Animals and art have always played a large part in Vivien’s life, and following a move to the West Country in 1983 she decided to pursue a full time career as an artist. A contract with a top agent saw her work published nationally and internationally on a large variety of giftware products, including greeting cards.
“Animals have always been an important inspiration for my work”, says Vivien, “especially my own cats and dogs”.
Many of Vivien’s paintings are commissioned portraits of her clients’ beloved animals.Probably the most unusual painting was of a cheetah called Claudia, who had been rescued and adopted by a kind hearted couple after being shot by poachers in Tanzania.
Vivien says, “I like to be able to read the expression in an animal’s eyes so that I can capture its character in the painting. I mainly work in hard and soft pastels, which enable me to render the texture of fur exactly as I feel it should look. I sometimes also work in oils, although I prefer pastels, as they lend themselves more easily to reproducing fur textures.
Vivien lives in a small village within sight of Exmoor National Park, and many of her portraits feature the livestock of the pastoral country of North Devon, as well as the wildlife of the wooded river valleys and upland heath of Exmoor itself.