Living on a farm near Olveston, Andrew Meachin is surrounded by the wildlife that inspires his quirky paintings. He is particularly drawn to hares and foxes, with the first piece of art he created after leaving school being of a fox, standing upright in a jaunty pose and wearing tight striped trousers laced up the front and held with braces. A mixture of human emotion and sly, clever fox cunning has been captured in the creature’s face and you can just make out what he’s holding behind his back – something with a brown feathered wing that has no doubt been stolen from the henhouse.
Since school, Andrew has combined his love of art with his love of the outdoors, working on the farm and taking long walks in the surrounding countryside. He admits that he would find it hard to work full-time on his art as it would involve too much time cooped up inside. “I’m an outdoor person first, but I like to bring that into my art afterwards.”
He has a gift for caricature, amusing friends and family with sharply observed portraits of them. Astonishingly his animal pictures are all drawn without models or photographs, the images coming straight from his imagination. Their faces are alluring, showing much of their personality traits as we imagine them, with foxes looking sideways from calculating eyes and hares in vintage attire with top hats or playing the violin in front of a full moon.
Some of his pieces have a darker gothic feel to them, the sort of art that catches the eye and shows the viewer a different side to the creatures we thought we were familiar with.
Andrew will be exhibiting in this year’s Severn Vale Art Trail, at The Elms in Earthcott with woodturner George King. The organisers of the event made room for his unique style of art four years ago when he first started showing his work. It was at one of these exhibitions that he first started drawing still life pictures of flowers and seed heads, found in the garden where his work was being shown. They proved popular with visitors and since then he has been working on these alongside his animals and human figures.
He also likes to draw and paint when he’s on holiday. “I like to have some sort of momento of a holiday through drawing and maybe a bit of text. Somehow it’s nicer to look back at my artwork than it is at a photograph. I think it’s because the thought involved in capturing it creates a bigger memory.”
His paintings are captivating and full of life and it will be interesting to watch the direction his artistic journey takes.