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Meet Artist Jennifer Hooper | andotheranimals_
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Meet Artist Jennifer Hooper | andotheranimals_

Hello, I'm Jennifer Hooper. I’m a painter and I’ve been living and working in Margate for the past 4 years. I studied Fine Art painting and photography at Camberwell College of Art and I’ve taken courses at The Royal Drawing School and an anatomy for artists course at UCL. I’ve always had a deep love of animals and the natural world, and after Camberwell and a few detours, my work became focused on responding to our relationship to nature. I’ve worked with conservationists and NGOs on projects and have undertaken international residencies over the years. My main painting practice is figurative representation in oil and watercolour of nature and animals. I use traditional processes and techniques and my work bares similarities to 17th century Dutch paintings.


How long have you been an artist? 

I think always to be honest! I’ve been painting animals since I could hold a paintbrush! But I graduated from Camberwell in 2004. 



What inspires you to create art of animals? 

I’ve always felt a deep connection with and empathy for animals. They emanate a wisdom and peace that is inherent in all of nature. I think we can learn so much from animals. They are endlessly fascinating to me. I’ll never tire of trying to capture their grace and beauty. And I never tire of their company either!


What is your process for creating one of your pieces? 

It depends on the piece - watercolour or oil, a pet portrait or a more complex painting. For the painting of The Barn Owl (pictured) I researched and found an image that I wanted to paint – this can be a lengthy process; I’ll search for the perfect image, something that captures me and that has an essence of the animal that I want to describe. On a painting panel I started by laying down a deep red ground, like a primer. This will glow through the other layers. I like to start on a tone other than white. Using thinned down oil paint, glazes, I build up the image in about three or four layers. The first layer is the basic shapes and tones and the last layer will be the finer details. I’m aiming to create intimate portraits of animals that have atmosphere and are reminiscent of classical portraits and representations. With my pet portraits I generally work with two layers and I use slightly thicker paint, more of an alla prima process. 



Can you tell us more about your cat, Bowie? 

Bowie, ah Bowie, the love of my life! Bowie is a rescue from Tag Pet Rescue, near Margate. We have been together for 3 and a-half years now. I think we rescued each other though! I believe in soul animals – animals that are meant to enter our lives and Bowie was meant to come into mine. I’m a huge David Bowie fan, but I didn’t name Bowie, Tag did. It was a sign! Bowie, the cat, is a sweetheart through and through; he is pure love and doesn’t know how to harm a spider. And have you seen him? Eye candy. Painting Bowie was the inspiration behind And Other Animals, my pet portrait business. Bowie is also a paw-fessional artists assistant as you can see from the photos. He just loves to watch me paint.


What is your favourite part about creating pet portraits? 

I love all of it! It is an absolute joy for me to paint animals. And to paint a much-loved pet and create an intimate portrait that can be treasured forever is such a special gift. Our pets are part of our families, the love and bond is truly unique and it is my privilege to do this work. 



Which piece are you proudest of? 

I am probably most proud of large-scale jungle paintings that I painted after spending time in Bolivia at NGO and animal refuge Communidad Inti Wara Yassi in 2013. I was resident artist there for several months and the experience was life changing to say the least! I spent a lot of time in the studio on my return trying to re-create the exquisite saturation of green as the sunlight poured through the canopy of trees and foliage. I wanted to create a sense of immersion with their scale. That or the giant moth watercolour that Bowie is sitting in front of in the photograph – it was a very complex painting and with watercolour you can’t make many mistakes.



What 1 piece of advice would you give to budding artists? 

Follow your heart. Make work that makes your heart sing. And be disciplined. That’s two!


How can someone get their own pet portrait from you? 

They can contact me directly with an enquiry through an instagram direct message @andotheranimals_ or email me at and I’ll send all the details.


What is your favourite Hiro + Wolf print? 

I love the Starry Night print! And so does my Star cat.




Is there anything else that you'd like to share? 

There are so many cats, dogs and other animals that are in need of safe, forever homes – I think it is so important to consider adoption of these animals if you are looking for a new furry family member. They have often come from horrible abusive situations and deserve a loving home. It’s important to me to raise awareness of animals in need and to help the shelters and charities that care for them. I offer up paintings through auctions and fundraisers to raise money in support.


A huge thank you to Jennifer for taking the time to chat with us! If you'd like to learn more about Jenny or purchase her work, visit her website here.


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