The Artist - Lyn Wells M.Phil (RCA).
I have always been passionate about animals. I remember as a child, mithering my mother for a pet until finally....my first hamster!! 'Hammy' lived to a ripe old age (for a hamster!) and was the first of many animals that I loved and, of course, ultimately lost. She was followed by another hamster, mice, a rabbit, a dog and eventually a horse.
I was also passionate about art and spent many hours drawing both real and imaginary animals (Cocky-olly Birds were a big favourite!). Over the years I have developed my skills and still love to draw, paint, and create as much as I did then.
After leaving school I spent a few years working with horses both in the UK and in Germany, then worked in a printing co-operative in Manchester. I finally went back to 'school', studying Scientific (Natural History) Illustration at Blackpool and the Fylde College, with placements at Penscynor Wildlife Park in Wales, and at North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory in Orkney. I went on to graduate with a Master of Philosophy degree (M.Phil) in Natural History Illustration and Ecological Studies from the prestigious Royal College of Art (RCA) in London. My research looked at the role of natural history illustration in the study of animal behaviour and involved fieldwork in Cuba and Orkney - two such hugely different places but both fascinating and inspiring in their own ways. It allowed me to combine scientific study with art and it has been an amazing experience. I exhibited at the Royal College of Art Centennial Degree Show in 1996, winning the Daler Rowney Award for Natural History Illustration.
It was a childhood dream of mine to visit Africa and I have been lucky enough to carry out research work on mammals and birds in Morocco,Tanzania and Malawi, as well as visiting several other African countries during my travels.
I was brought up in the deep, dark south (Sussex and Essex!) and have gradually migrated ever northwards, stopping off in Manchester and finally settling in the Highlands of Scotland. I have lived here for over 17 years and am still amazed by its stunning landscapes. I share my life here with my husband (David) and two boisterous Border Terriers. We live near the Sutherland village of Pittentrail, fifty miles north of the city of Inverness. Much of the inspiration for my work comes from this amazing place.
When I am not painting or drawing animals, I spend some of my time working as a freelance ecological surveyor, carrying out surveys on European Protected Species (EPS), particularly Bats, Otter, and Wildcat (see Other Work). In addition I am a qualified dog training instructor and spend a lot of my spare time competing with one of my dogs in Agility......an addictive sport!