“My desire to paint wildlife, particularly birds, stems from a deep fascination and respect for the natural world and a wish to share my excitement for the subject through my paintings. I am inspired by the light, colours, textures and patterns which are found in nature, even in the most ordinary and often overlooked corners of the landscape.”
Born in Uganda in 1959, where I lived until the age of six, I soon developed what would become a life-long interest in the natural world.
This fascination joined forces with a passion for drawing and painting at an early age when I started seeing the work of great wildlife painters, such as Archibald Thorburn, in books collected by my father. Further inspired by the many fabulous paintings that used to appear on the covers of the RSPB’s Birds magazine I began painting wildlife.
On graduating from Nottingham University with a Biology degree, but unable to find work as a biologist, I was offered a one year contract as an illustrator for the Dorset Heritage Coast Project. This year convinced me that painting was the only thing I would ever want to do (apart from be a fighter pilot, obviously) and so, with a second-hand drawing board (which I still use) and a bunch of paints, I embarked on a career as a wildlife artist.
Over the last 30 years I have exhibited widely in the UK, both in group shows and solo exhibitions, and have had work shown in Paris, Singapore, Japan and the USA.
In 1984 I was elected to membership of the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA), based at the Mall Galleries in London, and I currently serve as secretary for the society. Between 2003 – 2009
I served on the board of governors of the Federation of British Artists (FBA).
In January 2010 I spent 5 weeks on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia with fellow wildlife artist John Gale on a self-funded expedition, drawing and painting the wildlife and landscapes to raise funds and awareness for the RSPB’s Save the Albatross Campaign. As an invited artist I have also participated in several international conservation projects with the Artists for Nature Foundation (ANF) in Poland, Spain, Peru and Ecuador.
As a supplement to painting I have illustrated several bird books including Grebes of the World (Bruce Coleman, 2003), Swallows and Martins of the World (Helm 1989) and Robins and Chats (2015, Christopher Helm Publishing) containing 64 full-colour plates illustrating the nearly 150 species of this attractive group. In addition I have contributed illustrations to many other publications including the RSPB/AA Complete Book of British Birds and the ground-breaking Handbook of the Birds of the World series (Lynx Edicions 1992 – 2013). I am also a regular contributor to The Artist magazine.
1986; Bird Illustrator of the Year (British Birds journal)
1991; European Bird Artist of the Year
2001; European Bird Artist of the Year – black and white category winner
2005; European Bird Artist of the Year (Swarovski and Birdwatch magazine)
2018; David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year category winner
2019; Chris Rose – Solo show, Rountree Tryon Gallery, London and Petworth
2012; Birds of the World – Tryon Gallery, London
2011; Artists for Albatrosses – Two-man show, Air Gallery, London
2009; Chris Rose – recent paintings – Solo show, Wildlife Art Gallery, Lavenham
Between the Tides – Solo show, Waterson House, Aberlady
2007; Natural moments – Three-man show, Wildlife Art Gallery, Lavenham
2006; The Great Fen – ANF group show, Byard Gallery, Cambridge
2005; In a Natural Light – Solo show, Wildlife Art Gallery, Lavenham
Aig an Oir – SWLA group show, Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
2004; Treasures of the Forgotten Forest – ANF group show, Wildlife Art Gallery, Lavenham
2003; Chris Rose – Solo show, Wildlife Art Gallery, Lavenham
2001; Chris Rose – Solo show, Wildlife Art Gallery, Lavenham
2000; Drawn to the Forest – SWLA group show, Wildlife Art Gallery, Lavenham
1995; Extramudura – ANF group show, Wildlife Art Gallery, Lavenham
1993; Portrait of a Living Marsh – ANF group show, Wildlife Art Gallery, Lavenham
Wildlife – the Artist’s View – Group show, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wisconsin, USA
1992; Birds in Art – Group show, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wisconsin, USA
1990; Wildlife Art – Three-man show, Wildlife Art Gallery, Lavenham
1984 – current; Annual exhibition of SWLA, Mall Galleries, London