Welcome to my little corner of Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, where I’ve lived since I was born all those years ago in 1955.
Born from a love of all wildlife, in particular, birds, it was a natural progression for me to try and draw what I’d seen while walking our dog around the fields of Hoddesdon with mum and dad. My drawings progressed into watercolour painting, and as my confidence grew, I began tentatively to try and paint all kinds of wildlife other than birds.
When my love of fishing took hold at around the age of eleven, I began to feel a need to try and paint them. I’ve never looked back and continually find an endless fascination in trying to capture what I’ve seen on paper. By looking at paintings of artists I’ve admired, in particular, Basil Ede, I’ve learned as I’ve gone along. It has all been a natural progression with a need to constantly ‘improve’ on each new painting, no matter what subject it is.
A visit by the school doctor with his little collection of funny coloured charts when I was eleven, uncovered the niggling fact that I was severely red-green colour blind. Something I’ve had great fun with all these years, although I must admit, it hasn’t helped much. Other than giving me a nice ready made excuse if my colours all end up wrong. Not that I’d ever notice anyway.
As the years ticked by, I began to sell my paintings here and there, even in a little art gallery in St. Albans, and it was here that I began to paint subjects other than birds for people who commissioned foxes, mice, badgers squirrels and butterflies.
It helped a great deal, as by the time I was accepted into the artist agency, Linden Artists in London when I was around seventeen and still at school, I was already familiar with painting all kinds of wildlife.
From here on, my path has meandered along every conceivable turn; doors opening here and there and leading to no end of others. With guidance from the agency, and in particular my dear friend Bernard Thornton and his own artist agency, www.btartists.com, a worldwide palette of work awaited me. Greeting cards, calendars, place mats, wildlife books and magazines, prints, even various series of collectable porcelain tankards, thimbles, vases and plates. Then followed lavish publications of my own bird books, Garden Birds and Game Birds, with prestigious exhibitions of the originals in the West End of London. Various one-man exhibitions followed all over the UK, then through contact with fishing friends, John and Di Morwood, three one-man exhibitions of my originals and sporting print launches in Launceston and Hobart, Tasmania.
If this wasn’t enough, back here at home, a meeting set up by Bernard with Mandy Wood and Jon Lambert of Templar Publishing in Dorking, Surrey, sowed the seeds of over thirty years of publishing my own children’s books which have collectively sold well in excess of 10-15 million copies worldwide. With the encouragement and belief from publisher Sydney Stanley in San Diego, California, a large one-man exhibition in Central Park New York and millions more copies of the books being sold in the USA.
Throughout all of this, my own love of fishing has constantly pulled at me to continue with my fish paintings. With these in mind, many original commissions, collectors prints and numerous series featuring in angling publications, magazines, and recently, a series in the Angler’s Mail. In 2011 and 2013 my two personal angling autobiographies While My Float’s Still Cocked and Water Colours were published by Paul Morgan of Coch-y-Bonddu Books.
I have for sale many original watercolours from my children’s books; a small selection shown here. Should you be interested in any particular painting from one of the books, maybe a favourite page, please feel free to contact me with details and we can take it from there.
Also, please feel free to contact me regarding new commissions of any wildlife subject.
With very best wishes, Maurice.