Susan Shimeld

AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for December, 2018

Susan Shimeld has been a keen naturalist and conservationist for many years. Initially her support was through voluntary work and donations, but since becoming a professional wildlife artist she has been combining her love of wildlife and art, and has supported  Wildlife Conservation Societies through her artwork. She has also been rescuing animals and birds since childhood and is still actively involved in conservation work on a voluntary basis.

"The study of wildlife behaviour and caring for animals in order for them to be reintroduced back into the wild, has given me so much pleasure. My wish, is that in some small way I have been able to reciprocate.  On many occasions whilst spending blissful hours walking through woods and across meadows; I have often found myself in the company of various forms of wildlife including: deer, hares, birds and voles: foraging and just going about their normal daily activities. Sometimes these precious encounters have been at such close quarters - I've hardly dared to breathe.  Precious moments that I will always treasure."

During 1989, Susan began working from her Larmer Tree Studio, as a self-taught, professional Wildlife Artist.  

In 1996 she became a member of the Dorset Bat Group and  has since participated in bat surveys and counts for the Bat Conservation Trust, Dorset Wildlife Trust and the Vincent Wildlife Trust. Having been interested in bat welfare for so many years, she became a Registered Bat Rescuer & Carer in 2003. As a Registered Bat Carer she rescues orphaned and injured bats in order to care for them until they are ready to be released back into the wild.

Each year Susan also participates in nest and colony surveys for the British Trust for Ornithology. She and her husband also rescue any birds or mammals that are in need of a helping hand. The most recent being 3 orphaned peachicks. 

In 2003, whilst working with the Orangutan Foundation, she was asked to display her artwork at the Zoological Society in London. The Orangutan Foundation founder, Birute Galdikas, was giving a seminar at the ZSL.  "Birute is one of my heroes, a lady whom I have supported and much admired for many years.  At the end of the evening I was lucky enough to meet Birute, and couldn't believe it when she said that she recognised the orangutan in my 'Baby Orangutan' portrait.  She very kindly asked if she could purchase a signed and messaged 'Baby Orangutan' fine art print, which I gladly gave as a gift.  In return, she also signed a print for me; including a lovely personal message, which is now proudly displayed on my wall at home.  It was super to meet such a special lady, and I was on Cloud 9 for weeks!"

In 2009, I was delighted to be signed with the Wildlife Art Company, established by Mark Cawardine and Rachel Ashton. Mark Carwardine is the world renowned BBC zoologist, photographer and author. The Wildlife Art Company is a natural history agency for Wildlife Art.

"As a child, I watched in fascination the animals, insects and birds around me. I adored wildlife and also thoroughly enjoyed drawing. During my teens I became a keen conservationist and throughout the following years, my love of art and concern for our fellow creatures has been unceasing. I have always wished to illustrate a natural history publication and in 2006 my wish was realized, when I was invited to provide drawings for two Wolf Conservation books. 

"My artwork very much reflects my love of nature and using a variety of media, my natural history paintings and illustrations are often highly-detailed. This, with my other interests: the study of natural history, photography, voluntary wildlife rescue; is integral to my work. Along with studying behavioural patterns of individual species; I’m also intrigued by the myriad colours and patterns within nature. I've also always been fascinated by textures, shadows, movement and reflected light."

"With each artwork, I wish to capture the essence of my subject and convey to the viewer: the beauty, intricacy and deep connection we have with our fellow creatures and our natural world."

Learn more and browse Susan's's art.

Previous Conservation Artists of the Month

(June, 2020)
(May, 2020)
(April, 2020)
(March, 2020)
(February, 2020)
(January, 2020)
(December, 2019)
(November, 2019)
(October, 2019)
(September, 2019)
(August, 2019)
(July, 2019)
(June, 2019)
(May, 2019)
(April, 2019)
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