Biography from Toni’s website
IN THE BEGINNING....
My art training began at Blackpool and Fylde College of Art studying technical illustration which, whilst a good starting point, made me quickly realise that drawing bits of engines was not for me. A further three years studying scientific illustration was much better and I enjoyed painting fur, feathers and things with legs instead.
OH FOR A VAUXHALL CHEVETTE...
Did a bit of model making in the holidays in my quest to replace my elderly Datsun 120Y with a Vauxhall Chevette hatchback - oh the barely concealed ambition of the young! I also did a bit of model making during a college placement under the guidance of Richard Neave, the renowned forensic sculptor and decided that my life would be complete with a career in medical illustration. By the end of the course I'd progressed to an aged MK1 Fiesta with eleven previous owners, which I filled with my worldly belongings, accepting a job offer as a medical illustrator in Guildford working for a medical publisher.
BACK TO T'NORTH..
After two years I was lulled by the siren's call of cheaper housing back in t'north so I returned in my new guise as a freelance illustrator, eventually signing to a London illustration agency. Most of the commercial work was for natural history books and part works for older children and adults. I did have an occasional foray into the more lucrative field of advertising which included a series of backgrounds for a TV commercial.
SAVE THE BRUSH..
Computer based illustration and digitised artwork were the new kids on the block in the industry in the early nineties which affected the type of work available to a traditional wildlife illustrator. It was a turning point in my career, when, in 1997 I met international wildlife artists whilst exhibiting at the British Falconry Fair. I then worked exclusively studying and painting wildlife for original paintings and enjoyed field trips to Kenya and Botswana on safari. Successful sales at Christies auction house in London during their wildlife art auctions over the years led to me being a listed artist with a sales record.
COWS, COWS EVERYWHERE...
Styles change over the years and traditional wildlife paintings have lost their appeal as buyers seek contemporary paintings for their minimalist designed rooms. I want to embrace this new era and create funky, contemporary work with a bit of humour. I live in a semi rural area and depict what's around me, so I'm interested in painting cows and the occasional sheep or pig or even donkey if it's interesting enough!
I work in oil on box canvas and work is available through selected galleries So treat yourself to a cow to complement your chocolate leather sofa ..go on.. you know it makes sense!