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Edinburgh wildlife artist to donate all proceeds from her work to conservation charities

Growing up next to Edinburgh Zoo fostered a love of animals and along with a natural talent for drawing it opened the door to a long and successful career for Carol Barrett. Now after more than 30 years as a professional wildlife artist, she has announced all proceeds from her paintings from now on will go direct to conservation charities.

Carol, who lives in Corstorphine with her ex-MP husband John, makes regular trips to Africa to paint animals in the wild and has also visited Australia. She currently has some works for sale in an online exhibition and auction, Sketch for Survival 2020, which features several other leading wildlife artists and closes on Sunday. But she will also sell paintings through her website and undertake commissions.And she has several charities that will benefit ranging from Born Free to Explorers against Extinction and elephant conservation group Tusk.

She said: “I’ve always been a conservationist but I’ve had time to reflect over this period and I’m also getting older myself – the last article that was written about me called me a doyenne of wildlife art – so I’m thinking it’s time to give back.”

Carol, who works in pastel, watercolour, acrylic, ink, and mixed media, graduated in drawing and painting at Edinburgh College of Art – but her interest in wildlife art started well before that.

“I’ve always had this passion for animals,” she said. “I think if I’d been incredibly clever at school I would have wanted to be a vet but I used what talent I had. I was always in the art room, always sketching and it was animals that inspired me. We lived very close to the zoo and rather than walk the boring way home I’d walk through the zoo.” She later became artist in residence at the zoo in 1994.

But it was four years earlier, in 1990, that she first visited Africa. “I’d always wanted to go to Africa. It was like a Pandora’s Box that opened. I thought ‘I’ve got to paint these animals’ and I’ve been doing it ever since. “I feel I’ve been so inspired and so lucky in my life to actually see these incredible creatures and I really feel I want to give something back to them and to help the local people.”

When she was in Australia she visited Kangaroo Island, one of the country’s most important wildlife sanctuaries, which has since been hit by wildfires. “It was a fantastic place and it’s heartbreaking to see the complete devastation to the whole island,” she said. “It’s going to take it forever to recover, but nature is incredible and if it is given support and encouragement it’s amazing how it can come back right from the very edge. I agree with David Attenborough that it’s not too late, if we all pull ourselves together and act now we can make a difference.”

Carol said she had made the decision on donating all proceeds of her work to conservation after her last exhibition was cut short because of Covid. “It also coincided with my mum passing – it makes you realise you’re not here forever and I really wanted to give something back. Wildlife has made a huge impression on me and endangered animals really need our help.”

Courtesy of Edinburgh News article by Ian Swanson

It is with great pleasure we can announce that Emma Able has been selected as Runner-Up for The Artist Award in the Explorers Against Extinction 2020 Arts initiative. Many Congratulations Emma!

Rosana Venturini Artists for conservation

Pollyanna Pickering Foundation Press Release : 02.08.20

Rescued Cheetah Cub named in Pollyanna’s memory

In remembrance of what would have been the much loved late TWASI patron Pollyanna Pickering’s 78th birthday, the Born Free Foundation are honouring her by naming a rescued cheetah cub in her memory.

Pollyanna was word renowned for her paintings of endangered species sketched from life during expeditions which took her to some of the most remote and inhospitable parts of the world.  She acted as a Patron of The Born Free Foundation for many years, and was always delighted when her artwork could help to raise funds for a cause so close to her heart.

Born Free has rescued two cheetah cubs from the illegal wildlife trade and given them a lifetime home at Ensessa Kotteh, its wildlife sanctuary in Ethiopia. The male and female cubs, are thought to be siblings. They were seized by the Somali State authorities in Ethiopia, at about three months old, having most likely been taken from the wild to meet the demands of the pet trade in the Middle East.

Both cubs were undernourished and walking with a slight limp, but after a few weeks of care are starting to show signs of recovery.  For the moment, they are continuing to be closely monitored and are receiving veterinary care to help improve their condition.

Virginia McKenna, actress and founder of  Born Free said “Pollyanna first came into our lives 30 years ago. She travelled to India to do a painting of five tigers we had rescued from a travelling circus. We were, from the start, bound by our love and admiration for animals. And it was through her extraordinary talent as a wildlife artist, her loyalty to our charity and our deepening friendship, that our relationship never ended.  Her name will live on through Pollyanna, the beautiful little cheetah, and in our hearts.”

Pollyanna’s daughter Anna-Louise who continues as President of the Pollyanna Pickering Foundation told us “There could be no more wonderful and fitting tribute to Pollyanna. She was passionate about conservation and the animals which she painted and always had a special love for cheetahs. Our Foundation will fund the care of little Pollyanna cheetah in her new home, and we are proud to be able to give this beautiful cat the opportunity of a safe and happy life in the beautiful surroundings of Born Free’s sanctuary after such a sad and traumatic beginning”.

You can find out more about Pollyanna cheetah at –

 Notes to Editor :

For further information or additional photographs please contact Anna-Louise 01629 558510

Pollyanna Pickering was recognised as one of Europe’s  foremost wildlife artists – her critically acclaimed paintings and fine art prints sell in over eighty countries world wide.  Driven by the beauty and intricacy of the wilderness, she was renowned for her travels into some of the most remote parts of the world, where she painted endangered species in their increasingly fragile habitats.  She was patron of The Wildlife Art Society International, and Derby University awarded her an honorary degree in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the arts.  A familiar face on TV, the most recent documentary about her work ‘Made in England’ was broadcast on BBC1.

 Virginia McKenna OBE  is a stage and screen actress, author and wildlife campaigner. She is best known for the films A Town Like Alice, Ring of Bright Water and of course Born Free in which she played the role of Joy Adamson.  She co-founded The Born Free Foundation alongside her late husband Bill Travers and their son Will Travers who is now President of the charity.  Her tireless campaigning has changed laws and transformed people’s attitudes to animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Pollyanna was a good friend of Virginia’s and a longstanding patron of the Born Free Foundation.

For background information about Pollyanna and her Foundation visit

The winner of the Association of Animal Artists Inaugural Chairman’s Award 2019 Lisa Ann Watkins.

Lisa Ann wins this award at a point in her career when she is beginning to branch out with her art into new and different areas, including working on her first book and teaching coloured pencil art workshops overseas, including in the USA.  With an impressive number of social media followers, Lisa Ann has managed to maintain the connection with her audience, inspiring them to progress their artistic skills and knowledge of their craft, whilst sharing her love of animals.

After gaining a degree in Fashion and Textile Design, Lisa Ann’s creative journey has taken a long route as she turned away from art for several years.  Finally, inspired to find her creative side once again, she started drawing with coloured pencils, winning art competitions and gaining confidence.  Exhibitions followed, magazine articles were written and as her teaching style develops so Lisa Ann has found different outlets to reach her audience with.  Lisa Ann encourages her followers to learn not only about art but about the business side of working as an artist.  She generously talks about her own career decisions and more recently has shared interviews with other working artists in their studios.  She also shares her experiences of trying other art media and techniques.

Lisa Ann’s determination to help animal welfare and conservation shines through.  Animals are not only the focus of her artwork but of her life.  The use of social media enables Lisa Ann’s followers to engage with her tangible involvement with animal rescue centres and sanctuaries around the world.  Lisa Ann uses her artwork to help support wildlife conservation; her artwork has featured in wildlife exhibitions where she has not only built awareness but helped to raise funds.

The judges admire the way Lisa Ann manages a multi-faceted career as a coloured pencil artist, generously sharing her own artistic practice whilst all the while giving a voice to animals she not only shares her life with, but loves to create images of.

Courtesy of Anne Coreless Association of Animal Artists

Anna-Louise Shortlisted for Lifetime Achievement Award

TWASI patron Anna-Louise Pickering is honoured to have been named as a finalist in the prestigious national Animal Star Awards, which have been described as the BAFTAs of the animal World! Anna-Louise has been selected from a field of over 50 entries as a finalist in the Lifetime Achievement category

The Animal Star Awards were founded by Mary Burgess, an animal lover who wanted to create an award to give recognition to animals & people who have achieved extraordinary things. The annual event celebrates people doing great things for animals, as well as animals that do extraordinary things for people. This year’s winners will be announced in a glittering ceremony at the Marriott Hotel in Portsmouth on the 19th October.

Anna-Louise is an acclaimed writer, photographer and conservationist, who has dedicated her entire life to the welfare of endangered, sick and vulnerable creatures.  For fifteen years she ran a registered hospital for birds of prey from her home. Caring mainly for injured and orphaned raptors, she also rehabilitated British mammals, including foxes, hares and squirrels.

Alongside her late Mother, the Internationally Acclaimed Wildlife Artist Pollyanna Pickering she co-founded the Pollyanna Pickering Foundation, a small but effective non-profit organisation which campaigns internationally to prevent the exploitation of wildlife and raises funds to support animal welfare and conservation projects worldwide.   Since Pollyanna’s sudden and unexpected passing last year, Anna-Louise has been committed to continuing and expanding the work of the Foundation.  In the last twelve months alone the Foundation has funded a unit for rehabilitating orphaned otter cubs in Scotland, built a hedgehog rescue unit in Surrey, purchased camera traps for use in tracking snow leopards in the Himalayas, and helped to create a ‘shock free zone’ for wildlife in the rainforests of Costa Rica by insulating power lines – alongside many smaller projects.

Along with Pollyanna, Anna-Louise has undertaken a remarkable series of expeditions – covering all seven continents – to study endangered species in their natural habitats.  She has travelled by dog sled in the High Arctic, camping on the ice at temperatures of -40, canoed through crocodile infested rivers, and been charged by a wild tiger in search of her subjects. She has trekked in the Bale mountains of Ethiopia to photograph the Simien wolf– the rarest wolf in the world, and the only wolf in Africa, there are none in captivity anywhere in the world.  She was the first western woman ever to travel into a remote area of the Tibetan borderlands, where she worked in a hospital for sick pandas.

The resulting photographs and articles about her expeditions have appeared in publications worldwide highlighting the plight of threatened species and environments, and she is the author of five critically acclaimed books.

Anna-Louise is dedicated in her support of other charities, acting as Patron of societies including North Derbyshire Animal Support, Parrotaid and Cats in Need, and she is a Trustee of the African/Asian Conservation Trust.

She also continues to work with Pollyanna’s incredibly legacy of artwork, which continues to be published  by charities including the WWF, the Born Free Foundation and the RSPB, raising funds for the causes closest to both their hearts.


Congratulations to the following TWASI members who made it to the final of the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year 2019 and made some sales already.

Julia Dubinina International Member, Neal Griffin, Christina Lensces, David Skidmore and Sarah Trenchard.


Please click on the links below to view news from previous years –

Members in the News 2017

Members in the News 2016

Members in the News 2015

Members in the News 2014

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