Alan M. Hunt Biography
Wildlife artist and activist Alan M. Hunt considers himself "a zoologist who paints wildlife." Born in North Yorkshire, England, Hunt's artistic talents began to show when he was quite young, and, fortunately, his talents were encouraged by his family. Hunt attended Middlesbrough Art College in Yorkshire and went on to study zoology at Leeds College and Bristol University.
Hunt has worked with birds and animals both in the wild and in captivity, in parks, zoos and wildlife reserves around the world. He has acted as a guide for birdwatchers and naturalists in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Hunt began to paint full-time after his artwork inspired much interest. Over the years, Hunt has exhibited his artwork around the world and has gained many honors and awards. His wildlife art hangs in many public and private collections throughout the world, including Holland's prestigious Jacht Museum.
Hunt paints only during the daylight hours; he never uses artificial light. Working in a variety of media, primarily oil and gouache, but also ink, acrylic, egg tempera and watercolor, Hunt achieves a variety of exquisite textures from feathers to rocks. With his backgrounds in both art and zoology, Hunt has the advantage of being able to study wildlife from two perspectives - that of scientist as well as artist. His extensive world travels, observation and experience with wild animals clearly show in his realistic style of painting, which is both accurate and evocative.
"I try everything," says Hunt, "I'm not set in my ways. In almost every painting, I change something or try something different."
A devoted conservationist, Hunt is very involved with worldwide fund-raising efforts. Hunt makes whatever contributions he can to conservation causes, as he considers animals first and foremost. He now concentrates on painting endangered species to draw as much attention as possible to their threatened survival. "Humans are destroying wildlife and the planet, and we are animals, too," says Hunt. "If my son doesn't get to see half the wildlife in his lifetime I've seen, I'll feel very guilty. Rather than become famous as a painter, I would like to be remembered as someone who tried to make people aware of the need to protect the environment and the planet."