ANNABEL Pope, travel and wildlife artist, who lives and works near Chipping Norton, has won hearts and minds through the technical quality and visual integrity she achieves in depicting animals, especially endangered species in Africa.

Her paintings express an empathy with the animals she has been observing and sketching since childhood.

Her art also brings extra awareness to the importance of conservation, currently making headlines with the story of a campaign to save a rare white lion in South Africa.

She supports a number of charities, especially in Africa, her spiritual home, including Tusk, Zambian conservation, and the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

There will be about 50 new works, in a variety of media, including oils, charcoal, watercolour and acrylic at her solo exhibition at the Osborne Studio Gallery in the heart of Belgravia, London.

The exhibition focuses on elephants (her favourite), rhinos, zebras and lions, all endangered species, but also ostriches, giraffes, and as a charming extra, some Norfolk hares, to celebrate her childhood on the family farm.

But Oxfordshire is where she collects her thoughts in the peace of the countryside to work on paintings inspired by her travels, particularly in Africa. The countryside around Brooke Barn inspires her creativity, a magnificent sweep of rolling green fields.

Annabel first visited Botswana in 1983 aged nine, with her parents. “I made little sketches of everything I had seen.

“Elephants stuck in my mind, and watching lions,” she remembers.

The magic and vastness of Africa has exerted its spell ever since. She visits Kenya for painting trips in October or February, avoiding the rainy season.

She has also travelled in South America, India, the Far East, Galapagos Islands, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia and Bali, seeking adventure off the beaten track, cycling and skiing for many miles, camping, trekking and canoeing.

On these travels she is constantly observing animals and birds in astonishing variety, from the pink pigeons of Mauritius to blue footed boobies in the Galapagos and yak in India.

“I try to spot nocturnal animals and catch their eyes in the spotlight.

“I love sitting at a waterhole in the middle of the day, and watching the grazers all come down to drink. It’s great seeing herds of wildebeest when suddenly they run around like lunatics for no particular reason!”

From 1993 to 1996 she studied at Oxford Brookes University. She has been artist in residence in the Maasai Mara Ralph Lauren chose original watercolours of elephant, hippo, and hares for his children’s stores.

  • See Annabel Pope’s Painting Wildlife of Africa at Osborne Studio Gallery, 2 Motcomb St, Belgravia, London from December 5-22.