As most of you will know, this year’s UKCPS annual open exhibition will be held at the Nature in Art Gallery and Museum, Main A38 Twigworth, Gloucester, GL2 9PA, from 3rd to 20th September 2020. This is the world’s first museum and art gallery dedicated to art inspired by nature and we are privileged to have been accepted to exhibit at this prestigious location.

Because of this specific venue, for the first time we have had to place some restrictions on the eligible subject matter. The key word is “nature”, which can be interpreted in many different ways. This doesn’t mean just wild animals and birds: “nature” also encompasses wild plants and flowers, rocks, trees, insects and natural landscapes, amongst many other things. Think nature in all its forms.

Pictures don’t have to be realistic: abstract work is welcome, so long as it fits the “nature” brief. This will hopefully bring a different perspective to this year’s exhibition, and show the diversity of coloured pencil work.

Have a look at the gallery’s website for inspiration:

So there is plenty of scope, although we will all need to think outside the box this year. Hopefully, this will inspire us to think differently and produce some fresh and exciting new interpretations.

Subjects that are not eligible this year include pets or domesticated animals (dogs, cats, horses, cows, etc.), straightforward portraits or still lifes. You could, of course, incorporate these into a naturalistic background so long as they are a small part of an overall “wild” composition.

If you can’t get to a zoo or wildlife park to take reference photos, how about looking in your garden or surrounding areas? You should find plenty of natural subjects there, from wild animals and birds to plants and trees. Or use your imagination!

Regarding the use of reference images:

  • Each picture has to be entirely your own composition.
  • No complete copies of other people’s work, whether photographs or any other image.
  • You can copy or work freely from your own photographs, but must not completely copy anybody else’s, even with their permission or use copyright-free images available on the internet.
  • The main element or focus of your picture must not be copied from anybody else’s source material, and any reference photos used must have been taken by yourself.
  • But you can use parts of other people’s photos, with their permission, to add small incidental elements to your overall composition.
  • This is to ensure that each picture is the artist’s original creation, conceived and composed by them, and not just a copy.

These have been the rules for the annual exhibitions since the UKCPS was formed in 2002. The only difference this year is the restriction on subject matter.


Pictures this year must be “nature” related.

This doesn’t mean just wild animals or birds, but nature in all its forms.

Work can be either realistic or abstract.