Forrest has long been regarded as one of the UK’s finest living wildlife artists. He has exhibited in some of the most prestigious galleries in the UK and the USA including the influential Safari Club International Wildlife Convention in Reno, Nevada USA.
Tony has been painting for 25 years and has visited many fascinating and beautiful places. He has been captivated by art since childhood and has always had a love of nature, and these two passions were bound to cross paths sooner or later. Both wildlife and art have an equal appeal to him, and marrying the two allows him to create original art with genuine emotion.
Tony travels extensively to Africa and India for research and inspiration frequently painting ‘en plein air’. He has observed many species in the wild from tigers in India to mountain gorillas in Central Africa, and, of course, in numerous African wildlife parks. While his paintings feature an extraordinary level of detail and accuracy, it is overall visual impact that Tony believes to be the key element – looking at one of his paintings should not be an intellectual pursuit, but rather should bring the viewer face to face with the realities of the natural world.
Tony’s charitable painting donations have raised thousands of pounds for charities including the Born Free Foundation, ‘Africat’ in Namibia, the Tusk Trust and others. His commissions include two for the British Army Air Corps, one in Germany and the other shortly after the conflict in Bosnia. Tony spent a week with them flying around the old war zones in search of painting subjects - the Lynx and Gazelle helicopters. Both paintings are hanging in the Officers' Mess at their base in Middle Wallop, Hampshire.
Originally from the West Midlands, Tony now lives in Cornwall and when not travelling or at work in his studio he loves to walk and cycle the coastal paths.
“I am driven by anything that is visually powerful. I have a huge passion for art and love to create a tactile picture with the textures I obtain from oil paint. In many cases, it is the art itself which is the big attraction - animals being the main part of the story. One thing I have never lost is my own self-belief. I love what I do and I believe that all challenges in life are put there to make you stronger.”