A Bit About Me
I’m an Edinburgh-based artist, born and bred in Hampshire. I was first introduced to watercolours by my aunt when I was 21, but was too impatient for the traditional method of painting so I developed my own unique style; applying the paint first in a loose expressive manner and then drawing the fine details afterwards in pen.
This lively painting style enables me to express the life and vitality of my chosen subject, with the pen strokes working to contradict the chaos of the paint, anchoring the piece together. It’s great fun watching the splodges of paint slowly turn into an animal. If you follow me on social media you will be able to get more of an insight into how I work day to day – you can find my facebook page by clicking here or for instagram just search @toriratcliffeart
The inspiration for my style of artwork has many sources. A love of fashion illustration introduced me to the idea of combining pen and wash, whilst an interest in the works of artists such as Jackson Pollock and Ralph Steadman helped me embrace the joy of the paint splat. My love affair with the ink pen comes from my time at college where I studied Graphic Design and Illustration.
I managed to develop my skills as a painter in between my studies at University where I earned a First Class Honours Degree in Creative Advertising. After leaving university I’d decided to leave advertising behind and try make something out of the small painting business I’d built up on the side. Within a year I had begun to fully establish myself as a working artist, exhibiting in many galleries and spaces, most notably the prestigious Mall Galleries in Pall Mall, London, where I had been short-listed for the international ‘David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year’ competition.
Having started off painting on a tiny desk in my bedroom at university, I’m now thrilled to be in the position of being able to work in my very own studio space on London Road here in Edinburgh – with a huge desk, what more could an artist want! I spend my mornings walking my rescue dog Spud (and any foster dog that might be in my care) at the local beach or round Hollyrood Park before heading into the studio for an afternoon of creating. Although having spent the first 8 years working solely in paint and ink, I’ve recently branched out into charcoal and pastel. You can view examples of my work by visiting either the gallery page or by browsing prints available in my online shop.
In between all the painting and drawing, I spend my time concocting ways that my artwork can benefit wildlife and conservation charities, as having lost 50% of our planet’s wildlife in just 40 years, it’s imperative that we act now to protect what’s left. I’m proud to say that I have managed to donate over £25,000 to various conservation charities since 2014. You can find more details if you visit the charity page.
As I always say; it’s only fair that the animals I paint get something back.