Jeremy Paul: ‘Wildlife – An Artist’s View’

– Posted on Monday 2nd September 2013

Internationally acclaimed wildlife artist Dr Jeremy Paul will showcase highlights from a quarter of a century’s work as a professional artist in a new exhibition open at the Manx Museum from Saturday 14th September 2013 .

This stunning exhibition features paintings from Jeremy’s travels across the world including prize winning artworks from BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year and Wildscape Magazine’s Wildlife Artist of the Year.

A completely self-taught artist, Jeremy Paul works in acrylics, using his own photographs for reference and building his work in layers with under-painting and use of glazes for different effects. The development of skills which have turned this all too precarious existence into a career has come at the cost of thousands of hours of work and self-motivation on Jeremy’s part.  He has indeed earned his enviable worldwide reputation for accurate and sensitive representations of the natural world.

Jeremy did not set out to be an artist. His decision to try making a living out of art arose from a successful career in marine biology. An affinity with drawing and painting, present since childhood, was nurtured alongside his work as a marine scientist in Scotland and the Isle of Man. The realistic portrayals of animals in their environment that Jeremy is best known for today reflect a scientific attention to detail as well as an appreciation of the subtleties of light, textures and colours which create tone and atmosphere. He has said that he would not be an artist if he hadn’t been a marine biologist; the one goes with the other.

Scotland, particularly the west coast and Highlands, where Jeremy Paul spent much of his career as a marine biologist in the 1980s, provided both opportunity and inspiration for his art work. Wilderness and abundant wildlife motivated him to begin painting seriously, particularly during his time living on the Inner Hebridean island of Scalpay.

A two-year spell of unemployment in Kent gave Jeremy the time to develop his painting skills and his art began to sell. His first exhibition in Ashford public library proved to be successful, giving him the encouragement to continue painting, even as he moved back to Scotland for a job researching and developing shellfish farming.

In 1988 Jeremy moved back to the Isle of Man, where he had earlier spent four years completing his first degree and PhD. Over the years the Island’s wildlife has been a consistent source of subjects, from majestic settings for peregrine falcons to intimate studies of wrens. Having brought up his family here, Jeremy’s base continues to be at home in Colby, from where he produces artwork for exhibition locally and abroad.

Jeremy believes in seeing animals in their natural environment before depicting them. That way he can experience the nuances of light, landscape and behaviour that set his paintings apart. When opportunities arise, he travels to different parts of the world to observe and photograph native species.

Big cats have particularly captured his imagination: tigers in India, lions, leopards and cheetahs in Africa. Botswana, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Namibia have all drawn him back to the continent to take part in small safari expeditions to witness wildlife spectacles.

He has also been lucky enough to go to both the Arctic and the Antarctic regions for first hand experiences of fragile landscapes and the amazing wildlife adapted for survival there.

His incredible and unforgettable experiences while travelling to see wildlife have no doubt strengthened his determination to support its conservation. He is a Signature Member of ‘Artists for Conservation’ and has contributed paintings to ‘Art for Survival’ auctions at Christies in London on behalf of the David Shepherd Conservation Foundation.

Early visitors to the exhibition have the opportunity to purchase some of Jeremy’s latest work, with a special edition print, stamp collections and cards also available in the Manx Museum Shop.

The exhibition is on display at the Manx Museum until 4 January 2014 and is accompanied by a beautifully illustrated new book celebrating a quarter of a century of Dr Jeremy Paul’s work as a professional wildlife artist, published with kind support of Manx National Heritage and KPMG.

Jeremy will be on hand to sign copies of his new book at the newly refurbished Gallery Shop at the Manx Museum from 11am to midday on Saturday 14th September 2013.

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