Launch of the 2018 stamp – Teal on Chichester Harbour by Andrew Stock

Once again the Wildlife Habitat Trust has commissioned a leading wildlife artist to create an image for the WHT stamp. This year, Andrew Stock and his Teal on Chichester Harbour has been chosen by the charity’s trustees.

Andrew is a self-taught artist who has been painting full-time since leaving Sherborne School in Dorset in 1978. While still at school, he was personally encouraged by the late Sir Peter Scott and went on to hold his first one-man exhibition at the age of 21 in London. He is a long-time member and a former president of the Society of Wildlife Artists.

Andrew sketches in the field, usually in watercolour, often using a telescope to watch the wildlife. Finished drawings are sometimes exhibited, but more often they form the basis for more considered works in oil or watercolour or as etchings on his return to the studio at his home in Buckinghamshire. Wildlife, especially birds, has been a constant theme, but in recent years landscapes have become an important part of his repertoire.

One of his favourite areas for inspiration is the north-west of Scotland, particularly Sutherland and the Sound of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, where he has friends and also enjoys fly fishing and a spot of rough shooting.

Andrew says: “I do have a bit of a hunter-gatherer instinct and I also enjoy lobster-potting and sea fishing while up there.

“More recently, I went last year to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, painting for an exhibition – the vistas are magnificent.

I also went to the Austrian Alps last winter and I’m looking forward to going back in the summer to see how the landscape changes.”

Andrew has also been to the Kumaon Himalayas, on an expedition with the Royal Navy to Antarctica, and a guest at a private game reserve next to the Kruger National Park in South Africa. But he was equally happy in the less exotic surroundings of Bosham on Chichester Harbour for the WHT commission. “It’s a very pretty little village and I had a delightful time there,” he said.

He will be on the BASC stand during the 2018 Game Fair at Ragley Hall for the launch of the WHT stamp. “I did go to the Game Fair last year to see what it was like. The kids of course were fascinated with all the machinery and 4x4s; I was a little disappointed the artists were scattered about rather than being grouped together, but it was a fantastic day out; we had a lot of fun.”

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