Kim Thompson works as both a wildlife artist and illustrator. She trained at Dyfed College of Art, West Wales, where she studied on a specialist wildlife illustration course, graduating with a Distinction in the late 1980s. The natural world has always been an inspiration for her work and her life.
Upon leaving art school, Kim worked for a number of artist’s materials companies, namely Liquitex and Chroma Colour. Employed to promote their products, Kim taught painting and air brushing techniques at workshops in London, for art groups and at creative events around the country.
Concentrating on natural history subjects, including animals, birds, fish, reptiles and even dinosaurs, Kim paints a huge variety of creatures for many different companies. She has worked on projects for Marshall Cavendish, International Masters Publishers and Macmillan Books as well as a series of children’s pop-up books about prehistoric animals, the human body and the solar system for Templar Publishing. In addition she has produced wildlife and animal illustrations for advertisements and museum installations and has worked through several art agencies.
As well as illustrating wildlife, Kim is also a wildlife artist, painting for exhibitions and to commission. In the past she was commissioned by Royal Doulton to produce the artwork for a range of limited edition prints of British owls and animal images for their fine bone china ware. Her original paintings have been sold at Christie’s Wildlife Art auctions and are published by Rosenstiels, a major U.K based fine art publisher. She is also a regular participant in the Artist in Residence program at Nature in Art, Gloucester, a unique museum and gallery dedicated to promoting wildlife art and artists from around the world. In recent years Kim has been invited to judge several wildlife art exhibitions and contributes articles and advice about various aspects of the art business to magazines.
Kim is a committee member of Marwell International Wildlife Art Society, exhibiting regularly at their annual summer show and teaching on painting workshops held by the society. She has also exhibited and sold work at the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art (NEWA) in the Wirral and is a member of the Society of Equestrian Artists. In June 2005 ‘Portrait of a Cheetah’, which is available as a print, was exhibited at the Society of Women artists show in the Mall galleries and received the Princess Michael of Kent Watercolour Award. The Princess later bought the painting.
Working primarily in acrylics, oils and pencil, Kim’s paintings and illustrations are characterised by a close attention to detail and realism. Exploring the British countryside on foot or horseback provides Kim with many of her ideas for paintings. She has a particular love for the rolling, windswept South Downs near to where she lives and the rugged beauty of Dartmoor. However, the breathtaking wilderness and wildlife of Botswana has left a lasting impression and she has travelled there regularly since 2004. As a result Kim has become involved with several conservation organisations including the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust, Lion Aid and Arts for Conservation , raising funds and awareness for their campaigns. Other ventures have taken Kim to the Himalayas to trek to Everest Base Camp researching the habitat of the Snow Leopard.
Kim hopes that her work can help further the efforts of conservation and make more people aware of the amazing creatures who share our planet. "All creatures have a right to life and a future and I hope that by painting wildlife I will contribute in some small way to making people value and wish to protect the world’s last remaining wild places and wild creatures."