Nature in Bronze: Enter the Magical World of the Frogman

Tim Cotterill isn’t a “frogman” in the classical sense of being a diver. Instead, he’s an artist whose love of nature, artistry, and the creation of achingly beautiful brass sculptures has made him famous. 

But his world-famous frogs, beautiful though they may be, are not the only subject to enjoy his special touch. Birds, his first love, are making their appearance in his works once again, freezing nature in brass combined with touches of vibrant colour that make each piece seem alive and ready to take flight. We take a closer look at Tim’s art, which is showcased under the title frogman bronzes at artmarket.co.uk

Love at 40

For decades, Tim pursued careers which gave no inkling as to the artistic talent that lay below the surface. It’s a far cry from electrical engineering to bronze frog sculpture, but it’s a leap he made at the age of 40 when he moved from the UK to the US. Here, he would build the worldwide reputation as the “frogman” which he still enjoys today, despite his work having progressed to embrace the depiction of other creatures in bronze. 

The love is apparent. Every detail is perfect. Each creature is packed with character and seems poised for action. A genuine appreciation for the birds, animals, fish, and amphibians he captures in brass is clear in every line and curve. It’s something that people love and want for themselves. The evidence of that lies in a worldwide following of fans who hope to be the first to own one of his limited-edition, nature-inspired sculptures. 

Finding his true calling at 40 has proved to be a joy for both Tim and the many art fans who avidly follow his progress. For Tim, his life as an artist residing in LA’s Venice Beach area is nothing less than a dream come true.

Creating Colours

Part of the magic of Tim Cotterill’s frogs lies in the gleaming colours that make the bronze sculptures transcend their medium. There’s still a metallic patina, but it could be red, pink, green, blue, gold or almost any other colour you could imagine. It’s not just a matter of finding a good coating. Tim explored this amazing alchemy himself using chemicals, pigments, and dyes. 

As for the exact details, they’re a secret, but what we do know is that they involve high-temperature processes that produce a result that is far more than just a regular coating. One can see a similar, though larger-scale approach to colorful  bronze sculpture, albeit on a larger scale, in Jeff Koons’ controversial  “Bouquet of Tulips,” a monumental work which, unlike Tim’s delightful frogs, would definitely not be at home in a regular person’s lounge. 

Why Frogs? Then Again, Why Not?

Although Tim has created sculptures featuring a variety of creatures, he’s most well-known for his frog sculptures. But why frogs? To Tim, it’s all about fun. “Frogs are fun creatures,” he says. His tropical garden acts as a source of never-ending inspiration, ultimately leading back to his “Aviary Collection,” which features the birds that flit in the air above his frog-friendly fish pond. However, the pond is still his favourite place, and the real-life frogs that make it their home even have names. With so much passion and enjoyment going into his works, it’s no wonder that they seem to have a unique magic all of their own. 

The exquisite little sculptures have spawned something of a craze amongst those in the know. Tim calls them “frogaholics” and each  one typically has a collection of up to 18 limited-edition frog sculptures. As for the artist himself, his passion for his work shines through, tinged with humility, yet shining with pride as he presents each new creation to his dedicated fan-base and the world. Small is beautiful, and every detail speaks of Tim’s appreciation of his subjects, be they owls, frogs, or even glittering fish.

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