gallery to see the full puppy and to enjoy more of her lovely work.

This deserved to be my Editor's Choice as soon as I saw it.
    MIKE
'Kittens in a Boot' Graphite pencil drawing by Alexandra Riley
"Kittens in a Boot"
Apart from the obvious emotional hook, my attention was grabbed immediately by this study by our Gold member Alexandra Riley. It was Alex's masterful use of textural contrast that caught my eye. The way she has sharply defined the worn leather and parting sole of the old boot perfectly compliments and enhances the soft fur of the kittens.

Visit Alexandra's gallery to view a close-up of this delightful study to enjoy more of her lovely work.

This lovely drawing fully deserves to be my Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE

'The Hug' Graphite pencil drawing by Sheone Hamitlon-Grant
"The Hug"
As soon as I saw this delightful drawing by our Gold member Sheona Hamilton-Grant I knew it had to be my choice for this month. It's full of wonderful touches of close observation - from the texture of the spaniel's hair to the missing shoe laces. And it so clearly conveys its message.

Visit Sheona's gallery to view a close-up and more of her lovely work.

This lovely drawing fully deserves to be my Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE

'Facing Immensity' Graphite pencil drawing by Aurelia Chaintreuil
"Facing Immensity"

I can't put my finger on the appeal of this delightful graphite pencil drawing by our French Silver member Aurélia Chaintreuil but it certainly fires my imagination.

It's full of wonderful touches of close observation - from the foam in the curling wave to the twisted back strap. And on a higher level, it conveys its message clearly.

Visit Aurélia's gallery to view more of her lovely work, or to buy the original or a print of this drawing.

This lovely drawing deserves to be my Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE




'German Shepherd' pastel pencil drawing by Marie Huntrods
"German Shepherd"
This wonderfully soft yet alert depiction of a German Shepherd by our Gold member Marie Huntrods really appeals to me, as it encompasses both sides of this lovely breed. We always had one, until recently, and they truly are big, soft, fearless workers, and all of these traits are reflected in this work of art.

Visit Marie's gallery to view a close-up of this lovely work. The original has been sold but maybe you could commission her to draw your own dog.

This beautiful drawing deserves to be my Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE

'Agape Touch' graphite pencil drawing by Sheona Hamilton-Grant
"Agape Touch"
The sensitive work of our Gold member Sheona Hamilton-Grant's never ceases to please and amaze me. The quality is always ensured and the emotional content is right on target. The 'story' behind this piece needs no explanation at all - this wonderful and skilful drawing says it all without need of spoken or written word.

Visit Sheona's gallery to view a close-up of this lovely work or to purchase the original.

This is a masterly drawing that deserves to be my Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE

'Austin Seven' graphite pencil drawing by Mike Bowman
"Magnificent 7"

Our Gold member Mike Bowman is a master of a number of mediums, from pastels and watercolours to linocuts, and this accomplished drawing of an old Austin Seven is no exception.

In this wonderful, closely-studied graphite pencil drawing, Mike has captured the solidity of the thick steel body, the depth of carefully applied paint, even the intricacies of the old-style AA and RAC badges. And the reflected sky perfectly describes the smooth contours of the body where, in lesser hands, the technique might suggest a series of shallow dents.

Visit Mike's gallery to enjoy a wide variety of images. Mike's expertise and eye for detail makes him my Editor's Choices for this month.
    MIKE
'Young Woman' Acrylic painting by Myrtle Jackson
"Young Woman"

Our Gold member Myrtle Jackson tells me that at 83 she is putting away her brushes and pastels. That's a great shame and especially to all of us who have so enjoyed Myrtles pictures over the years.

The "Young Woman", although not typical of Myrtles main body of work, is one of my favourites. Deciding to display this one of the many was not an easy decision. Myrtle wrote "I have fun doing them and they are piling up" and her enjoyment and fluid easy style shows in every one.

Visit Myrtles's gallery to feast your eyes on her world of working men and dainty ladies. You're in for a treat!

All are very worthy Editor's Choices for this month.
    MIKE
'Master of the Mustang' graphite pencil study by Nick Ladas
"Master of the
Mustang"

Our Gold member Nick Ladas has produced a masterful drawing. A balanced composition, detail where detail counts, and a simple but effective sense of depth.

Well executed with a strong emotional content and a simple story - this study is a completely believable frozen moment in time.

A very worthy Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE
'Rolls Royce emblem' graphite pencil study by Edith Harris
"Rolls Royce emblem"

Our prolific former Gold member Edith Harris has once again provided us with a visual delight. This rendering of the Rolls Royce emblem (known as "The Spirit of Ecstasy") is a truly delightful drawing.

It is wonderfully studied, drawn with total understanding, executed with confidence, a broad palette... and is completely believable.

Edith has made this complex study look simple to draw. Pierre Parisien said "Don't show me that what you are doing is difficult" and I belive Edith would have pleased him greatly.

A very worthy Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE
'Tree Stump' natural study by Diane Wright
"Tree Stump"

We have our Gold member Diane Wright to thank for this delightful drawing. Sometimes I see a piece of work that I feel the artist has experienced both physically and mentally as they produced it. This is such a piece - produced from the mind and not directly from a reference. Every aspect of this delightful drawing possesses a sense of reality.

Although seemingly simple, this is a well-balanced, harmonious composition where each element plays its part without any having a disrupting dominance.

Visit Diane's gallery to view a close-up of this lovely work - and maybe treat yourself to a print.

A very worthy Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE
'Cash' Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever study by Monika Murray
"Cash"

Another animal this month, this time by our former Gold member Monika Murray. Monika, who produces relatively small-scale works, has excelled herself with this study of Cash. Cash is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - if you ever get the chance to see one work, don't miss it!

I feel Monika has captured the very soul of Cash, who is obviously a warm-hearted and gentle dog. And all that character captured in a coloured pencil drawing less than 7" high.

A very worthy Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE
'Gizmo' Commissioned cat study by Sue Clinker
"Gizmo"

Our Silver member Sue Clinker tells us Gizmo was a commissioned study of "a rescue cat who really has fallen on her feet and is very spoilt". Not only lucky for Gizmo but lucky for us too, as we get to admire Sue's superb artistry.

Sue has captured every aspect of the cat in this pastel painting, from the texture of the fur to the dreamy, far-away look. And that simple, understated reflection grounds Gizmo perfectly. I don't think you can look at this without expecting her to get up and walk of the paper at any moment.

Visit Sue's gallery to view her other masterful images.

A very worthy Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE
'Citrus Orange on black' Pastel painting by Karen Hargett
"Citrus Orange on black"
I've watched our former Gold member Karen Hargett's pastel work develop over the past few years. The quality increases as, it seems, the size decreases. This wonderful, succulent painting is just 7" × 5" yet it contains or skilfully suggests all the expected detail, and succeeds in looking wet, tasty and more-ish!

Visit Karen's website to view a close-up of this work - to purchase a print or even the original!

This is a wonderful and masterly painting that deserves to be my Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE

'Silver bowl with fruit' acrylic painting by Edith Harris
"Silver bowl with fruit"
For an artist new to acrylic painting, this colourful study by our prolific Gold member Edith Harris is an excellent piece.

It's Edith's use of light that really excites me - the barely discernible silver bowl contrasted with the bright highlights on the shiny apples. That's quite a challenge - learning a new medium while at the same injecting such artistry in to a study.

A wonderful painting that deserves to be my Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE

'Great Dane' graphite pencil drawing by Lene Daugaard
"Grand Danios"
Another study in my favourite medium of Graphite Pencil this month. Our Silver member Lene Daugaard has produced lovely drawing of a Great Dane.

This is a deceptively difficult pose to attempt and Lene has succeeded admirably. Although the dog is facing away from us, attention is immediately drawn to the head, and the body, while serving its purpose, doesn't distract at all. The head itself, by virtue of the strong lighting, shows a remarkable degree of three-dimensionality and form. And the dreamy gaze allows it to exist quite naturally without needing to interact with the viewer.

Visit Lene's gallery and enjoy her many other works too. A wonderful study that deserves to be my Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE

'Inseparable' Commissioned portrait by Giles Illsley
"Inseparable"

Our Gold member Giles Illsley tells us " This commissioned portrait of a gentleman holding his treasured cat is the first piece I have drawn that combines both human and animal portraiture." and he has succeeded admirably in capturing the character of each.

Drawn with the precision I've come to expect of Giles, the attention to detail is superb - right down to the delicate shading of the shirt collar. But the first thing that struck me was the sheer warmth radiated by this beautiful study.

Visit Giles's gallery for a close-up and to enjoy his other portraits and prints. A very worthy Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE
'Scottish Dog Roses' graphite pencil drawing by Edith Harris
"Scottish Dog Roses"
Back to my favourite medium of Graphite Pencil this month. Our Gold member Edith Harris has been with us since the very early days and I've watched her steadily grow in confidence and ability, and now she's produced a very special work indeed.

The time and patience Edith has spent on this drawing is self-evident but of more importance is her true understanding of what she was creating. It's that undefinable something, which takes us over as we draw, that adds that magical touch. The three-dimensional depth is tangible and the flowers and leaves possess a "life" far beyond mere representation.

A wonderful study that deserves to be my Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE

'Bad Hair Day' Commissioned Afghan Hound study by Bev Lewis
"Bad Hair Day"
Because they are so well suited, I have a particular liking for 'Afghans in the wind' studies - and this coloured pencil drawing by our former Gold member Bev Lewis has to be the best yet. I'm not alone in that belief, as it won the 'Founders Award for Best UK Entry' in the UK Coloured Pencil Society's 2008 annual exhibition!

It's difficult to know where to begin with praise for this study... but the first thing that struck me was the sheer intensity of colour. Not something I've come to expect from Coloured Pencil work. The study itself captures and enhances every aspect, from the dog's character and vitality, to the wildly dancing hair, and the tangible experience of that frozen moment in time.

A very worthy Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE
'A Rainy Day' Pastel painting by Christine Pit
"A Rainy Day"
I feel this painting by our former Silver member Christine Pitt precisely describes its title. The serene mood, and the dreamy, far-away gaze tell their story wonderfully well.

Couple that with the precision of execution, the soft recession, and the opposing textures of hair and sofa (each strengthening the other) and you have a wonderful study that deserves to be my Editor's Choice for this month.

A worthy Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE

'Bailey' Commissioned Shar Pei study by Marie Huntrods
"Bailey"
The more I look at this commissioned portrait by our Gold member Marie Huntrods, the better it becomes. The composition alone is a work of art. This is a difficult, bottom-heavy pose to succeed with. The potentially troublesome empty space at top right is cleverly solved by the tubs and foliage, which are perfectly placed to lead the eye around and directly through the dog's head.

Likewise, the truncated tail no longer leads the eye out of the drawing, and the cropped rear paw cleverly omits the shadow that would inevitably draw the eye downwards. And by saving the darkest tones for the dog's muzzle, the eye is drawn directly to it, where the aerial perspective decrees the head to be in front of the foliage.

And if all that wasn't enough....it's a well-executed drawing that displays the character, bulk and solidity of this magnificent Shar Pei. Visit Marie's gallery and enjoy her other works too. A worthy Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE
''Red' horse by Laura Hardie
"Red"
I admire this drawing by our Gold member Laura Hardie for its simplicity, accuracy, character, textures, rich and vibrant colouring... the list goes on. Laura has produced a great piece and her attention to detail gives life while not intruding on the viewing pleasure. It adheres to my favourite advice by Pierre Parisien: "Don't show me that what you are doing is difficult".

For an even better appreciation of this coloured pencil drawing, visit Laura's gallery to view a close-up detail of this piece.

Available soon as a Limited Edition print and a very worthy Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE
'Evening Solitude' Coloured pencil painting by Bev Lewis
"Evening Solitude"
The serenity, the cool but inviting greens, the diffused background... all lead me to choose this coloured pencil work by our former Gold member Bev Lewis as my pick for this month.

A wonderful study that deserves to be my Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE

'Self Portrait' Ballpoint pen art by Vincent Whitehead
"Self Portrait"
For the first time in Starving Artists history the same artist features two months in succession.

Our former Gold member Vincent Whitehead has produced yet another great piece, and this time his first portrait! Created with Steadtler "Triplus" Ball Point Pens, Vincent's attention to detail, awareness of form and texture, and his delicate touch with this very unforgiving medium leave me amazed.

A very worthy Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE
'Breakfast at The Inn' Ballpoint pen art by Vincent Whitehead

"Breakfast at The Inn"
To attempt this complex image using the unforgiving medium of ballpoint pen is courageous. To succeed in recreating each of the widely differing textures is remarkable.

Our former Gold member Vincent Whitehead has stepped away from his usual outdoor scenes and produced a milestone work.

I can recommend a visit to Vincent's website to see a close-up detail view of this drawing - you will be astounded!

A very worthy Editor's Choice for this month. This classic image is available as a limited edition print.
    MIKE
'Munchies' Fibre Art by Kharon Clark
"Munchies"
I fell for this image the moment I first saw it. The use of colour, the attention to detail, the depth in the piece... and all achieved with fabrics! Unusally, I'll let our former Gold member Kharon Clark tell you about this piece herself...

"Sylvia Lenhard took the original picture while we were on a motorcycle ride. We had stopped for a coffee and there he was behind us munching away oblivious to the fact that he was sitting in the middle of a shopping center with a highway behind him.

There are over 275 individual pieces of fabric put together like a jigsaw puzzle and well over 360 hours of fun in this piece. I shopped for months, looking for the exact fabric before I could make myself start on the project. I kept thinking...it would be so much easier to just paint this darn thing and then add thread to enhance it....but my original vision was to use fabric to bring out the beauty of this creature and I am very glad that I stuck with it."

...and so am I! A very worthy Editor's Choice for this month.
'Mother & Child' Gorillas by Rich Adams
"Mother & Child"
It amazes me how our Gold member Rich Adams succeeds in being so consistent when it comes to quality rendering. As much as I admire this piece technically, it is the almost hidden aspects that really grab me. From the perfectly placed knuckles of the mother's right hand that support her weight, to the left that cradles her child, coupled with the raised big toe. The baby's finger sucking, the hint of a contented smile on his mother's face... the list is endless. The more you seek, the more you find.

A very worthy Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE

Available as an Open Edition print - don't delay!
'Breaking Point' pastel painting by Karen Hargett
"Breaking Point"
The power of the breaking wave, the luminosity of the water, the wind-whipped spray, the solidity of the rocks that counteract and enhance the fluidity of the unstoppable wall of water - all combine to produce a powerful and evocative painting by our former Gold member Karen Hargett. It has such presence that it's hard to believe that you are not about to get your feet wet!

I can recommend a visit to Karen's website to see this and many more great works. This wonderful painting deserves to be my Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE

"Old Stile by the Ure"
Right up my street and a delightful composition by our former Gold member Nolon Stacey. Such a wonderful balance between clarity and a subtlety of weight makes these rabbits both hidden and dominant at the same time - not immediately obvious, but quite clearly the main subjects. It's a difficult undertaking but very successfully handled.

A beautifully crafted study that deserves to be my Editor's Choice for this month.
    MIKE

'Salad Fixins' by Marsha Robinett

"Salad Fixins"
It amazes me how our Gold member Marsha Robinett achieves this level of quality in a drawing measuring a mere 6" × 9" using only carbon pencils! I use them for sketching - but for detailed drawing...?

The artistic eye, the play of light, the attention to story-telling details, and the tangible atmosphere lift this drawing way above the ordinary. Marsha's eye and skill add sheer magic to this otherwise commonplace and overlooked setting.

A very worthy choice for this month's Editor's Choice.
    MIKE

Available as a regular limited edition print or Artists Proof.