Telephone England 01623 799 309
mobile 07974 371 255
Studio open 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week! Viewing by appointment.
England 01623 799 309 or 07974 371 255
© David Shepherd All major credit/debit cards accepted
David Shepherd started his painting career at school in Stowe, and persevered whilst trying to become a game warden in Africa.
It was not until he was taken on as an apprentice by a highly regarded professional artist, Robin Goodwin, that he was able to
concentrate fully on his work and begin to develop what was to become his unique style.
Most of David's work is painted in oil on canvas, apart from drawings and sketches of course. He prefers this medium to achieve
the rich depth of colour that is always present in his pictures.
David Shepherd has now become world famous for his art, and his paintings, regarded as some of the finest wildlife paintings in the world
can change hands for staggering amounts of money. His history throughout the art world and the many awards he has received has meant that
his paintings are now seen as one of the best financial investments available.
David Shepherd, CBE, FRSA, FRGS, OBE.
Known internationally as one of the world's leading wildlife artists, and also a passionate conservationist and he freely admits that he owes much success to the animals he paints. Prolific in output as a painter with a brimful of stories and anecdotes, he is an extrovert who enjoys talking, and enjoys being known as a natural promoter and an ardent ambassador for conservation; it's the way he is.
Explaining that he became an artist in childhood because he couldn't do anything else. "My life was a total disaster until I was 20 years old. My one and only ambition was to be a gamewarden, so when I'd finished my education, I went rushing out to Kenya with the incredibly arrogant idea that I was God's gift to the National Parks. It was a disaster. I knocked on the door of the Head Gamewarden in Nairobi and said, 'I'm here, can I be a game warden?' I was told I wasn't wanted. My life was in ruins; that was the end of my career in three seconds flat." "Up to that point, my only interest in art had been as an escape from the rugger field. The game was compulsory at school and I was terrified of it. I couldn't see any fun in being buried under heaps of bodies in the mud and having my face kicked in. I fled into the art department where it was more comfortable and painted the most unspeakably awful painting of birds."
Deflated and homesick, he took a job as a receptionist in a hotel on the Kenya coast; the salary was one pound a week. "So there I was at Malindi on the Kenya Coast in this hotel. I painted some more bird paintings on plasterboard, and I sold seven of them for £10 each to the culture-starved inhabitants of the town and paid my passage home to England on a Union Castle steamer." Arriving home, penniless, he had two choices,Mr Shepherd decided he could either become an artist or a bus driver. Since he suspected that most artists starved in garrets, life as a bus driver seemed the safer bet.
"But my dad was marvellous and said that if I really wanted to be an artist, I'd better get some training. The only school we knew anything about was The Slade School of Fine Art in London, so I sent them my first bird painting." The Slade, too, turned him down. He had no talent, they said, and he wasn't worth teaching. The bus driver position was looking more likely all the time, except for a 'chance meeting that changed my life'. At a London cocktail party, the young artist was introduced to Robin Goodwin. Robin was a professional painter who specialised in portraits and marine subjects. (considered to have been one of the finest marine painters of this century). He didn't and wouldn't take students, Robin told him, but he agreed to have a look at the work.
"The next day, I trotted up to the studio in Chelsea and a miracle happened. I showed him that very first bird picture, which I still have and, for reasons that I have never been able to understand, he decided to take me on. I owe all my success to that man. He is responsible for my being where I am today."
In October, 1995 , 'My Painting Life' and 'Only One World' were published and in 2004 his latest book, 'Painting with David Shepherd, His Unique Studio Secrets Revealed' was published.
Other documentaries for television have also been made, including 'Last Train to Mulobezi'; this film tells
the epic story of the rescue from the Zambezi Sawmills Railway
in Zambia of an ancient locomotive and railway coach and their 12,000 mile journey back to Britain.
These were presented as a gift by His Excellency, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, the then President of Zambia, after raising funds with other artists, (through an auction of seven paintings in the USA).
This enabled him to buy a helicopter, which he presented to the Government of Zambia for anti-poaching work.
In 1988 he made the series 'In Search of Wildlife' with Thames TV; a series of six half-hour films,
featuring endangered mammals throughout the world.
These have subsequently been shown in the United States of America on the Public Broadcasting Channel.
Also in 1990 he made the first programme in the annual series of 'Naturewatch' with Julian Pettifer; and has been the 'target' for 'This is Your Life'.
"I want to live to be 150. It will take that long to do everything I want to do. Unlike some people who perhaps lead a humdrum existence,
I run almost everywhere I go because I am so anxious to get on with the joy of what I am doing next."
Mr Shepherd celebrated his 70th birthday on 25th April 2001 with a fundraising dinner at the Natural History Museum
which made over £100,000 for wildlife projects.
His 80th birthday in 2011 is to be held at the same venue, and will be an exciting and fascinating evening with many celebrities
hopefully achieving record amounts for the protection of endangered animals and world conservation.
David Shepherd lives with his wife Avril in Sussex. His four daughters all share his passion for conservation and are involved
in the work of various wildlife projects throughout the world.
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 David Shepherd signed limited edition prints and original paintings for sale.
A viewing can also be arranged at your home.