We sold our Somerset home in August 2007 and after much searching we found a nineteenth century cottage with room for an indoor studio and an elevated patio area in the grounds, ideal for outdoor painting in the summer. Our cottage is in "Tarka" country between the Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks, and many of my paintings now feature the local livestock and wildlife. Thanks to our rural location there is no shortage of obliging models, including our neighbour’s chickens, while the nearby fields are home to a variety of cattle which being curious by nature often stop to watch us as we walk by with our dog.
I’m particularly fond of painting otters which are native to this area. We are close to RHS Rosemoor, which now has a pair of otters breeding in their lake, presumably having migrated from the nearby river Torridge. To me, otters have a lot in common with cats, another of my painting passions - they form lovely curving shapes whether they are swimming or at rest, and they have masses of whiskers which give them an appealing and inquisitive look. I am always inspired by the effects of light falling on a subject – I love the moods and atmosphere created by sunlight especially during late afternoon when the colours are warm and soft and the light suddenly catches an animal's coat and makes it glow.
As a member of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation I have helped raise funds for their TigerTime appeal with the sale of limited edition prints of my tiger cub painting “Look Don’t Touch”. I have also contributed original artwork to raise funds for the Appledore Lifeboats and for Macmillan Cancer Support whose Art4Macmillan auction in 2014 raised a total of £10,000.
Please click HERE to see Vivien's gallery.