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John Seerey-Lester

by on August 13, 2013

John Seerey-Lester was born in Manchester, England

World-renowned artist John Seerey-Lester was born in Manchester, England, where he grew up with a sketch book in hand. Receiving his first commission at the early age of 13, John became a professional artist in 1974. For some ten years prior to this, John was a journalist, freelance writer, editor of several magazines and worked in advertising and public relations in both the private sector and local government in the UK.

It was in 1980, after making his first trip to East Africa, that John began painting images of the natural world. His respect for the work of fellow English artist, David Shepherd, heavily influenced his decision to travel to Africa and paint wildlife. This became a turning point in his career.

In 1982 John moved to the United States. Demand for his original works has become stronger each year.

John’s images have a mysterious and mystical appeal, directly related to his ability to paint the unusual.

With his personal ambition for first-hand experience, it’s easy for students to realize his acumen for capturing mood and anatomical accuracy.

John has received many awards and much recognition for his outstanding achievements in the field of wildlife art. He was presented to His Royal Highness Prince Phillip and was commended for his work in conservation. He has been chosen to exhibit works in the prestigious Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s “Birds in Art” and “Wildlife: An Artist’s View” shows each year since 1983, and his paintings are in their permanent collection. He has also displayed in several other museums such as the Gilcrease Museum , the National Museum of Wildlife Art, and in many other permanent collections such as Bennington Center for the Arts and Nature in Art Museum. He is a member of Oil Painters of America, Artists For Conservation, and was the Artist of the Year at the Southeastern Wildlife Expo in Charleston for 2004.

John has traveled all over the world in search of the magnificent wildlife he portrays on canvas. He prefers to paint only wildlife subjects he has seen first hand. He has traveled to most parts of Canada, Alaska, China, Africa, Antarctica, South and Central America, India and Nepal.

A book on his life and work was published by Mill Pond Press and released in 1991. The book, Face to Face with Nature: The Art of John Seerey-Lester, sold out in 1995. A second book titled Impressions of India and Nepal, based on his fieldwork there, was published soon after. His latest book, Painting Wildlife with John Seerey-Lester, was released early this year and is available through all good bookshops, galleries and directly from John Seerey-Lester.

As well as being widely regarded as an artist, John is an excellent teacher and has taught at Disney Animation studios. John’s workshops and Master Classes have become a success because he not only teaches students in a classroom setting; he works with them in the field. As a teacher, he paints alongside students and allows them to learn directly from him. John has a way of taking neither his work nor himself too seriously; thus he conveys information in an interesting and sometimes humorous fashion. As one workshop student put it, “I’ve never learned so much, and simultaneously had so much fun, in all my educational experiences.”

John married fellow wildlife artist Suzie Zimos in January 2000.

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