Close Encounters Of The Furry Kind

WILDFOOT has partnered with the renowned wildlife artist Kerry Newell, who has travelled the globe capturing breathtaking images of wildlife, from tigers and wolves to whales and hummingbirds, before bringing them to life on the canvas.

She has also worked with another one of our partners, the Namibia-based AfriCat Foundation, the leading conservation organisation striving to protect the cheetahs and other big cats of Africa.

Kerry is also happy to paint commission pieces – one of her big-name clients has been Chris Packham, the well-known TV nature presenter.

Kerry writes a regular blog about her adventures meeting these animals and her creative process, which we are proud to share with you.

WILDFOOT provides a wide variety of itineraries to Namibia, which includes the majestic cheetahs of AfriCat. Click through to look at just one of the many itineraries that we have available, or call us to talk to one of our friendly staff team.


First and foremost may I take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Simon and John at Wildfoot for inviting me to become part of their online team, requesting the contribution of a monthly blog highlighting my ‘close encounters of the furry kind’, or to be more precise my challenges, happy accidents, thoughts and methodology that form the framework of my life as a professional wildlife artist.

Okay here goes –

Working from home as I do I’m always in a battle of ‘time-allocation awareness’ or to put it more bluntly ‘what to do next, when and where to do it and where on earth can I buy 72 hour days from…’. Yep juggling time is a daily task that we’re all aware of so I start my day with a caffeine-based breakfast and today was no exception.

blog-pic-1On Saturday (1st Oct) I was invited to be part of a ‘Culture & Community’ day at our local library here in Widnes, Cheshire. This event was a sure way in which I could exhibit and demonstrate to the general public, whilst publicising my work and networking at the same time (multi-tasking at it’s best). Well as the saying goes ‘best laid plans go to waste’, and although those that know me well would say they’re not surprised, the day resulted in my doing a lot more talking than demonstrating for visitors seemed more interested in seeing my completed paintings and hearing the stories behind the creation of each of them than in the creative process itself. Hence my Sumatran Tiger will have to wait his turn before finding himself on my studio easel … for the next few days anyway, but once begun I’ll be sure to post ‘work in progress’ images so that you can follow the creation of this painting in particular from start to finish.

With my most recent commissioned painting being completed just last Friday and collected on the same day by a very grateful very satisfied client, this week will see the start of my next private commission. A portrait of a much loved Welsh Collie. This booking was secured a couple of weeks ago and followed in quick succession by an array of 83 images from which my job was to initially compose an eye-catching composition whilst still maintaining the individual identity of the subject involved. This composition agreed on with the client I’m now looking forward to getting this one onto my easel this coming Thursday/Friday. As with the above Sumatran Tiger I’ll be sure to post images of this ‘work in progress’ as it evolves for those of you who may be interested in seeing the process from start to finish.

Now I’m not joking when requiring days with more than the allotted 24hrs as time really does seem to fly when your having fun so much so that ‘quality studio time’ feels more like time travel some days … And deliberately not having a clock in my studio becomes somewhat meaningless when you have the radio on as announcers seem to feel compelled to give you the time of day every 10 – 15 minutes. So with this in mind a couple of hours this morning spent on my wolves went by in the blink of an eye. For the next few weeks this painting will most certainly be worked alongside my latest commission for the first limited edition print from this painting has already been reserved and paid for … nothing like a little pressure to kick start you in the mornings.

I do have a few other paintings waiting in the wings so to speak, some that are nearly finished whilst others are initial sketches some with base coats applied. All of these will be worked in turn to completion but always with private commissions coming first … this can slow things down somewhat but I only have one pair of hands and the 72hr days still evade me.

So hoping that you now have a rough idea of who I am and an inkling of what I do I’ll ask you to time travel forward to the beginning of next week, Monday 10th October to be exact, to tie up and end today’s blog post:

For Monday 10th October is set to be an exciting day for me a I meet for a second time with the director and managers of Knowsley Safari Park after having been invited in to create from scratch a complete programme of art-based events there. This will be a huge undertaking for myself but one that I truly look forward to. Knowing that I hold the reigns for this project is a true privilege, and this my friends is an adventure that you can share with me right from the beginning …

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.

Looking forward to chatting with you all again soon.

Be blessed Kerry xXx