Eric Wilson is one of the world’s most talented wildlife artists. During the last 20 years, he has painted endangered animals in their natural habitats all over the globe using a variety of mediums, from oil paints to pastels.
Growing up in Scotland, Eric Wilson spent most of his childhood days roaming the highland mountains, where his love for nature and wildlife was born. He also displayed great artistic talent very early on, and in 1967 his art teacher confirmed “Eric has an artistic talent way beyond his years”. So you could say it was only natural that he would combine his his love of wildlife and passion for the arts to become a wildlife artist. Unlike many of his colleagues, who use photos as reference for their works, Eric has always believed observing the animals in their natural habitats with just the help of local guides was key to his art. Throughout the years, he has painted lions in South Africa, tigers in Nepal, clouded leopards in Thailand, rhinos in Zimbabwe, wolves in Alberta, chimpanzees in Burundi and even polar bears in the Canadian Arctic, always making sure he included all the correct flora and fauna to create a faithful depiction of the wild.
But Eric Wilson is not just an incredibly gifted wildlife artist. He is also passionate about conservation and is involved in work to save the tigers of India. He has donated several of his photo-realistic masterpieces to raise awareness about their plight and collect funds for wildlife conservation efforts. “If you paint wildlife for a living, the least you can do is give something back in return – in my lifetime 95 per cent of lions in Africa have been wiped out – mostly by humans and it is a tragedy,” the artist says.
Photos © Eric Wilson