David Shepherd is regarded by many as being the world’s leading wildlife artist. Paintings such as Wild Old Elephant and Elephants at Amboseli have made him internationally famous and he feels passionately that he should repay his debt to wildlife. He has done so by raising huge funds for wildlife conservation and subsequently setting up The David Shepherd Wildlife Charitable Foundation.
David is renowned for his landscape paintings and his portraits, as well as his wildlife paintings. In 1969 he was commissioned to paint Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. David has a permanent backlog of commissioned work and his exhibitions in London, the United States and South Africa have all sold out quickly.
In 1971 he was awarded an Honorary Degree in Fine Arts by the Pratt Institute in New York and, in 1973, the Order of the Golden Ark by HRH The Prince of The Netherlands for his services to conservation. He was made a Member of Honour of the World Wide Fund for Nature in 1979 and in the same year Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II presented him with the Order of the British Empire for his services to wildlife conservation. In 1986 David was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and in 1988, President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia awarded him with the Order of Distinguished Service. In 2008 he revisited Buckingham Palace to receive his CBE.
Shepherd had his first one-man show at the Tryon Gallery 1962, followed by a show in 1965, 1971, 1978, 1985, 1991 and most recently a hugely successful show here in 2005.
David Shepherd CBE (b. 1931)
Dews’s love affair with art and the sea began at the age of 5, when he had a picture of a ship displayed on the wall at St John’s Infant School. He inherited his passion for ships and the sea from his grandfather, who was an Assistant Harbour Master in Hull. Dews built up an astonishing portfolio for his first exhibition in 1976 and, on the exhibition’s first night, virtually his entire collection was sold. The following year he held an exhibition in San Francisco which also sold out to great critical acclaim and, since then, Steven Dews has continued exhibiting regularly through the gallery and his agent and director of the gallery Oliver Swann.
Steven Dews is a highly experienced yachtsman who brings his knowledge to the composition and detail of his paintings. This, together with a mastery of technique to capture wind, sea and sky has raised his work to be so very highly prized amongst collectors. The Marine Board of N.S.W. commissioned from him a record of the Australian Bicentennial Celebrations, and in 1994 the New York Yacht Club chose him to record their 150th Birthday Regatta at Newport, R.I. Many owners from around the world have commissioned portraits of their favourite yachts. The Royal Yacht Squadron commissioned Dews to paint a record of the 2001 America’s Cup Jubilee Regatta.
J. Steven Dews (b.1949)
Renowned for his exquisite marine paintings, Norman Wilkinson’s time living with his mother at Southsea looking out to the Solent was where his passion for ships and the sea, and to be in artist, was first realised. After a period spent studying at Portsmouth School of Art and under Louis Grier at St Ives, Wilkinson made several voyages in coastal colliers before settling in London to work as an illustrator.
In 1915 Wilkinson got a commission in the Royal Naval Reserve and it was during his time as a commander of a patrol boat that he raised the idea of dazzle-painting ships as a tactic of confusing the aim of German gunners – a practice that was largely adopted by both the naval and merchant fleets. His interest in aeroplanes led to Wilkinson being appointed inspector of camouflage with the rank of Air Commodore when the Second Wold War broke out. In addition to his war time camoufleur work, Wilkinson was also one of the best known poster designers for shipping and railway companies.
Alongside his reputation as a marine artist, Wilkinson flourished in his career as a painter of river and fishing scenes – both in oils and watercolour. Painted with admirable accuracy these paintings record most of the notable pools and stretches of rivers in the UK.
In 1906, Wilkinson was elected to the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours (RI). He was made Honorable Marine Painter to the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1919. He was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Society of Marine Artists, and Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours. He was appointed a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1948.
The Tryon Gallery exhibited his work almost every alternate year between 1961 and 1974 and he has continued to be represented in both our marine and fishing exhibitions over the years.
Norman Wilkinson C.B.E., S.M.A., P.R.W.S., R.I. (1878-1971)
The son of the explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott and the sculptor Kathleen Scott, Peter Scott was one of the most versatile Englishmen of his generation, being an accomplished artist, naturalist, international sportsman, conservationist and man of action.
He started to paint geese and ducks while an undergraduate at Cambridge and then served with RNVR in the Second World War, where he was awarded the DSC and Bar and was thrice Mentioned in Dispatches. In 1946 he formed the Severn Wildfowl Trust, which was responsible, among others achievements, for the rescue from extinction of the Hawaiian Goose. He went on to become chairman of International WWF and subsequently of the Fauna Preservation Society.
Scott won a bronze medal for single-handed sailing at the 1936 Olympic Games and was British Gliding Champion in 1963. His paintings concentrate on ships, the sea and wildfowl and among the many books which he wrote and illustrated are 'Morning Flight'(1935), 'Wild Chorus' (1938) and 'The Eye of the Wind' (1961).
Sir Peter Markham Scott CH, CBE, DSC (1909-1989)
Rodger McPhail, son of a Scottish father and a Lancastrian mother, has always lived in Lancashire. After leaving school he studied for three years at the Liverpool School of Art. In 1975 he travelled to Spain to undertake a series of partridge shooting commissions and in 1977 he made the first of his visits to the US to paint commissions of shooting scenes in South Carolina and Georgia.
He has for many years been acknowledged as the country's leading sporting and wildlife artist. He is to wild animals and birds what Susan Crawford is to horses and camels – in a class of his own, the automatic first choice for anyone wanting book illustrated, a front cover, or even a postage stamp. He is also a highly competent portraitist and much in demand as a cartoonist. Many of his pictures have been reproduced as limited edition prints and in addition he has illustrated several books. In 1986 the Tryon published his book 'Open Season', which has been highly successful, and this was followed in 1990 by 'Fishing Season'.
McPhail will modestly say he took to painting because he was no good at anything else. His extraordinary versatile talent was recognised early by Tony Jackson, then editor of the Shooting Times, who introduced him to The Hon Aylmer Tryon of the eponymous gallery. He regards the Dutch artist, Rien Poortvliet, as his greatest mentor and has high regard for the work of the Dane, Bruno Lillefors, and Frank Southgate among many others. Although he makes frequent use of his camera and other references, he has an inimitable style which is all his own, and also the ability to work quickly and accurately with a wonderful photographic memory. In his early days McPhail was criticised for being too photographic and recording wingbeats which the human eye could never store by itself. No such criticism is ever heard nowadays.
Since his first solo exhibition at the Tryon Gallery in 1977, Rodger McPhail has had continuous success, with his most recent exhibition held at the gallery to celebrate his 60th birthday in 2013.
Rodger McPhail (b. 1953)