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David Shepherd CBE OBE FRSA FGRA
(25 April 1931 - 19 September 2017)

david shepherd
Renowned artist recalls fond memories of Northern Ireland

FROM Royal portraits to gracing the walls of Del Boy's flat in Only Fools and Horses, artist David Shepherd has transcended barriers to become an artist known by everyone, whether you are an art connoisseur or someone who just likes a nice picture. It is almost certain that most people will know the work of the renowned wildlife artist and conservationist, whether it is simply to recognise his 'Wise Old Elephant' portrait that was proudly displayed in the Trotter's home in the famous sitcom.

shepherd anita harris David and Avril Shepherd with Lorraine Chase and Anita Harris at Hillsborough Castle .

However, David Shepherd, CBE, is so much more than one famous print. From working with Royalty to raising over £5 million through the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, he has a long and varied career.

The artist, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday, was keen to share memories of his career and of his previous visit to Northern Ireland when he stayed in the area last weekend. David spent time in Lisburn with local couple Derek and Victoria Gallop, when he was invited to be the guest of honour in Hillsborough Castle at a lunch to mark the Duke of Edinburgh's 90th birthday.

Whilst he was here David, who is also known for his paintings of railways and aircraft, took time to launch his new book, The David Shepherd Archive Collection, in the James Wray Gallery, Belfast last Saturday. The exquisite large format book is stitched and hand-bound in English vellum and leather and has been published to celebrate David's 80th Birthday in April. The collection, which is strictly limited to 1,000 copies each numbered and signed by David, will see money from each sale donated to the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.

David's visit brought back memories of his previous stay in Northern Ireland. Speaking at his book launch he said: "I was here forty years ago painting the army. People said to me, 'Why have you come here?' I just said, 'Why not? It's no different than Stoke-on-Trent or somewhere' and they would say, 'Yes, except we're busy killing each other'. I think the humour here is wonderful. I always think that when you fly somewhere you are going abroad, but I think the British here are more patriotic than we are across the pond." David said his visit to Hillsborough Castle to celebrate Prince Philip's 90th birthday was "marvellous", adding: "I think I've had more to drink in the past two days than I have in years!"

Reminiscing about his career David said: "I bought a pair of painting trousers at a market, I could have gone to Harrods and paid a fortune, but I bought them at a market 30 years ago, and as I paint I wipe my brush on my right leg. I remember painting a portrait of the Queen Mother at Clarence House and she looked at me and said, 'That's an interesting colour combination you've got.' I still use those trousers and they are so stiff from paint they all but stand up on their own."

shepherd stacey Heaney David Shepherd with Stacey Heaney.

He continued: "I remember when I was caught out by Michael Aspel for This is Your Life. It was filmed in front of a live audience and went through my entire life, and at the end as people were leaving this old lady walked out saying, 'You know, I love this show but I still have no idea who he is 'I have no idea what she was doing throughout the show, she must have been knitting."

David, who said he had been taught not to have a favourite painting, said he was also told that no painting was worthless and to never give up on it. However, he said there was one painting which defeated him - almost. He said: "I was painting a Lion with two Lionesses either side and I just couldn't get it. It wasn't really the male Lion, but the two Lionesses that I just couldn't get right, so I put it away in the attic. I had a visitor over from America who asked if I had any paintings they could buy and I didn't, but I suddenly remembered this painting of the Lion, so I went and got it, cut the Lion out of the middle of the canvas, rolled it up and he was incredibly happy. So if anyone wants a painting of two Lionesses with a big hole in the middle they are very welcome!"

David is very passionate about his conservation work, having even begun an 80th birthday appeal this year as he reached his own milestone. Speaking about the work of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation he said: "It really is critical, in two years we may have no Tigers. People say, 'You like Tigers more than children', but that is not the case. Think about the future, this affects us all. What will our children have in their future?"

David's organisation have recently purchased land where the Black Rhino is now free to roam for the first time in thirty years. One animal, however, remains close to his heart. "Every time I see an Elephant it is like seeing one for the first time," he said. It seems that David is still very much appreciative of that 'Wise Old Elephant'.

Biography of wildlife artist, David Shepherd, CBE, FRSA, FRGS, OBE.
Internationally recognized as the world's best wildlife artist. David Shepherd has at all times felt that he had a duty in the form of conservation towards the world and the animals that inhabit our planet. In his lifetime, David Shepherd has painted and drawn many pictures, and is able to share his many tales and experiences with people internationally, often talking at charity dinners and prestigeous social events. His persona lends itself naturally to this cause, as he is a most approachable down-to-earth fellow who enjoys sharing his pleasure of art and his concern over the diminishing wildlife throughout the world. In his early days, he was 'thrown' into the creative world purely by chance, as he wasn't particularly keen about other college activities.

David Shepherd in his studio
'David in his Studio.'

David Shepherd is commonly quoted as saying that upto his late teens his life was not very successful, as he always had an ambition to be a game warden in Africa. So after ending his schooling, David Shepherd left England with the concept of a career within the national parks of Africa. Unfortunately, he was promptly instructed that there was no place for him, and his childhood desires lay in ruins. Throughout school days, his foremost curiosity in art had been as a substitute for the compulsary games of rugby which left him with quite frightened.

Unable to understand what would possibly possess people to roll around a muddy rugby pitch and endure horrible injury, David Shepherd 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. David Shepherd started to paint pictures of birds, and by chance managed to sell seven pictures at ten pounds a canvas, which allowed him to pay for his ticket back to England on the Union Castle steamship.

When back in England he saw two possibilities of career for himself. Either David Shepherd could try to make it as an artist, or drive a bus. After careful thought he decided the bus driver choice was by far the safest bet, as it was well-known that almost all artists had little cash or prospects. His father helped at this level and urged that if he actually needed to develop his artistic skills, he would want some training.

David Shepherd set off to the Slade school of fine art in London with his bird picture, unfortuinately he was told that he had no artistic ability and that instructing him would be pointless. Driving a London bus was beginning to appear the extra likely possibility, until by complete coincidence, he met an artist called Robin Goodwin who was regarded as a highly skilled marine artist. He never worked with apprentices, but luckily for David Shepherd, he agreed to see some of his work. The very subsequent day David Shepherd arrived at Robin Goodwin's studio in Chelsea with his 'bird' painting, and to David's sheer amazement Robin Goodwin agreed to help him. It is because of this artist that David achieved the creative staus that he enjoys in the present day, and has at all times a feeling of deep gratitude for the help he acquired from Robin Goodwin.

'The Man who
loves giants.'


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 'Panting with David Shepherd, Unique Studio Secrets Revealed' was published in 2004

TV Documentaries
lunch break
'The Lunchbreak.'

'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'.

David Shepherd Awards.

Honorary Degree in Fine Arts by the Pratt Institute in New York.
The Order of the Golden Ark by HRH The Prince of The Netherlands for his services to conservation.
Member of Honour of the World Wide Fund for Nature
The Order of the British Empire for his services to wildlife conservation. O.B.E.
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia awarded him with the Order of Distinguished Service.
was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
Honorary Doctorate of Science of Hatfield Polytechnic (now the University of Hertfordshire) in 1990.
Officer (Brother) of the Order of St. John.
Granted the Freedom of the City of London.
Awarded a C.B.E. for services to charity and wildlife

The Artist and Conservationist today.
Constantly on the move, his work takes him tirelessly from one continent to another. Admired and respected by many, David Shepherd
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 on the move and enjoying his life to the fullest.
"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."
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 recently 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 the work of various wildlife projects throughout the world..

One website of great interest, to collectors of watercolour paintings, will be that of the internationally renowned artist Sir William Russell Flint,
his career as one of the world's finest watercolourists has made his work of tremendous investment potential,
and the wonderful paintings of his model Cecilia often depicted in the french countryside, is simply incredible.

Visit the studio in Nottinghamshire, or arrange a private viewing of prints or original paintings in your home.

We will endeavour to better any quote and give you the finest possible service
99.9% of signed, limited editions shown below are in stock, although we usually have only one print of each title
For prices and information please call us 01623 799 309 or email administrator@davidshepherd.com

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.

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david shepherd elephant

Signed, limited edition, prints and original paintings, drawings for sale.

Cornwater Fine Art specialises in David Shepherd paintings and limited edition prints.

30 years experience and a collection of hundreds of David Shepherd signed, limited edition prints

Studio open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
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administrator@davidshepherd.com phone England 01623 799 309 or mobile 07974 371 255 Visa All major credit/debit cards
We specialize in signed prints and original paintings and drawings by the world acclaimed artist L.S.Lowry.View here
The demand for his work has now reached record highs, and due to the relatively few signed limited edition prints available,
they are proving to be an excellent investment, much greater than any current banking investments.
We stock hundreds of this artist's signed limited edition prints and always a fine selection of his original watercolour paintings.view
Throughout his life Sir William Russell Flint has spent many years painting beautiful watercolour images of scenes in France,
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There are also a number of signed limited edition prints of paintings from Britanny, The Loire, Ardeche, Provence.
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His work has now become regarded as some of the finest watercolour paintings in the world.
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