In brief, after many years working in retail I changed direction in order to pursue my love for art and nature and literally carve out a career as a wildlife artist.
I specialise in linocut prints - predominantly wild birds - and it is these that you will find for sale here at my website. Winning the NEWA best print maker award and being selected to exhibit at London’s prestigious Mall Galleries reassured me during those uncertain, earlier years, that my career change was the right thing to do.
Time for a change... 2015 was a big year for me. I finally gave up a perfectly serviceable day job to turn my wholehearted and undiluted energies into combining my two big passions, nature and art, for hopeful financial gain. Or at least a modest living and a large dollop of job satisfaction.
When I look back, it is clear that this urge has been trapped inside me far longer than I care to think. It was the mesmerising illustrations of Charles Tunnicliffe R.A. that first drew me in. My parents had a terrific set of Ladybird nature books 'What to look for in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter' detailing the breadth and diversity of wildlife that could be witnessed all through the four seasons of the year if only you knew where and when to look. His watercolours were breathtaking. These, along with the covers of the RSPB ‘Birds’ magazine painted and printed by many accomplished wildlife artists such as Robert Gillmor and Eric Ennion led me in. I was hooked.
In the times between that wonderful early discovery and the present day I haven't been completely commercially idle. Over the years a selection of my submitted illustrations have appeared in publications by the RSPB and Collins. However, it has been an increasingly burning ambition of mine to take on this ultimate challenge of drawing as a way of life. And now I have...
As an art hungry youngster I produced a lot of detailed pen and ink work. I can see that some of my approach to that technique has remained firmly in my DNA and is now evident in my linocut prints.
All my design inspiration stems from many, many hours of (happy) field sketching and direct observation. These scribbles are either lifted straight from the sketchbook or form the starting point for creating a pleasing composition. The prints are produced on a small Tofko press housed in my 'busy' spare room. They are either printed in oil based ink and then tinted with watercolour or I have more recently begun producing reduction prints and am now starting to dabble in screen printing - watch this space.
My 'eureka re-discovery' of linocut happened when attending a workshop at The Mall Galleries during the annual Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) Natural Eye exhibition about six years ago. The following year I submitted my first prints into the SWLA exhibition and was delighted when these were selected for the show. I was even more proud in 2019 when I was elected as a full member of the SWLA. I'm in very illustrious and I have to say quite humbling company. But this will definitely keep me on my toes.
A couple of years ago my local gallery, The Alfred East Art Gallery in Kettering, Northamptonshire, hosted my very first solo exhibition. For any hopeful artist this a big moment. It was a lovely venue and felt like quite a notch on my career ladder! In addition I have enjoyed a couple of stints as 'Artist in Residence' at Kingcombe in Gloucestershire where I was photographed and featured in 'The Countryman' magazine. I gleefully accepted when asked to participate in the 'the Elegant Fowl' and 'Artful Hare' art book projects by Alan Marshall, which I thoroughly recommend - though not exclusively for that reason - as they feature some most wonderful talent and variety of artistic styles.
In signing off here I must put in a mention for the workshops I now run to help introduce others to the linocut print making technique. See my Workshops page for more information. It's great fun. If you'd like to have a go you will definitely discover some talent you may not know you even had!
And finally, please do have a look at my print gallery. I hope that you will find something there that you like. And feel free to get in touch if you would like to commission a piece of artwork, ask a question or even just to say 'hello'.
Just some of the people and places that have been most helpful to me along the way. I thank them all for their kind and continued assistance:
Painter & Printmaker
LEICESTER PRINT WORKSHOP
Society of Wildlife Artists
RICHARD JARVIS WILDLIFE ARTIST AND PRINT MAKER
All illustrations and content ©2020 Richard Jarvis. No reproduction without prior consent. All rights reserved.
MEMBER OF THE SOCIETY OF WILDLIFE ARTISTS