Wildlife art is nothing new – since humans first learnt to draw, animals have been a ready source of artistic inspiration. In southern Africa, rock paintings on datable stones and deposits have been found that are thousands of years old.

What is new is the accessibility and affordability of top-class wildlife art prints.

While modern man’s relationship with wild animals is very different to that of our hunter-gatherer ancestors for whom animals were a source of food and clothing, our interest in wildlife remains undimmed. In fact, as a burgeoning population uses ever more resources, encroaching on the remaining wildlife habitats, there is at the same time a growing realization of how critical it is to protect our planet’s endangered animals.

This conservation awareness is particularly evident among wildlife artists. They, after all, need to understand their subjects so are more attuned to issues like climate change and the impact this is having on nature and the ecology.

Artists are also conscious that a growing interest in conservation and wildlife means a larger audience for their work. A larger audience means more diverse tastes, which is good for the artists. Although fashion and taste have never remained static, a smaller pool of buyers did mean less scope for artistic expression. If the “in thing” was ultra-realistic paintings of waterfowl, then that’s what a wildlife artist had to produce to survive.

Nowdays, with more people interested in and exposed to wildlife art, there’s more room for diversity. From photo-realistic drawings to abstract paintings, the variety of wildlife art available is simply astounding.

The biggest advantage for the wildlife enthusiast is that so much that’s on offer is now affordable, thanks to advances in digital technology and modern printing methods.

Naturally everyone would love to own originals, but for those of us who can’t afford them, we’re fortunate that the quality of art reproductions has improved in leaps and bounds, making superb wildlife art prints available at low prices. Prints also come in a variety of sizes and print surfaces, from textured paper to cotton canvas, giving the buyer an even wider choice.

Wildlife prints by renowned artists like John Banovich, Robert Bateman and Ruane Manning can now be acquired and enjoyed by ordinary people.

And it’s not only artwork that’s more accessible to the man in the street. Wildlife photographs by many of the world’s leading photographers can also be purchased at reasonable prices. Photographs are digitally printed on archival photographic paper, producing vivid, pure colors and exceptional detail.

These photographic wildlife prints are readily available by big names like Art Wolfe, Steve Bloom, Beverly Joubert, and Michel and Christine Denis-Hout.

The net result is that both art lovers and wildlife enthusiasts have never had a greater selection of wildlife prints from which to choose, at prices most of us can afford.

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Filed under: Wildlife and Nature