From Zoo Keeper to Artist

Having studied fine art at Birmingham School of Art, graduating in 2000, I then had a short career as a web based graphic designer. However my interest in animals and wildlife lead me to a change in career to work closely with exotic animals as a keeper at Longleat Safari Park. Following this I ended up as Team Leader and over seeing the monkey sections at Monkey World in Dorset. This is  where I was able to work closely with many UK pet trade primates who had ended up at the sanctuary needing rehabilitation.   

 

After starting a family I took up painting again, combining my love for all animals, both domestic and wild, with my artistic flare. Over the past 9 years I have been developing my unique ethereal style as a painter, working in oils to create atmospheric portraits of my subjects.

Often inspired by animals in need, I try to portray my subjects in a light that reflects their vulnerability and fragility, especially with species that are less popular and perhaps miss understood. In turn I hope to raise awareness and funds for species that are often overlooked. 

My love of animals is not restricted to wildlife, I also draw on inspiration from my own pets, in particularly my sighthounds. You will often see my 2 whippets, Willow and Woody and my 2 lurchers, Bella and Blanquita, being captured in my  work. I can never resist their beautiful elegance and frequently their funny expressions which lend themselves to being a constant muse. 

My work is now collected world wide and I have been a finalist at David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2018, 2019 and 2020. In 2001 I had the honour of being awarded overall winner of Artists for Painted Dogs annual exhibition and in 2022 selected as a finalist in Explorers Against Extinctions Sketch For Survival.