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Wildlife artist whose skill derived from his deep understanding of the living worldThe wildlife artist Greg Poole, who has died aged 58 after a heart attack, was among the best of a generation who revitalised a tradition always in danger of lapsing into decorative prettiness. His artwork is distinctive for its bold design and graphic verve, the confidence and intensity of his line, a vivid palette and the successful capture of the continuum of life. Snapshots of the natural world – otters, bees, curlews, bluebells – executed with speed and the intensity of field sketches, coalesce into fully realised pictures of nature at large. His was a kind of subjective realism. He drew his animals and plants as they were (he was always interested in habitats too), but also as he experienced them. Many wildlife artists start out with art and find their subject; he began as a birdwatcher and wildlife observer and found art the only release for what nature stirred in him. He worked in the field, sprawled on the ground, with paper clipped to a card (no easel, no artist’s stool) and often used twigs as his pens or brushes. Encamped in a Norfolk saltmarsh, he requisitioned old cornflake boxes to print miraculous images of the samphire at his feet and the oystercatchers in a creek. Continue reading...