Gary Hodges

Vanishing by Gary Hodges
Under The Ice by Gary Hodges
Majesty - Royal Bengal Tiger by Gary Hodges
Baby Love - Hippos by Gary Hodges
Gorgeous Too - Baby Giraffe by Gary Hodges
Bracken - Shetland Sheepdog by Gary Hodges
Cheeky Monkey - Cocker Spaniel by Gary Hodges
Queen Of Diamonds - Green Turtle by Gary Hodges
Little Foxes by Gary Hodges
Plea For The Rainforest - Orangutans by Gary Hodges
Tender Moment by Gary Hodges
Majesty - Royal Bengal Tiger by Gary Hodges
Baby Love - Hippos by Gary Hodges
Soulmates - Snow Leopards by Gary Hodges
If there’s one overriding label that can be levelled at Gary Hodges, and one that can’t be argued against in any way, shape or form, is that the hugely popular wildlife fine artist is crazy about animals; and especially those residing in the wilds. Another one that would stick in a court of law is the one that decrees Hodges’ artwork is simply breath-taking. His inch-perfect graphite and pencil sketches of magnificent creatures in their natural habitats is second to none in the genre, and to our minds within the contemporary illustrative spectrum, per se. but not only is the much celebrated Hodges a mighty fine pencilsmith, he’s also helped raise thousands of pounds for conservation and environmental charities, by both sharing awareness of their concerns and more pertinently donating some of his signature compositions up for auction; which in themselves have generated much needed finances for the charities and organisations at the forefront of identifying and promoting these causes. Causes which are clearly close to the heart of Hodges amongst millions of others.

Indeed, Hodges’ concern for conservation and environmental issues is well documented and is never better illustrated (pun aside) than by acknowledging the number of organisations who have facilitated his creative pictorial matter so as to raise funds. Such groups as the Environmental Investigation agency, Greenpeace UK, Zoo check, Robin es Bois, World Wild Fund for Nature and The Born Free Foundation, to name just some of the household name charitable bodies. Countless drawings originally crafted by Hodges have appeared at auction with the sole aim to swell the coffers of the aforementioned organisations, with regular shows having previously taken place at such prestigious art establishments and associated venues as London’s Medici and Mall Galleries, the Living Earth Rainforest Art Exhibition staged at the Natural History Museum, Gloucestershire’s Nature in Art Museum and having hosted a one-man show in Paris with the benefactor of the proceeds being the French environmental group, Robin des Bois.

Furthermore, in 1990 Hodges was commissioned by The Born Free Foundation’s Virginia McKenna to create a commemorative drawing of the late George Adams, one of the globally famous campaigning organisation’s most prominent supporters; which subsequently became a limited edition print. And then there’s the awards that Hodges has accumulated to date, in recognition of his standing and achievements in the field of wildlife art, starting with him being nominated as a finalist in the Fine Art Trade Guild’s ‘Artist of the Year’ award in 1995, followed with victory in the John Solomon Trophy the very next year; an award which reflects volumes of sales garnered by art retailers in relation to a particular best-selling artist in the previous 12 months.

Born in south London in 1954, Hodges twin passions from an early age tended to be animals and art, and the family home was full of family pets, whilst as a youngster the aspiring artist would be fascinated by bird life in nearby fields. In terms of Hodges’ initial creative inspiration as such, and animals didn’t really get a look in. instead he turned to his comic book novels, typically comprising X Men and Spiderman, as well as other Marvel Comics’ icons. At secondary school Hodges was a good scholar who applied himself to his academic work; gaining an O-Level in Art he was all set to study for his A-Levels, a good two years ahead of his peers when tragedy struck his family. Hodges’ mother fell ill and passed away, and rallying round to help his father support his two siblings at this difficult time his studies became an afterthought and Hodges eventually left school at 16 and never fulfilled his potential from a further educational viewpoint.

On leaving school Hodges entered the accepted and secure career of printmaking, encouraged by his fishmonger father who, along with many in society at this time, saw it as a job for life. It didn’t take Hodges long to realise that printing wasn’t his calling in life and as a vocation was never going to satisfy him, creatively speaking. But then change was just around the corner after meeting his partner shortly afterwards in 1978. Photographer and environmentalist, Dave Currey worked for the World Wildlife Fund and in the late 1970s was a member of the crew aboard the notorious Greenpeace ship, the ‘Rainbow Warrior’. It was Currey who first introduced Hodges to the concerns of an alternative society and highlighted the plight of endangered species and lands and immediately piqued his interest in the world of conservation and environmental activism which he’s been prominently involved in one way or another ever since.

In 1980 Hodges handed in his notice at the printers and decided to travel for three months so as to expand his horizons, in tow with Currey. The wilderness areas of the western United States and Mexico beckoned, where Hodges witnessed grey whales, ospreys, seals and dolphins galore, up close and personal for the first time in his life, and essentially, inadvertently plotting the course for Hodges’ future. Returning to familiar shores, Hodges made it his business to throw everything into his art from hereonin and try to establish himself as a force to be reckoned with in the wildlife illustration genre of fine art. His reputation grew quick, and in 1981 he was approached to illustrate an article for ‘Wildlife Magazine’, which included a set of four drawings. At the same time he was tasked with producing a WWF fundraising leaflet too, along with illustrating various species of animal to be used in WWF press releases. 12 months down the line and he completed another set of prints for the same celebrated magazine title, and on the back of this showcased his gathering portfolio at the Henry-Brett Galleries in Chelsea in Gloucester, UK.

However Hodges still couldn’t make a living solely from his art and had now begun working in an entirely different sector, creating adventure playgrounds for children in deprived areas of London; a role he continued right up until his professional art debut and a full-time committance to art in 1989. During the intervening time though, Hodges’ art work was being increasingly used by Greenpeace in particular, whilst Hodges was also highly commended at the Wildlife Illustrator of the Year Exhibition in 1983. In the aftermath of his father’s death in 1988, Hodges arrived at the decision to go it alone as a professional artist and forge a career from his first love once and for all. Hodges was inundated with commissions from various charitable organisations, while also finding himself in a position to generate hundreds of limited edition prints of his original pieces for sale to a wider audience.

View All Art Works By Gary Hodges