Mandy was born in 1960. Her art career began in late school life with a mackerel! Her art teacher was so impressed by this unexpected ‘creation’ that it was rushed home to show Mandy’s father. That surprise moment was a milestone and her career path was set.
After an unrelenting Foundation year at The Byam Shaw she then completed an honours degree at Brighton, travelling to Africa soon after. Mandy spent two years in Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa working with a leading advertising agency in Harare during independence, with a gallery in Johannesburg and managed to establish her own painting style at the same time.
She staged her first sell-out solo show in Zimbabwe in 1980 and then returned to London to set up a studio. In 1995 she visited the Falklands which marked a major turning point in her career. She took on military subjects recording military history and events. Portraiture is also a huge part of her portfolio creating a broad portfolio but wildlife is her first love.
Taking safaris and travelling across the globe has allowed her to use her art to keep close to the world of conservation. Mandy lives and works in the UK.
Mandy Shepherd’s artistic style
For Mandy, the joy and reward of her painting life has always come from using a water-based medium. Having started with watercolour she was introduced to water-soluble oil paint: “Smells like, feels like and works exactly like conventional oil paint. It is happily manipulated with water crayons and pastels and any number of unusual implements, ie dental tools!!”
She was never taught by her father but he has been her inspiration and eternal role model. His words are ingrained in her approach to her work and the use of light source, subtle colours within shadows, no sharp edges; never work with a deficient palette, push the brighter colours have all been part of his mantra and that art is an eternal living language. Such great wisdom from the expert.
Mandy’s style is unashamedly representational but with so much art history and talent around her she endeavours to seek out good ideas from many sources, pushing the boundaries of her creativity. It is a career that brings great reward for Mandy – getting the result is one thing but with one in a hundred paintings – there is a force within that fulfills that certain ‘personal mastery’ and the hard work has paid off!
Mandy Shepherd’s work as a DSWF Art Ambassador
“Art for Survival, Wildlife Artist of the Year and our exhibition projects have been a mainstay and enormous success story for DSWF. It is unique to have drawn together, over many years, such talent, enthusiasm and loyalty and a deeply heartfelt passion for saving and conserving the wildlife of our planet.
Wildlife conservation is in the DNA of the Shepherd family but we have reached out to fellow artists who are like-minded and feel privileged to be a part of it all. The Team of Art Ambassadors is an element of this of which I am humbled to be one and, through our art, we can actively join forces, as we did last October in LA, to showcase our work and profile the work of DSWF. In the extraordinary times we now live in our message has never been more powerful and the threat to wildlife never been greater.
If I, as an Ambassador, can work in whatever manner to contribute to this great force of talent and inspiration and help those who are so dedicated working in the field and in the office – and their commitments and goals realised? It remains worthwhile and we will be doing our job…and so much still to do!“
View Mandy Shepherd’s artworks in our online shop.