"I have been lucky enough to have lived and traveled through some truly mesmerising areas of the world and this is where I take my inspiration from.
Some people may make the point that filming, painting and writing about animals, is not active conservation. Correct, it's not, until the awareness and money made can be injected into projects.
BUT there has to be that awareness in the first place. There needs to be that appreciation of wildlife, gained through the descriptions of the place or the portrait of the animal, for people to then dip into their pay-packets and change their lifestyles with the aim to conserve the species on this planet....which I think we all have a moral duty to do.
This is why I paint, write and photograph..."
On Wildlife Art.
"I am a firm believer in the notion that 'everyone can paint'. Or at least 'everyone can be taught to paint'. A decent artist should simply be able to help and guide an amateur or novice through their steps, which will result in a painting of sorts.
However, for a person to evolve from a decent artist into a very good one, they must have a passion for their subject. This is particularly true of wildlife art. I feel I must know my subject intimately. I try my very best to study the species in the wild. I research its habitat, speak to experts, read books, study maps, try to understand its natural history, visit its environment, sketch it and photograph it. If I fail, I speak to and study the work of wildlife cameramen and professional photographers.
All this happens before I even think of picking up a paintbrush. Far too many artists jump straight to the paintbrush stage without bothering to research their subject fully enough, whether it be portraiture, landscape, architecture, sculpture or wildlife.
The wildlife should always and does always come first.
I try to paint 'moments in nature'. Scenes where, for the most part, the viewer plays no active role. My paintings aim to be windows into the natural world. They are concerned primarily with animal behaviour and potential energy - that moment caught in time before life resumes.
They are simple studies with subtle hints to the habitat and environment. I enjoy the details of the natural world but I am not a realist. My paintings are painted to give the impression and illusion of detail, without actually painting the detail itself. In other words they aim to be faithful to natural history whilst maintaining a style and an artistic integrity.
My aim is that they invoke a stirring in the minds of their audience and in turn my hope is that the audience themselves will be inspired to seek out and help protect the species in my paintings and of this planet.
Personally, I get great pleasure from looking at and studying the natural world, whether with a pair of binoculars, a pen or a paintbrush and, if I can helpfully communicate that pleasure to others through my paintings, then that is a tremendous reinforcement of that satisfaction for me. "
Published with Sally Mitchell Fine Arts Ltd
Natural History Writer