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from Brett

What are my goals?

There is something incredibly exciting about creating a piece of fine art that moves people. As with all my artwork, it is born from the initial love of a subject that ultimately leads to a field trip, whether that be a day excursion or a full blown month-long expedition. My imagination often runs wild with all the possibilities of how these intended paintings will turn out. What helps channel or direct my ideas and skills as an artist has really developed from seeing works of  those great painters from long ago that have come and gone. Those works of Shishkin, Lilijefors and Bouguereau are deeply entrenched in my mind as well as the numerous modern day painters all of whom produce the most highly skilled and stunning works.  Seeing what can be achieved and my love of the natural world is undoubtedly inspiration enough to be the best I can be.

Brett, the Artist

Brett Jarrett has led an extraordinary life as a naturalist and artist and has become one of the most collectable and recognizable realist animal painters in Australia. He has dedicated his entire life to observing and documenting the identification, behaviour and beauty of wildlife, in particular Australian birds and whales and dolphins through his art. These special subjects have been the driving force over his thirty years as a professional painter and have taken him around the world on several occasions, becoming the most travelled of Australia’s contemporary animal artists.

Some of Brett's accolades include work acquired by the Leigh Yawkey-Woodson Art Museum and included in its national tour in museums in New York; Maine and Texas; former signature member of the prestigious Society of Animal Artists in the U.S.A. with his paintings selected four times for their annual exhibition and national tour. He has won Australia's richest bird art competition as well as its Peoples Choice award in the Holmes Art Prize and been a finalist in the Art Renewal Center in the U.S.A.

Brett's favourite environment are the polar regions where he has worked for extended periods. His first Antarctic expedition was with the Australian Antarctic Division in 1996 over four months working in the field tagging Weddell seals. In subsequent expeditions he has worked as an artist and wildlife guide for various cruise companies and the Mawson's Hut's Foundation, all the while collecting an outstanding library of reference material for future paintings. He has collectively worked on and around the Antarctic continent for nearly three years.

Brett was principle artist of The Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife (2002). To this day, the publication is the most up-to-date account of the Southern Ocean's and Antarctica's marine mammals and birds. In 2006, he conceived the idea to paint in illustration format all the marine mammals of the world. Subsequently, Whales, Dolphin and Seals: A Field Guide to the Marine Mammals of the World was published, the first ever complete field guide to the marine mammals of the world in which all the known races, geographic variation and sexual dimorphism were extensively painted. His marine mammal paintings are currently used extensively in published papers and presentations by scientists around the world as well as numerous marine mammal identification charts and posters.

Further book contributions include: The Great Barrier Reef (2019); The Contemporary Art of Nature: Mammals (2015); Inspiration Wild: An Artistic Celebration of Nature and Environment (2014); Marine Mammals of the World, a comprehensive guide to their identification (2008); Feather and Brush: Three Centuries of Australian Bird Art (2001).

Brett's paintings express an engaging sense of realism and accuracy with strong artistic elements of how we see and enjoy two dimensional fine art. The driving force behind his work is a life-long fascination of animal anatomy, behaviour and beauty, allowing him to communicate a story or moment in time to the viewer.

Throughout the year he creates no more than thirty works, from small life-size portraits to complex pieces measuring over 2 metres that can take several weeks to complete. It is these larger works that feed his imagination, from a memorable experience in the field that forms the basis of some of his greatest work, or the sheer excitement of creating a physical and emotional window into his world of art and nature.

Southern Life Article - Brett Jarrett Wi
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