Wildlife Artist & Natural History Illustrator, Su Shimeld
As a child, I watched in fascination the animals, insects and birds around me. I adored wildlife and also thoroughly enjoyed drawing the plants and animals that I saw. Throughout the following years, my love of art and my concern for our fellow creatures has been unceasing.
Over the years, whilst sketching and studying my surroundings; I have also enjoyed using as reference the items collected whilst out walking. Feathers, leaves, discarded egg shells, skulls and bones are all included on my ‘nature-table’.
Self-taught and working from home, in 1989 I entered a Dorset Art Magazine art competition and was awarded First Prize for my ‘Dandie Dinmont Terrier’ pencil drawing. Concentrating on painting Wildlife and Pet Portraits, a year later I exhibited an artwork alongside many well known artists at the Mall Galleries in London, and exhibited in galleries in the South.
In 1989, I also moved to the Larmer Tree Gardens in the village of Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, and began to establish my reputation as a self-employed artist. The Larmer Tree Victorian Gardens, created by General Pitt Rivers in 1880, contain a wonderful collection of ornate buildings, majestic trees and intimate arbours. Situated in the middle of Cranborne Chase and surrounded by woodland walks and stunning scenery, I have always felt very privileged at being able to live and work in such beautiful surroundings.
After working as a self-taught artist for a number of years, I was delighted when, in 1994, I was accepted on a Natural History Illustration course at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design. Whenever possible during the course, I would incorporate my concern for endangered species within my artwork, and in 1998 graduated with an HND qualification in ‘Natural History Illustration’.
Whilst at college I practised using various mediums and different artistic approaches to painting. Life drawing lessons in particular gave me the confidence to express myself more freely, and is, I believe, an important exercise in the process of learning to draw.
Lectures on the History of Art, reading about the lives, travels and techniques of the old masters, as well as learning about modern day artists, opened a whole new world to me. The work of Constable, Monet, H.H. La Thangue and Durer are just a few of my favourites and I also very much admire the work of the internationally renowned wildlife artists: Ray Harris Ching, Robert Bateman and Carl Brenders.
My love of nature is reflected in my artwork; my choice of subjects is varied and my paintings and fine art prints can be found in private collections throughout the the world: including the U.K, United States, Indonesia, India, Saudia Arabia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, Africa, Germany and Sweden.
Capturing the character of each subject and using a variety of media including oil, pastel, pencil and gouache, my original artworks and illustrations are also available as greetings cards, fine art prints, bone china mugs, cushions and a variety of designer gifts.