New work

 
Tigers - Cat Passion

Tigers - Cat Passion

 
Tigers - Cat Passion

Tigers - Cat Passion

 
Cat Passion

Cat Passion

Lioness Hunting Antelope

Lioness Hunting Antelope

 

After so many paintings of the Hunt, with its speed and violence, I wanted to paint a total contrast of mood evoking a scene of peace, stillness and mother love. Lions are both passionate and loving and form strong bonds with each other - and, on occasions, with humans too!

Lioness and her Cub

Lioness and her Cub


AT PLAY; WILD DOGS - PAINTED WOLVES


These pretty and colourful wild dogs hunt in packs. They are highly social and work and play together.

At Play - Wild Dogs

At Play - Wild Dogs


CHEETAHS


In Hot Pursuit

In Hot Pursuit

 
Powering Over The Plains

Powering Over The Plains

 
In Hot Pursuit 2

In Hot Pursuit 2

 
The Speed of Light

The Speed of Light

 
The Speed of Light 2

The Speed of Light 2

 

Bandit at the Gallop

Bandit at the Gallop

 

THE CHASE


I have been doing a series of Cheetah studies - drawings and watercolours. What cheetahs do best is to run - at speed! 

I have done a group of half a dozen drawings of cheetahs breaking the speed limit.  And here, on my website, are also my four latest watercolours of Cheetahs pursuing prey - both Thomson Gazelles and Impala

Both cheetahs and gazelles share an exquisite grace and beauty, and both predator and prey run, leap twist and turn, faster and more beautifully than any other animals on the planet, as they engage in a dance of death. 

These four paintings are studies of cats and gazelles at their extremes: the one hungry, possibly to feed her cubs, the other desperate to save its life. It is a fascinating paradox of horror and beauty to behold.

These studies have given me the opportunity to delve further into how to visually express the emotion aroused when we become excited by speed. And speed combined with agility and grace is particularly wondrous and captivating. I, like all artists from the beginnings of photography, have been influenced by the revelations of the camera, but I seek to go further still than what the camera can tell us about speed. I try to capture the  'force lines' and 'energy arcs' that underlie a burst of thrilling speed. It is an endless, hugely satisfying challenge.

Cheetah tripping a Thomsons Gazelle  h. 10.25" (26cms) w. 22" (56cms)

Cheetah tripping a Thomsons Gazelle
h. 10.25" (26cms)
w. 22" (56cms)

 
Cheetah closing in on Impala  h. 13" (33cms) w. 22" (56cms)

Cheetah closing in on Impala
h. 13" (33cms)
w. 22" (56cms)

 
Cheetah leaping for Impala  w. 13" (33cms) w. 22" (56cms)

Cheetah leaping for Impala
w. 13" (33cms)
w. 22" (56cms)

 

Twisting and Turning - Cheetah pursuing young Thomsons Gazelle
h. 12.75"
w. 22" (56 cms)

 
 

LION


I made this painting in watercolour to start with. But I realised that, only in oils, could the full power and strength of the male Lion be expressed. The colours would need to be strong and vivid to match his majesty. So, I began again in oils with, hopefully, good results. I am quite pleased with this image of LION. 

But, in some ways he speaks the same message as Apparition in the Himalayas, the Snow Leopard, who appears and disappears, like a ghost in the snow clad mountains, or ‘Out of the Darkness’, the Amur Leopard who emerges from the complete dark, but fearfully, might disappear back into it at any point. In this new painting, the Lion, also, is half in shadow. It could be the cool shadow of a tree, or, more sinisterly, it could bring to mind, metaphorically, the waiting fate for the Lion, if we don’t leap to its rescue.

 
Wheatley Lion_0009.jpg
 

Lioness closing in on her prey


As I painted this piglet, I was acutely in touch with the pain of sadness and sorrow for this young baby animal and his cruel end. In this painting, unusually, my feelings were strongly identified with the prey animal. This tiny vulnerable creature gasping his last breaths in this hopeless and fatal chase. The piglet is gawky and ugly compared to the glorious beauty of so many prey animals - the delicate Thomson and other Gazelles, for instance, whose grim but beautiful imminent deaths I have portrayed with an aesthetic pleasure, have, for some reason, not affected me as much as the little blue piglet.

Wheatley Lion_0006.jpg
 


Two Lions play fighting


No sadness in this joyous painting. I have tried to capture a truly lyrical fight - if two such words can possibly be juxtaposed. The Lions fight lazily, and even gracefully, in the hot sun, and its a happy evocation.

Wheatley Lion_0002.jpg

There are further Fighting Tigers watercolour paintings in progress.

 

Glass Vessels


These paintings are created in very thin gouache. Although I try to convey the transparency and clarity of glass and the myriad shapes of the vessels, in the end, the idea morphs into abstraction and sheer pattern. But the spirit of Glass and Vessels is always present. 

These paintings are, in so many ways, the complete opposite of my watercolours of Big Cats,  cats and horses, which are filled with energy and movement. Glass Vessels speak of stillness, silence and meditation.

 
Glass Vessels 1

Glass Vessels 1

 
Glass Vessels 2

Glass Vessels 2

 
Glass Vessels 3

Glass Vessels 3

If you wish to order prints or are interested in purchasing the original artwork please get in touch