I first picked up a pencil to draw in July 2015, whilst writing the second of my ecology-based children’s books. Rather than find somebody else to provide the drawings, I decided to have a go at it myself … the rest is history! I was totally hooked and have not been able to put my pencils away since.
Above all else, I am drawn to black and white artwork; I love the simplicity and expressiveness of its stripped-back palette. I am entirely self-taught and so the first few years were spent experimenting with both ink and graphite, and a variety of subject matter. However, it was through drawing animals that my passion for graphite was firmly established and as time moved on, my love of depicting wildlife took over all other subjects.
My interest in wildlife began at a young age and was built upon through a sixteen-year career as a professional ecologist. With each drawing, I hope to highlight the magic of the animal subject though the detail and by using a monochrome palette, bring a different way of understanding and observing wildlife to the fore; I also seek to bring attention to those species that are struggling in terms of conservation status. It is a joy to get to know them on a whole different level through my artwork. The differences and similarities between species and individuals, the subtle variations in tone and texture, and the way that light catches the eyes, I find both humbling and fascinating when studied in detail.
As well as raising awareness of wildlife conservation issues through my artwork, I also use my drawings to fundraise for wildlife charities through the sale of prints and originals.
Charities supported to date include: Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, The Woodland Trust, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Australian WIRES emergency fund for wildlife affected by bushfires.
I also support the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation through my ‘Sketch for Wildlife’ series. You can find out more about this here.
Thank you – for all of your support to date, for looking through this website, for buying my artwork, commissioning me, and for the enthusiastic words that you send.
I also write short stories and novels. This has included authoring three children’s books to date. The first was published in 2013 and is a precursor to my current series, of which the first was published in December 2016. I am in the process of editing the second in the series.
Illustrations for the first book in the Ember Tor series can be found here.
You can find out more about the books via the following link www.embertor.com
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, shows and exhibitions have been cancelled — this includes Derbyshire Open Arts, which was to be held in May. You can find a collection of pieces that would have been exhibited this spring/summer via my Etsy shop and within the sections on my website here.