Jenny Hartree - Wildlife Artist

Born in 1965, Jenny grew up in rural Surrey. A passion for the natural world, and an awareness of the damage being done to it by the human race, began at an early age and a need to know more about the wilderness areas and what was being done to preserve them was nurtured through photographic books and documentaries.

At school she continued to satisfy her hunger for knowledge of the animal kingdom by studying biology and through theory began to develop her artistic skills, creating highly detailed anatomical and botanical diagrams using pencil to produce depth and texture.

Her love of animals led her in two distinct directions; the field of equestrianism and to the start of a love affair with Africa. It was through horses that she first began to draw portraits, determined to reproduce the individual character of beloved animals for their owners, be they dogs, cats or horses, and over the following twelve years she became increasingly in demand for animal portraiture.

Her first trip to Africa in 1982 confirmed her love for its wildlife, and a burning desire to see more of the remaining unspoilt wilderness areas led to repeated safaris, visiting parks and reserves in eastern and southern countries. Her trips gave her first hand experience of this part of the natural world. She gained personal insight into the conflicts of nature and that of an increasing human population over a dwindling wilderness. Photography had become a serious interest early in her travels and the need to bring home treasured memories of animal interactions and stunning landscapes led to the building of an extensive library of photographs. Several of these have reached the semi-final and final round of the British Gas Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, and a portfolio of six shots was published in the collectors' edition of the Amateur Photographer magazine in December 2000.

It was through her photography that Jenny decided to concentrate her artistic skills on the wildlife that has brought her so many thrills, and spills. Her close encounters with charging elephants, lions and an over inquisitive hyena, merely spurred her on to recreate through her art the individuals she has got to know during repeated trips to specific reserves. Her background of portraiture has resulted in the most personal images of her subjects coming alive through the medium of pencil, the expression of each inviting the onlooker to come closer and get to know the individual, and the species.

Conserving the remaining natural wilderness is of supreme importance and it is through her drawings that Jenny hopes to bring awareness of the need to preserve these areas as the last sanctuaries for wildlife.