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In conversation with artist Annabel Pope

What’s the inspiration behind your unique style of art?

I grew up on a farm in Norfolk and from a young age have always loved exploring the outdoors and wildlife. My love for Africa was first ignited from an early age when I travelled there with my family and it has remained an important inspiration in my work.

I love to explore the close chemistry and behavioural characteristics of each species, which I believe has been instrumental in forming my style. Once I have seen the wildlife in their natural environment, I then decide which medium is the best way to represent it and whether on paper or canvas. I’m always keen to incorporate movement into my paintings and therefore tend to work with watercolour, charcoal and pen and wash, as I find I can be free and experimental with techniques.

Tell us a bit more about how you work and the process behind your paintings.

When I am abroad I take my sketch book and mostly work in charcoal, pen and watercolour. I do quick sketches and also have my camera to hand to capture those spontaneous moments.  If I am happy with the sketches and feel I have achieved what I was trying to capture, I will frame them and for those that don’t quite work, I use them as a stepping stone to then create a larger work when I am back in my London studio.

You have also recently launched a range of lampshades with designs you’re your paintings, do you have any other plans to expand you collection in the future?

I looked into lampshades as many friends and clients believed there would be a market and my images would work well.  It is also exciting to take one’s work into the home in a different format.   The lampshades have been exciting to launch and I’ve had fantastic feedback.  I am always having more ideas, so you never know!

What’s your advice for couples when choosing art for their new marital home?

To go for what they love, rather than thinking too much about where it is going to go – I find there is always a wall space somewhere!  Don’t be afraid of having different styles or subject matter on the same wall.

And for those thinking of giving a piece of art as a wedding present?

I think art is a lovely idea for a wedding present; I know, I would say that, but it is an original gift which a couple has forever.  Even if a couple haven’t been to Africa, I don’t think you can ever go wrong buying either an elephant or warthog painting which are animals with so much character.  It is a treat having work framed when buying, as it can go straight onto the wall too.

If you had to pick a favourite country which you have visited on your travels where would it be and why?

Africa as a whole I am passionate about. I have spent most of my time in Kenya over the years.   I have wonderful friends who I met when I first worked at Borana 16 years ago, and very much kept in touch every year.  I supply work to a number of lodges which hang on their walls, and sell prints for the shops too.  The wildlife is unbelievable and you get such variation in the unique landscape – there is inspiration for my work wherever I look.

For further information and to view more of Annabel’s art go to www.annabelpope.com

Annabel Pope being given a high five for her Masai dance routine