Peter Hildick

Hanging Around by Peter Hildick
Cita by Peter Hildick
Billy No Mates by Peter Hildick
Gimme A Smile by Peter Hildick
Choir Practice by Peter Hildick
Innocence by Peter Hildick
Inseparable - Giraffes by Peter Hildick
Looking For Trouble by Peter Hildick
Tranquility by Peter Hildick
Lean On Me by Peter Hildick
That's My Boy by Peter Hildick
Bathtime by Peter Hildick
Split Ends - Orangutan by Peter Hildick
Thinking Of You - Orangutan by Peter Hildick
“For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by both the natural world and drawing, and not being particularly interested in sport I channeled all my youthful enthusiasm into those two things”. The candid words of Peter Hildick, the now acclaimed contemporary wildlife artist, who as a 19-year old, elected to join the Fleet Air Arm offshoot of the Royal Navy as a Radio Engineer and forge a career in the services which was to last some 22 years in total; during which time he rose the ranks to become Chief Petty Officer, Air Engineering.

Despite enjoying his time in the services, perhaps if society had been different when he signed up to the Navy in the mid-1960s Hildick’s journey to become a bona fida wildlife artist may have been very different. Back then however, ‘being an artist’ was widely considered more of a pastime rather than a serious career/main bread-winner. What’s more, his secondary school had discouraged Hildick from pursuing his drawing in favour of painting, and not where his artistic loyalties or indeed, interest lay. So bearing these factors in mind, the prospect of attending art college was pretty much none existent.

Hildick had been born in Middlesex in 1949, yet his family had upped sticks and moved to Bath, in Somerset in the 1950s when Hildick himself was aged just 8. Being a stone’s throw from fields and hedgerows as far as the eye could see on the outskirts of Bath, Hildick’s passion for both the countryside – and the animals that lived within and around it – increased dramatically through the remainder of his childhood and formative years, as he constantly sketched the likeness of these stunning rural vistas and their natural inhabitants.

Thankfully Hildick kept his artistic hand in during his Navy days, and would occasionally exchange the odd drawing for a few pints with his fellow crew, and on leaving the services continued his drawing on the side as he began his new role elsewhere in the defence industry; where he’s still employed today. Hildick is what people might refer to as a ‘self-taught’ artist, but having said that he prefers being looked as someone gifted with an ability to draw. And it’s this ‘drawing’ subject that we return to time and time again when discussing the very many merits of Hildick and his artistic legacy. ”There is no cheating with a pencil” decrees Hildick when pressed on his allegiances to monochrome pencil sketches of his signature animals. To reinforce his previous exclamation the hugely popular wildlife artist goes on to add; “The Pencil is the most versatile instrument an artist can hold. It is also the most personal, the most intimate, the most self-revealing”.

It’s impossible to argue with this visualized summary, especially to anyone who’s witnessed Hildick’s mesmerising, detail-rich, picture perfect graphical renditions of tigers, lions, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, chimpanzees, meerkats, et al which have all formed the illustrative backbone of Hildick’s portfolio over the years. Elaborating on his insistence that pencil is artistic king, Hildick stresses that; “Colour is unnecessary because it can be implied. A Pencil drawing is not a sketch preparing for something 'more important'. It is not a rehearsal for the big event. The Pencil drawing is the true, unguarded performance”. Hildick’s championing of the pencil being mightier than the brush is engaging for anyone with the merest interest in art of any description or genre, and will doubtless strike a chord with anyone who’s dabbled and/or succeeded with either tool of the creative trade. Hildick continues by saying; “Many artists down the centuries have bewailed the fact that paintings are more valued than Pencil drawings, because they all knew what has just been said above to be true: that it is possible to say more in a Pencil drawing than in any other medium”.

Bringing his personal art odyssey back up to recent times, and it was only in 1991 that Hildick picked up his pencil and looked back in creative anger once more, and thus began this second chapter in his life; once which has seen him carve out an enviable second career and ultimately gain the foothold and exposure in the contemporary wildlife art genre that he would have loved to have experienced earlier it’s probably fair to presume. His first published works as such resulted from circulating his work locally through galleries and picking up awards for his pencil craft, where he’d regularly manifest the likeness of many of the animal kingdom’s fiercest, cutest, most admired and greatest creature assets. In addition to this it was Plymouth’s The Framing Centre which first saw Hildick’s potential and immediately forwarded some images to one of the UK’s most successful fine art publishers.

On receipt of this fledgling artist’s work, who’d gone beneath their radar previously, Washington Green approached Hildick with an offer to represent him in commercial circles and essentially ensure that his back catalogue was circulated in all of the right places henceforth. This was in 1996, and less than 12 months later and six of Hildick’s original drawings had been reproduced as limited edition prints and met with the public’s approval once appearing through Washington Green’s country-wide network of associated galleries and venues. And the rest of course is (albeit recent) history as Hildick’s compositional reputation continues to grow and his popularity reaches out to newer audiences even further afield.

View All Art Works By Peter Hildick