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Protecting Wildlife with Art

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

I am a lover of the natural world and art, combining the two has been a passion of mine. If I am not at my easel, I am outside with my family on walks in Dartmoor, Devon enjoying nature's beauty.

I started my art career drawing pet portraits in charcoal - I love the way I can go into fine detail with charcoal, capturing the animal's eyes, their spirit and the texture of their fur. I felt pet portraits, how lovely they are to create and how they bring meaning to my collectors, I wanted to make a bigger impact through my artistic talents to help protect our wildlife.

Using the skills that I learnt drawing fur of horses, dogs and cats, I then used these techniques to draw endangered animals. I want my pieces to make people stop, pause and think about the subject - connect with them, want to help preserve the animals and do their part by purchasing prints and originals. As a mother, I want to be able to do my part to help protect our wildlife for our childrens' children. Art is my voice and this is how I want to help give the message to protect our natural world.

I saw that Paignton Zoo have had a huge decline in their admissions due to closure in the summer (case of Avian Bird Flu). As I follow their social media posts and regularly saw their call for help, I felt I had to do something. I put a post out on Facebook to inform my followers that I will be doing a large male lion piece to help raise funds for The Zoo.

I then rang Paignton Zoo to inform them of our fundraiser. I had a wonderful talk with Katie at Paignton Zoo who informed me that Paignton Zoo’s male Asiatic lion called Yali has been relocated from his Devon home to join his new female partner at Fota Wildlife Park in the Republic of Ireland.

I was sad to learn that Paignton Zoo no longer keeps lions until Katie updated me on the wonderful news that there will be three new lions arriving at Paignton Zoo very soon from Newquay Zoo! Boss, the male African lion and his female siblings are called Amahle and Semira.

I then contacted a local photographer, Jessica Cooper, from Brixham who has kindly given me permission to use her photo of the new male lion arriving at The Zoo, Boss, to use as a reference photo for my new artwork.

The original painting will be up for auction to coincide with the arrival of the new lions. (Date I am still awaiting to hear, however you will be the first to know when I have more details.)

All proceeds of the auction will be going to Paignton Zoo to help support the new arrivals.

I will be doing a few practice pieces before I start the ultimate portrait. I am a little nervous about this big coloured project! The main piece will be on pastel board in coloured pastels. A medium you all probably remember using in school!

I will also be looking into sponsoring the three lions on all of your behalf, I'll keep you all the lions' journey as well as the journey of Boss’ portrait.

Following the auction, I will be producing limited edition wildlife prints which will also help support the conservation efforts of protecting these beautiful endangered animals.

Thanks to Jessica Cooper JC - Photography for permission to use this incredible reference photo! Go check out her Facebook page, her photographs are beautiful.

Thank you all for your continued support in this exciting new project! Watch this space for live sessions, photograph updates and news of the Boss, Amahle and Semira's arrival.

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