Greg Poole (1960-2018)

Greg Poole was a wildlife artist who drew from memory and feel rather than than from traditional realism.  The latter is often the accepted way of drawing animals.  Instead Poole practised a “subjective realism”, drawing his subjects as they were and as he experienced them.  He found art to be “the only release for what nature stirred in him” (Tim Dee).  He was trained as a zoologist but found himself overwhelmed by what he experienced during his field trips.

“I was with one other ornithologist (in the Canadian arctic) … hundreds of miles from the nearest people… Icebergs offshore, caribou migrating, arctic fox on the neighbouring ridge and all kinds of exotic birds in this near 24-hour clear light.  It was sensory overload and I did not know what to do with it.. I made the resolution to find a way of expressing what I was seeing as soon as I returned to Britain.”

Sadly Poole died far too young.  Read his obituary:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/11/greg-poole-obituary

 

I was so interested to find this article because I also draw and make art from feeling and experience, and particularly horses are a thrilling subject for me. But so often the custom is to honour the animal with a very precise drawing or painting.  This obviously is how some people prefer to work, but I agree with Greg Poole that it is the sensory and energetic impression and the essence that is vital.