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David Shepherd, CBE, FRSA, was born in 1931 in Hendon, London. Having been rejected by the Slade School of Fine Art, David’s formal artistic education was under the professional artist Robin Goodwin, with whom he studied for three years.

David’s chosen profession as artist was not his first, following his original but unfulfilled wish to be a game warden. He started his artistic career as an aviation artist, and an early commission for the RAF took him to Aden and on to Kenya on a trip that changed his life. On this journey he was commissioned to paint his first wildlife subject, and became a passionate conservationist overnight when he saw 255 zebra poisoned to death by poachers.

David has enjoyed successful one-man exhibitions around the world, published five books and been the subject of numerous TV programmes, including the BBC’s 1972 documentary of his life story, The Man Who Loves Giants. At 83, David still lives at a fast pace: he paints every day and continues to donate paintings to wildlife through his Foundation, to pay back “my enormous debt of gratitude to the animals I paint”.

In 1984 he established the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation to fund vital enforcement and community projects that protect wildlife survival in the natural habitat. His campaigns have won widespread public support and delivered considerable success, as well as receiving conservationist awards. In 2012 David staged a retrospective of his work at the Royal Academy West of England in Bristol.

I am known as a man who paints Giants

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