Ben Waddams is a British wildlife artist now living and working in Shropshire. Originally from the South East of England, Ben gained a First Class degree in Fine Art in 2006. As a boy, Ben’s grandmother, a watercolourist, introduced him to the Lake District and this area has always held a special fascination for him visiting several times a year to paint its array of natural history.
Further afield Ben has travelled extensively across Central America and Africa in search of exotic wildlife to paint. He and his wife run a charity in Tanzania and he travels out to the Great Rift Valley most years, always allowing time to sketch and paint its animals.
Ben has a great passion for his chosen subject and feels that in order to evolve from a decent artist to a great one he must know his subject intimately. Ben prepares for all paintings by studying the species in the wild, researching its habitat, even speaking to experts if necessary to truly understand his subject. Ben always works in oils and as well as painting British wildlife subjects, Ben also paints more exotic larger species native to Africa and Central America including studies of elephants, lions, tigers, hippos, giraffes, buffalos and chimpanzees to name but a few.
Ben paints moments in nature and his aim is for a painting to show a window into the natural world where the viewer plays no active role. He gives the impression and illusion of detail without actually painting the detail itself and his work is primarily concerned with animal behaviour and potential energy- that moment caught in time before life resumes.
Ben has built a reputation as an ambassador for conservation and is keen to raise awareness through his work -“my aim is that my paintings invoke a stirring in the minds of their audience and in turn my hope is that the audience themselves will be inspired to seek out and help protect the species depicted in my paintings and also this planet. Personally, I get great pleasure from looking at and studying the natural world, whether with a pair of binoculars, a pen or a paintbrush and, if I can helpfully communicate that pleasure to others through my paintings, then that is a tremendous reinforcement of that satisfaction for me. "
Ben was a finalist in the BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year competition in 2010 and is considered an expert on natural history and wildlife art .His original paintings are becoming very sought after and are in major collections all over the world.
An interview Ben did with Tom Harrison at Merefest.
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