Fiona van Wezel, BFA

Animals and drawing have always been 2 of my greatest passions in life and as a little girl growing up in South Africa I was regularly found either rescuing wildlife or drawing it, so it was no great surprise to my parents, that after completing my school education, I went on to attain a degree in Fine Art and Print Making at Rhodes University.

After moving to England a few years later, my girlhood compulsion to rehabilitate animals led to me gaining a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing, which was a field in which I enjoyed an extremely rewarding 15 year career. After becoming a mum however, I once again felt the familiar compulsion to pick up my pencils and in 2019 I began to market my drawings. 

Currently working out of my studio in Surrey, England, the bulk of my work consists of pet and wildlife drawings. Much of my work is fuelled by countryside walks with my husband, daughter and Cocker spaniel, however I am also continually and forever inspired by the majestic wildlife of my native country South Africa.

The feel of pencil on paper has always provided a hypnotic feel for me and it is for this reason that I work solely in this medium, both in colour and graphite. I go to great lengths to capture not just true likeness’s of my subjects, but more importantly, the very essence each animal. The nature of my work is highly detailed and I take great care in rendering each tiny hair or feather as well as attempting to capture the heart of my subjects through their eyes. This means that a single drawing can take me up to a month to complete.

My aim as an artist is to continue to portray and do justice to the exceptional creatures our Earth has to offer, and in doing so, raise continued awareness of the importance of respecting and conserving them for generations to come.