“Through the centuries and throughout the world, frogs have symbolized many things – Good Luck, Royalty, Fertility, Magic Potions, Energy, Charm. In today’s fast world, life sometimes becomes complicated and stressful. As you can see, my art is not. It’s Elegant, Stylish, Whimsical, Unique and pure FUN! As children we were excited to see our first frogs. They made us laugh when they jumped our way! We were curious about the strange way they felt; the odd way they moved and their simple contented look. I used to watch frogs at my pond, noting how each one had its own colour markings, character and even personality.”
Tim Cotterill, also known as Frogman, was born in Leicester, England, in 1950. He left school at the age of fifteen to complete a six year engineering apprenticeship. Intrigued with metalworking, Tim created radical wheeled vehicles and metal sculptures of animals and birds during the ’70s and ’80s. His original steel, bronze and gold bird and animal sculptures are in art collections thoughout the world. Tim emigrated to California in 1990 where he has since devoted himself solely to the creation of his unique bronze sculptures. Tim’s work is now represented in fine art galleries world-wide.
See also How The Bronze Frogs Are Made
Read more (and See the videos in the sidebar on the right) ….
The story of Tim Cotterill is also captured in a fabulous book called “Frogman, The Creativity of Tim Cotterill”. The extract below record in his own words, his fascination with frogs which has occurred throughout his life.
“We bought an old Victorian house in the Knighton area, a quirky part of Leicester. Doing all the work ourselves, we renovated the house and doubled its size. I built a lovely pond in the back garden, and it soon attracted many frogs from the nearby woods. I’d return home from a hard day at work, crack open a can of Special Brew beer and sit on the edge of the pond with a bucket of worms that I had collected that day. A few taps on a rock, and the frogs understood it was feeding time. It was wonderful to watch these beautiful little creatures and observe their unique color markings, character, and distinctive personalities. Their contented nature mirrored my happiness. I named them Big Bill, Little Bill, Fast Eddy, Slippery Pete, Dave, Albert, Harold. I absorbed their movements and individual characteristics, observations that would prove invaluable to me later. ”
“Soon, strong memories of the form and movements of frogs grew into a desire to create them in sculpture. I was intrigued by the challenge of capturing their personalities. Some of the elements of a frog’s shape melded in my mind, inspired by the delightful chubbiness of a baby or the grace and beauty of a well-shaped human leg. This perspective, combined with what I imagine as an almost cartoon-like quality of a frog’s expression, engaged my imagination. The frogs I sculpted seemed to offer something intrinsically appealing to many people. I had a few cast in bronze and began to display them at shows. They held a fascination and charm that captured the interest of others. ”
“Many years previously, I had the distinct impression that my life always came together like the pieces of a puzzle. With my new creative focus on frogs, I began to feel that way once again. I began to understand that my fascination with frogs was not unique. Throughout the centuries, frogs have symbolized many things to people around the world: Energy, good luck, royalty, fertility, magic potions, charm are some of them. In capturing the essence of frogs in my sculptures, I had begun the process of healing my troubled mind and capturing my love of life once again.”
“The koi pond is teeming with colorful koi and is surrounded by flourishing tropical plants, the shady playground for the many frogs who’ve made their home here with me. It’s always a simple pleasure to spend some moments each day watching and listening to them and feeling thankful for the blessings they’ve brought to my life.”