Artist profile - Richard Whittlestone

PUBLISHED: 00:00 26 May 2016

Richard's paintings portray wildlife - usually native - in close detail

Richard's paintings portray wildlife - usually native - in close detail

not Archant

Celebrated artist Richard Whittlestone marks 40 years since the first sale of one of his paintings.

Wildlife artist Richard Whittlestone at work in his studio.
Photo by Nick LockettWildlife artist Richard Whittlestone at work in his studio. Photo by Nick Lockett

Richard Whittlestone makes a return to his native Yorkshire with a new exhibition at the Devonshire Brasserie, Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire. Although he now paints and sells work to all parts of the world from his gallery on the Chatsworth estate in Derbyshire, Richard still gains much of his inspiration from the county where he was born and grew up in.

‘I have family in North Yorkshire, my sister farms just outside Thirsk and my father is buried in the churchyard at Kirby Wiske - I regularly incorporate the village church in the background of paintings as a way of including him,’ says Richard.

He began painting at the age of five, sold his first pictures aged just 13, had work accepted by the Society of Wildlife Artists at 22 and turned fully professional by 25. ‘I have painted all my life, Richard adds, ‘and this year sees 40 years since my first sale. Back then, I would use my pet magpie as a model.’

His paintings portray wildlife - usually native - in close detail but often with a quirky narrative and they all carry his trademark tiny fly hidden somewhere in the picture. The exhibition runs until 30th June.

Find out more about Richard’s work at


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