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 twenty-eight years as a professional painter and have taken him around the world on several occasions, becoming the most travelled of Australia’s modern day animal artists.

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 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 is 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.

In recent years, Brett has been a 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.

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.

Recent Accolades

2012  |  Holmes Art Prize, for realist bird art

People's Choice Award  |  'The Golden Hour', Laughing Kookaburras

2012  |  Birds in Art U.S.A.

Exhibition selection and National Tour. Purchased by the Leigh-Yawkey-Woodson Art Museum

'Peaceful', Goose Portrait

2012  |  Art Renewal Center U.S.A.

14th International Salon Competition  Animal - Category Finalist  |  'Peaceful', Goose Portrait

2012  |  Australian Geographic Art Calendar

Cover Image  |  'The Golden Hour', Laughing Kookaburras

2012  |  Holmes Art Prize, for realist bird art

First Prize  |  'The Prospectors'  Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos

2012  |  Holmes Art Prize, for realist bird art


2015  |  Society of Animal Artists (S.A.A.)

Selected for 55th Annual Exhibition  |  The Roger Tory-Peterson Institute,U.S.A.

'Childhood', Emperor Penguin chicks, oil


2013  |  Society of Animal Artists (S.A.A.)

Selected for 53rd Annual Exhibition  |  The Bennington, Bennington, Vermon, U.S.A.

'Flying', Adelie Penguins, oil

2012  |  Society of Animal Artists (S.A.A.)

52nd Annual Exhibition & National Tour Hiram  |  Blauvelt Art Museum, U.S.A.

'Content', Emperor Penguin Chick

2012  |  Camberwell Rotary Art Show

Best Fauna Painting  |  'Surf Runners', Pied Oystercatchers, oil

2011  |  Society of Animal Artists (S.A.A.)

51st Annual Exhibition & National Tour  |  Dennos Museum Centre, Traverse City, Miami U.S.A.

'Pecking Order', Australasian Gannets, oil 

2009  |  Epiphany Anglican Church Art Exhibition

Best Oil  |  'The Art of Kindness', Orangutans, oil

2009  |  Portland Rotary Art Exhibition

Best Bird Painting  |  'Australian Pelican', Portrait, oil



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47 Liebelts Rd   Narrawong   

Victoria   3285   Australia  ©  2020 Brett Jarrett

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