Born in the coastal township of Portland, southwest Victoria, Brett Jarrett (48) has dedicated his life to observing and documenting the behaviour and identification of wildlife worldwide through his paintings, in particular the mammals and birds.
A self-taught painter and one of the top four animal artists in Australia, Brett’s pursuit of wildlife has made him this country’s most travelled and experienced modern day painters. Combining a love of both painting and the study of natural history, projects have taken him to many regions of Antarctica, throughout Australasia; from Northern Lapland to Canada’s Hudson Bay and the geographic North Pole and the Americas. Another four years was spent covering the entire eastern tropical Pacific from Midway Atoll to Peru’s Humboldt Current collecting behavioural and abundance data on whales, dolphins and seabirds.
Brett is a signature member of the prestigious Society of Animal Artists in the U.S.A. where it awards membership to artists who have achieved the highest level of artistic achievement in the genre of animal art. With most of his travelling behind him, Brett now spends more time in the studio perfecting his craft as well as judging; teaching and critiquing traditional art. As an art judge his primary objective is to revive and acknowledge those artists who exhibit great care, attention and skill in producing their artwork.
Realist painting takes on many interpretations, often labelled ‘representational art’ by those less in favour of it, however Brett see no distinction between a human portrait and an animal or bird portrait, both in their purest form are telling a story and an intimate view of the subjects beauty, character, emotion and behaviour. As a painter, those progressively learned attributes of tone and light create a painting that is not only intriguing but believable regardless of subject matter, it is after all, a story of our natural world and it is exciting to bring to people beautiful paintings of little known nature.
The genre of wildlife art proudly holds its own on the world stage. Considering that it is often extremely difficult to obtain reference photographs that exhibit the most appealing behaviour, composition and light, elements that are essential for successfully completing a painting of high quality and integrity. The setting up of props, models, lighting and inanimate objects is indeed a luxury to the landscape; figure or still life painter; wildlife is a more challenging affair where even the choice of subject often dictates the limits to the paintings success. Still, Brett wouldn’t have it any other way, he lives and breaths nature, he is captivated by how species are constructed, how they move, socialize and take on the worst elements, the longest migrations, avoid predation and successfully reproduce, all along making us feel alive and connected directly to them.