Master Portrait Artist, Fellow Member Royal South Australia Society of Art, B.A (Hons) & M.A

About the Artist, Wendy Jane Sheppard

My life story is invariably imbued with creative passion. My answer to the question, why do I love being a portrait artist is because I have the opportunity to paint and draw the portraits of both animals and the people who love them. I could not think of any thing else that is so personally fulfilling and richly rewarding in every possible way.

As a child I lived in the Adelaide Hills, in South Australia. It was an idyllic childhood as I drew and painted pictures surrounded by a menagerie of animals, which included dogs, cows, horses, chickens, sheep and donkeys.

I began my professional artist career in my late 20’s and 10 years later I was honoured by being awarded Fellow of the Royal South Australian Society of the Arts. This was soon followed by being nominated as President of the Royal South Australian Society of the Arts. I undertook my Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours at the University of South Australia, which was the catalyst for me to significantly alter the focus of my art practice to portraiture and in particular portraits of animals.

I am a current member of the Portrait Artist of Australia and a significant portrait painted by me, of Edna Louise Shaw, hangs permanently at the James Cook University, Library in Townsville, Queensland. The style of my portraiture is Traditional and Photo Realist. I aim to go beyond the simple replication of the photographs that I use to create my distinctive and exceptional portraits. I aspire to capture the personality and characteristics of the individual animal and person. I achieve this through very careful observation as well as discussing with clients their relationship with the subject of the portrait and this results in the finished portrait portraying the very essence of the unique individual. I have undertaken many portraits commissioned by clients over my 30+ year artist career. My primary focus in recent years has been the drawing and painting of greyhounds, and other dogs, cats, horses, donkeys and cows too.

Five years ago I adopted two beautiful greyhounds, brothers Buddy and Leo from Greyhound Safety Net, a wonderful organisation of dedicated volunteers finding forever homes for retired greyhounds. I was immediately inspired by Buddy and Leo’s physical characteristics as well as their gentle and benevolent dispositions and devoted myself to drawing and painting greyhounds and this quickly extended to being asked by other people to draw and paint portraits of their greyhounds. I consider myself very lucky to be able to combine my two passions; my love of drawing and painting with my love of animals.

Wendy Jane’s Art Studio