From 1985 to 1995, Tony worked in advertising and publishing as a commercial illustrator. Inspired by the African wildlife paintings of Wilhem Kuhnert, Tony took his first trip to Africa in 1995 and his first step towards a career as a wildlife artist.
After many trips to South Africa since 1998 he has become firm friends with Carl Olen the Head Ranger of the Kapama Game Reserve. They have worked closely together where Carl has drawn on his years of knowledge and experience with animals and his tracking skills to help Tony get the references he has been looking for.
Of his own work Tony says “I have always had a love for nature and animals, which is why I try to paint wildlife as it is, as naturally as possible and aim to portray the mood and atmosphere of the moment in my paintings. I like to use contrasting lighting and colours to create a glowing vibrancy. Whilst keeping my work realistic and quite photographic, I try to keep a certain freshness and unlaboured feel to each image with easy flowing and minimal brush work”.
Constantly travelling extensively throughout Africa, America, Europe, Kenya and parts of Tanzania, Tony works from his home using sketches, notes and photographs to produce his highly finished paintings.
Tony has recently made an exciting an innovative departure from his wildlife oeuvre and had embarked upon a series of life studies. This time the human figure is the object of his attention and particularly the female form.
This painting is number three in the series and displays all Tony's virtuosity in capturing the form and texture of this attractive model who is bathed in a warm raking light.
Whilst this work is executed with great attention to detail bringing it in to the realms of 'hypo-realism' (which has succeeded 'photo-realism' of the seventies and eighties) there is without doubt in its dramatic lighting effect, homage to the 'Caravagesque'.
Tony has recently made his transition from paintings to bronzes showing his natural ability to work within the different mediums of art.
Tony himself says:
“Producing my first wildlife sculpture has been a very enjoyable and exciting challenge for me.
“In my paintings I have always tried to capture detail and realism and I wanted to translate this into my sculpture, hoping that the two would compliment each other. Sculpture has required a greater understanding of anatomy and movement and has pushed me into an intimate study of my subject.
“I hope that the new perspective this brings reflects on my paintings and sculpture alike and pushes both to new heights”.
Of Venice Tony says:
“My first trip to Venice began as a 10th Anniversary celebration with my wife. Whilst I have never had any great desire to paint anything architectural I could not pass up the opportunity without taking my sketch book and camera.
“The beauty of Venice surpassed all my expectations and I could understand why the great artists of the past were so inspired by it.
“With the tranquillity of the canals and the Gondolas moving silently through them and the shafts of light illuminating the decaying buildings I had fallen in love with the city and I had to paint it!”