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Biography of wildlife artist, David Shepherd, CBE, FRSA, FRGS, OBE.
Known as possibly the world's finest wildlife artist. David Shepherd having worked for many years as an artist across the world, His role as a conservationist is passionately believed, and he has always felt that he had a obligation to help conserve the world and the animals that we live amongst.
During his lifetime, David Shepherd has painted and drawn hundreds, if not thousands of images, and loves to talk to people of the many experiences he has had whilst travelling and painting throughout the world, often talking at charity dinners and other prestigeous social events. His personality is beautifully suited to this cause, as his easy going and straight forward attitude comes across well to express the love of art and his feelings for the ever decreasing wildlife in the world. As a young man, luck often deals its hand, and this was no exception, he wasn't particularly keen about other college activities.
David Shepherd is often heard explaining that during his ealier years his life was anything but successful, his main ambition was to be an African game warden. When his studying was done, David Shepherd left England with the hope of a life within the national parks of Africa. Sadly, these hopes were dashed in the first instance, and he was informed by the head game warden that there were no vacancies, his dreams were in tatters. Throughout school days, his foremost curiosity in art had been as a substitute for the compulsary games of rugby which left him with a fear of dread.
Unable to understand what would possibly possess people to roll around a muddy rugby pitch and endure horrible injury, he took refuge in the faculty artwork department where he produced a hideous picture of some birds, which he brings along with him to this present day when public speaking.
After his dissappointment at not been given the chance to be part of Kenya's game warden neighborhood, he managed to find a job in a neighborhood resort on the coast working within the reception for one pound per week. He painted some images of birds, and luckily sold a few, to save enough money to return home on the only suitable form of transport at that time, a steam ship.
On arrival in England there appeared to be two choices for his career. 1) He could possibly become an artist, or more likely, he could be a bus driver. Careful decision seemed to make the bus driving by far the less risky choice, as everyone knew that most artists had little money and even less prospects. It was at this time David Shepherd's father helped him, by encouraging him to seek some formal traing for his artistic leanings.
David Shepherd went for an interview to Slade school of fine art in London with his bird picture, and was promptly told that he had little artistic ability and that any lessons would be of little use. The bus driver idea was staring to look like the other option, then by shere chance, he met the highly skilled marine artist, Robin Goodwin. Unfortunately, Robin did not take on apprentices, but somehow David Shepherd became an exception to the rule, and he agreed to see some of David's work. Within twenty four hours, he arrived at Robin Goodwin's home in Chelsea with his 'bird' painting, and to his absolute delight Robin Goodwin agreed to teach him. It is because due to the teachings of this artist that David was able to show his true talent, and has at all times a feeling of deep gratitude for the help he was given by from Robin Goodwin.
David Shepherd's first autobiographical book 'The Man Who Loves Giants' was published in 1976 which very quickly became a best seller. This was revised and updated in 1989 as subsequent editions were published. A second book illustrating his love for steam trains was published in 1984 'A Brush With Steam' and in 1985 'The Man and his Paintings' was the first comprehensive book showing a complete spectrum of David's work. 'An Artist in Conservation' was released in 1992 which illustrated some of Mr Shepherd's finest paintings. 'My Painting Life' and 'Only One World' were published in 1995 'Painting with David Shepherd, Unique Studio Secrets Revealed' was published in 2004TV Documentaries
'The Man Who Loved Giants' was the title for this film of David Shepherd's life story produced in 1972 by the late James Stewart.
The documentary was shown worldwide.
'The Last Train to Mulobezi' tells an exciting story of the survival of an ancient locomotive and railway coach from the Zambezi
Sawmills Railway and their 12,000 mile journey back to England.
The train was given as a gift by Dr Kenneth Kaunda, the President of Zambia, and after raising enough money
through the sale of paintings in USA. A helicopter was bought and given to Zambia to help prevent poaching.
Thames TV produced a series of six half hour programmes titled 'In Search of Wildlife'
Illustrating the plight of endangered mammals throughout the world. These were later broadcast in the USA.
'Nature Watch' with Julian Pettifer began in 1990 and David Shepherd produced the first programme in the series.
Last but not least, David Shepherd has been the subject of the programme 'This is Your Life'.
The Artist and Conservationist today.
Tirelessly travelling, Mr Shepherd travels one part of the world to another. Admired and respected by many,
He is regarded as being the world's leading wildlife painter. His signed, limited edition prints can be seen in many homes
throughout the world and he is always busy and enjoying his life to the best of his abilty.
Having celebrated his 70th birthday on 25th April 2001 with a fundraising dinner at the Natural History Museum,
which raised over £100,000 for's wildlife projects.
He has last year celebrated his 80th birthday with another successful fundraising dinner at the Natural History Museum,
attended by a host of celebrities and many admirers of his work.
David Shepherd now lives with his wife Avril in Sussex. His four daughters who all share his passion for conservation
and are involved in David Shepherd's wildlife conservation work.
If you would like to visit the studio in Nottinghamshire, (Saturdays and Sundays are fine too) Please call 01623 799 309
We have a collection of over 500 signed limited edition prints and original paintings for sale.
A viewing can also be arranged at your home.