AAA Award for Pollyanna

Passionate about wildlife and equally passionate about accurately interpreting her subjects Wildlife Artist Pollyanna Pickering has dedicated her life to conservation through art.

And now she is honoured to have received the Association of Animal Artists most prestigious award, which was presented at their Annual Gala Dinner last Saturday. The Inaugural Chairman’s Award is presented to the artist who is considered to have most significantly raised the profile of wildlife art in the last twelve months.P1050446

SOFA member Pollyanna is the most published artist in the UK, with images selling in eighty countries worldwide, giving her a unique opportunity to raise the profile of wildlife art internationally. During the past year her artwork has been exhibited in galleries throughout the UK as well as in Vancouver, Florida and  Arizona.

Pollyanna is an award winning speaker and in the last year she presented over 50 talks throughout the UK, about her expeditions to paint endangered species in the wild.  In early January 2016 she travelled to Tucson to lecture at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Art Institute. Pollyanna’s enthusiastic and often light hearted presentations help to bring awareness of specific environmental issues and the role of wildlife art in conservation to her audiences – often for the very first time.

She is also able to reach brand new audiences through her regular guest appearances on the Create and Craft TV channel – in 2015 Pollyanna filmed 28 one hour shows, working at her easel live in the studio, and chatting to the presenters about the inspiration behind her artwork.  Over 100 follow up shows featuring her artwork and clips of her interviews were broadcast, and in spring the channel sent a crew to her studio to film ‘A Day in the Life of a Wildlife Artist’. For the first time last year, Pollyanna also took part in several ‘simulcast’ shows – which broadcast live across the USA.

Pollyanna said ‘I feel so lucky to have won this beautiful award for doing the work I love, and sharing wildlife and feline art with a wider audience.”

Lecture Trip To China

S.O.F.A. patron David Grant has just got back from a lecture trip to China

DavidGrantJust back from another trip to China (my sixth in six years) and getting over the jet lag in time for the virtual congress. For the last six years David Lloyd (ex Professor of veterinary dermatology at the RVC) and myself have traveled to various parts of China to teach a course in veterinary dermatology. We do just a week of the six-week course, which aims to get colleagues up to certificate level in the subject. Other lecturers on the course have included Richard Halliwell, Craig Griffin and Chiara Noli to name just a few.

China has been a revelation with massive skyscrapers, luxury cars everywhere, a seemingly booming economy  (apparently not as I write this) and superb, almost always full restaurants.  Our Chinese colleagues are busy building successful practices and the entrepreneurial ones already own three of more clinics. It seems small animal practice is big business.

ESAVS China students Zhuhai Dec 2015

ESAVS China students Zhuhai

This time the lectures were in Zhuhai a one-hour ferry trip from Hong Kong. In a previous year we had been to Shenzhen on the other side of the Pearl River Delta but also just an hour on the ferry. At the last minute we were invited to lecture in Macao, giving the opportunity to see something of the gambling capital of the world. We elected to fly via Helsinki to Hong Kong with Finnair. This turned out to be a good choice-very comfortable planes and excellent food. This year new Airbus 350 jets will service this route and the flights are less expensive than the competitors.

Arriving at Hong Kong and transferring to Macao could not be easier. A short walk to the well signposted Star Pier where you can buy tickets for the ferry. Staff scan the baggage labels, fetch the bags and put them on the ferry. When you board, and your ticket is scanned, a green tick indicates that the suitcases are on board.

Met by our hosts for two days we settled in the Holiday Inn and had time to look around. 90% of income for Macao is as a result of the massive casinos. We walked through just one of them to get to breakfast. It is very difficult to describe the casinos-they are absolutely massive and crammed with gamblers day and night. In the Venetian Macao complex is the biggest casino of the lot, along with hundreds of all the high-end retail stores.  But possibly the most amazing sight was on the second floor of the complex-a mock up of Venice complete with gondoliers and canals. Apparently a similar set up exists in Las Vegas but our hosts were quick to point out that Macao was much bigger.

Macao old and new

Macao Old and New

Macao is worth a visit for a day or two for shopping and maybe a trip to the casino.  We also had the opportunity to visit a very well equipped small animal hospital. After giving a couple of lectures to the local veterinary association it was time to cross the border with Mainland China. Fortunately we were chaperoned across because about 100, 000 gamblers, it seemed, had the same idea. A week of intensive lectures followed with very little time to see much of Zhuhai. It is known as a holiday destination in China and has been voted as one of the most livable cities. The area has also been called the Chinese Riviera. The weather, just before Christmas, was a pleasant 23 degrees and sunny. The main attraction of the city is its hotels, bars, restaurants and a fine beach.

After finishing the course we were allocated a driver who showed us around some of the attractions nearby including an 18th century village, which had been trashed during the Cultural Revolution but was now being renovated, another beach and a mangrove swamp complete with wooden walkways.

wetland reserve zhuhai

Zhuhai Wetland Reserve

I managed 7 hours sleep on the Hong Kong-Helsinki leg and arrived In London surprisingly refreshed. I enjoyed Macao and Zhuhai and they are two destinations that need a bit more time. Also the interaction during the course with our Asian colleagues from Malaysia, Thailand and China was great fun and many friendships have been made as a result. A social highlight of the week was a course dinner generously sponsored by Elanco, China –veterinary friendship at its best.

By David Grant



Animals in Fine Art Exhibition

Charlfred Fine Art presents ‘Animals in Fine Art’ Exhibition

An exhibition of realism paintings, quality sculpture & prints, depicting domestic and wild animals. Featuring works by S.O.F.A. members Jacqueline A. Gaylard, Sara Butt and Gayle Mason alongside work by other artists.

animals in fine art.

15th – 22nd November
Kennaway House,
EX10 8NG


Opening Times:  Sun, Mon, Wed & Thurs 10am -5pm
Tues, Fri & Sat 10am – 7pm

Please visit website for further details:

UK Coloured Pencil Society’s Regional Exhibition 2015

S.O.F.A. member France Bauduin won ‘best domestic animal’ for this fabulous drawing in the 2nd UK Coloured Pencil Society’s Regional Exhibition in Richmond, North Yorkshire. Congratulations France, very well deserved!
The show is on until the 14th of October.


2nd UK Coloured Pencil Society’s Regional Exhibition
The Station, Station Yard,
North Yorkshire,
DL10 4LD

On from the 3rd to 14th October 2015

Autumn Art Fair in Teddington

S.O.F.A. member Barbara Thaxter is exhibiting paintings, including her cat paintings in the Autumn Art Fair at the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington. The show is on Saturday 17th October & 18th October.

Pink Fluffy Throw Barbara ThaxterAutumn Art Fair
Ferry Rd, Teddington,
TW11 9NN

Saturday 17th October & 18th October
10.AM – 5PM

2015 AGM and The Stephanie Kay Manchipp Award

The Society’s AGM was held on the 19th of September at the Union Jack Club on collection day.

At the AGM the officers gave their reports and Jacqueline Gaylard talked through the process of  Associates becoming Full Members asking members to contact her if they need any help. We had another successful show this year with over 60 paintings sold.


Once the business of the AGM was concluded Kay presented this year’s Stephanie Kay Manchipp Memorial Award. The award is presented in honour of Stephanie Manchipp, who was passionate about encouraging new members to become full members of the society. In her memory, the society will award a prize each year for the most outstanding work by a new member.

Kim Thompson Leopard Portrait

S.O.F.A. is very pleased to announce that the fourth Stephanie Kay Manchipp Memorial Award for new members goes to Kim Thompson whose wonderful acrylic paintings of big cats are beautiful. She was presented with a certificate, designed by Ben Manchipp, and a cheque for £100 by our Chairman Kay Young.


Congratulations Kim!

International Cat Care Awards 2015

This year’s International Cat Care annual celebration was held at the Kensington Roof Gardens in London on Sept. 11, 2015.

Every year ICC presents the ‘Easy to Give’ award, created to reward pharmaceutical companies whose products are easy to administer to cats and don’t damage the relationship between you and your cat.

Easy to Give winners this year are

  • Prinovox from Virbac – a new spot-on treatment for fleas, mites, worms,
  • Loxicom from Norbrook  – a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, a solution in a syringe which can be squirted into the cats mouth,
  • and two awards for products from Ceva Animal Health – for Vectra Felis – another flea treatment and for Zodon, an oral antibiotic that can be  squirted into the cats mouth.

These companies will be granted the use of the Easy to Give logo on advertising to the veterinary world. These bring the total number of Easy to Give awards presented, since their inception in 2005, to 35.

flamingoInternational Cat Care CEO, Claire Bessant, said: ‘It is so important that cats receive treatments prescribed for them, whether it is for preventive care or to treat a problem. If a drug is too difficult to get into the cat, owners often fail to complete the course, leaving the cat inadequately treated – as we worry about antibiotic resistance, this is particularly important beyond the individual animal too. Struggling with a cat to medicate can put a tension into the owner/cat relationship at a time when owners feel they want to be more supportive rather than seen as something to fear. This year we asked those trying the products if the act of medication had a negative effect on their relationship with their cat, as many people find that in the struggle to medicate, often the cat becomes fearful or aggressive towards them which owners also find very distressing. This kind of innovation by pharmaceutical companies is essential to feline health.’

Easy to Give Award winners from left: Claire Bessant, iCatCare Chief Executive; Alison Henry, Ceva; Bradley Viner, iCatCare Vice President; Nicola Barclay, Ceva; Rachel Crowe, Norbrook; Simon Bolton, Virbac.

Easy to Give Award winners from left: Claire Bessant, iCatCare Chief Executive; Alison Henry, Ceva; Bradley Viner, iCatCare Vice President; Nicola Barclay, Ceva; Rachel Crowe, Norbrook; Simon Bolton, Virbac.

The Cat Friendly Awards recognise other products which have made a real difference to cat wellbeing and welfare. This year the winners are…

  • The SoftE Smart Collar, a comfortable, cleanable and lightweight wide collar for those times when you have to stop a cat licking a wound.
  • The SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder opens in response to the cat’s microchip or collar tag.
  • The Cat Carrier Tree allows cat baskets to be placed off the ground in waiting rooms, helping cats to feel less stressed.

On display were the winners of  ‘The Beauty of Cats’ photography competition. The photographs feature cats from across the world, including cats from Canada, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Poland and the UK.

icc 01

A photograph of a Hong Kong street cat, affectionately known as ‘Shy’, taken by Hon Wa Yip, wins first place in the  ‘The Beauty of Cats’ photography competition.

The 12 winning photographs feature in the iCatCare Calendar for 2016 – with Shy on the cover as the overall winner.


For more information on the awards, have a look at the charity’s website, or if you are interested in buying the terrific calendar or cards see

The top 100 images are available to view on the charity’s Facebook page.

We have always enjoyed our association with ICC and the excellent work they do to improve the lives of our cats.

Exhibition Photos

Slide Shows
See the photos of each exhibition as a slide show. Click the links below and sit back and watch the show. These will be quite large photos and may take a while to load.

SOFA London 2015
SOFA London 2014
SOFA London 2013
SOFA London 2012
SOFA London 2011
SOFA London 2010
SOFA London 2009
SOFA London 2008



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31 other followers

%d bloggers like this: