The Natural Eye 2019

Eiders by Chris Rose SWLA

The Natural Eye, the annual exhibition of the SWLA is open from Thursday 24th October to Sunday 3rd November 2019 10am to 5pm (closes at 1pm on final day).

The exhibition has over 370 catalogued works including paintings, drawings, original prints and sculpture.  To see a selection of work available to buy please click here.

There will be a display of work from a recent artists’ residency to the Wadden Sea region of Denmark. The eleven SWLA artists spent a week looking at this key habitat and UNESCO World Heritage site, the resulting sketches and fieldwork will be in the Out of the Frame room in the North Galleries. In addition there will be field work from four recipients of the John Busby Seabird Drawing course bursary and two other bursary displays from artist’s individual projects.

Most days an SWLA artist will be in the galleries to talk to visitors. On Thursday 24th there will be a painting demonstration by Richard Allen SWLA and a sculpture demonstration by Simon Griffiths SWLA.

High Tide Lapwings by Richard Allen SWLA

Kestrel by Simon Griffiths ASWLA


There is a portfolio day on Thursday 24th October, so that artists inspired by the natural world can bring sketchbooks and examples of their work for advice and comment from senior artists attending that day. No appointment necessary.

Meet the Artists Stewarding Rota

Thursday 24th October- Kittie Jones, Julia Manning, Harriet Mead, Chris Rose
Friday 25th October Max Angus
Saturday 26th October – Peter Partington
Sunday 27th October – Richard Jarvis
Tuesday 29th October – Carry Akroyd, Harriet Mead (afternoon)
Thursday 31st October – Brin Edwards
Saturday 2nd November- Bob Greenhalf


Spoon backed Egret by Harriet Mead PSWLA

Ptarmigan pastel by John Threlfall SWLA


Red Deer Stags by Nick Bibby



Open Submission for The Natural Eye 2019

Ptarmigan    pastel by John Threlfall SWLA

Submissions for our annual exhibition close at noon on Friday 26th July. The selection committee are looking for outstanding and exciting works inspired by the natural world that capture the essence of the subject. Works can be drawings, paintings, original prints, mixed media including digital paintings (see submission rules for more details) and sculpture.

The Natural Eye showcases over 400 works in the prestigious Mall Galleries in central London in October each year. There are several valuable awards and prizes for accepted works and the exhibition attracts a wide range of visitors and collectors.

The selection committee have created some guidelines to help with the submissions procedure, please click here to view them and find out more about how to submit.

Wild Wings over Lonely Shores exhibition of Robert Greenhalf works 7-29 June 2019

“In this exhibition, “Wild Wings over Lonely Shores”, I have brought together paintings and original prints of the birds and landscapes that I have encountered on my frequent visits to our coastline. There are the wild flat expanses of shore and marshes abounding with wildfowl and waders, then there are the sea cliffs and islands teeming with nesting seabirds and even a few forays into the hills and moors, though never far from the coast. It is in these wildly beautiful and often lonely places that I most often find my inspiration.” writes Robert Greenhalf of his forthcoming exhibition at the Castle Gallery, Inverness.

Razorbills      Woodcut by Robert Greenhalf

For Robert, drawing in his sketchbook is the essential prelude to the finished work. This is about information gathering and getting to know the subject and its habitat intimately and for him there is no substitute for spending time observing and drawing. He says “Spend a couple of hours or so with your subject and you will certainly know a lot more about it than if you had merely “snapped” it with your camera and moved on. As a result his paintings and woodcuts have a lively spontaneity and authenticity.

The Castle Gallery is open Monday- Saturday 9.00 –5.00

For further information and high resolutions images please contact:

Denise Collins, Director, Castle Gallery, 43 Castle Street, Inverness  IV2 3DU.   Te.l  01463 729512          E.


Puffin Pair     Oil by Robert Greenhalf

Over Land and Sea

This exhibition at the Donald Watson Gallery ,Scottish Ornithologists’ Club Aberlady shows work from four SWLA artists- Danial Cole, Simon Griffiths, Darren Rees and Tim Wootton. It runs from 25th May to 3rd July.

Tawny Owl by Simon Griffiths

Simon Griffiths will be doing a sculpture demonstartion between 2 and 4 on May 25th.

Daniel Cole

Tim Wootton

Darren Rees

Donations in memory of Greg Poole

Greg Poole was an inspirational artist and member of the Society. His passion for the natural world shone out in his work but he also used his skills and energy to help other artists. He was a key tutor on the John Busby Seabird Drawing Course where he helped many artists, young and old, to connect with working directly from life.  His family have asked for donations in his name to go towards the John Busby Seabird Course SWLA Bursaries or other opportunities that the Society can offer to encourage artists to work in the field and expand their practice.

To make a donation please click here

or send a cheque made out to The Society of Wildlife Artists to

SWLA Treasurer, c/o 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1 5BD


Leopard and Carmine Bee-eaters

Greg Poole 1960-2018

The Society of Wildlife Artists is deeply saddened to share the news of the untimely death of artist and SWLA member Greg Poole.

Greg was a distinctive artist and a unique character. He epitomised what it is to be a wildlife artist in the world today – an exceptional naturalist who was able to find equal interest and inspiration from the big game of the African plains and the local insects watched and recorded on his Bristol allotment. Most importantly he translated these experiences into unique works that combined a strong sense of composition and drawing, with a playful approach to the paper edge and a strong sense of rhythm across the surface. Anyone who had the privilege of witnessing Greg work will have seen him sitting and looking for a long time before making swift, calligraphic marks on paper often turned away from the subject matter but ‘with senses still full of the place, hearing birds, smelling the vegetation, feeling the wind or sun and starting to paint’. His field sketches combine a deep understanding of the creatures he is depicting with evocative, sparse descriptions of their habitat and occasional scribbled notes about behaviour. They are often works in their own right as well as serving as starting points for the relief prints and monotypes for which he is best known.

Leopard and Carmine Bee-eaters

Greg originally studied Zoology at Cardiff University and it was on a field trip soon after graduating that he had an experience which changed his priorities and turned him towards becoming an artist.

‘I was with one other ornithologist, in a tent on a beach ridge 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 a sensory overload and I didn’t know what to do with it. Some of the time having to retreat into the tent. I made the resolution to find a way of expressing what I was seeing as soon as I returned to Britain.’


After this he sought out a year on a Foundation course at Manchester Polytechnic which gave him the tools to begin to establish himself as an artist and illustrator with a strong focus on the natural world.

Greg first exhibited with the Society in 1991 and was elected a member two years later in 1993 – he served on the Council a number of times and was an active member. Greg took part in many of the projects and residencies over the years, including Aig an Oir and BTO Flight Lines in Senegal and more recently the Turkish Sweet Gum project, Wallasea Island and Kingcombe projects. Among other accolades Greg received the RSPB Art Award for a piece he made in response the Wallasea Project in Essex and was awarded the Birdscapes Gallery Printmaker’s prize.

Short-eared Owl Flying near Diggers

RSPB Award 2015       Greg Poole Short-eared Owl Flying near Diggers

Greg was a natural teacher, he was generous with his energy and had a reputation for his insightful and honest feedback. He joined the John Busby Seabird Drawing course as a tutor in 1996, working alongside his good friend and long-time collaborator David Measures amongst others. Through this he was able to introduce a number of new field artists to the Society who he has championed and mentored in recent years.

Gannets, Bass Rock

A committed conservationist, Greg gained enormous pleasure in transforming his garden and adjoining allotment into a wild flower meadow which he dedicated much of his time to in the last few years.

Gatekeepers and Bees on Scabious

He had a wonderful capacity for knowledge and could also ‘see’ the relationships between plants, birds, animals, insects and human activity in landscapes – these elements were frequently combined in his creative output.

Women Walking & Turacos

Greg was born in Bristol in 1960 and died on 28th December 2018 after complications from a heart attack.

The SWLA will be collecting funds in Greg’s name for suitable bursaries such as places on the John Busby Seabird Drawing Course. Details of how to donate will are at the top of this page.

Oystercatchers, Starlings & Dunlin