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Jenny Lupton - Scottish animal artist

Jenny Lupton - Scottish animal artist

Scottish animal artist Jenny Lupton moved to Sarlande near Thiviers in the Périgord Vert eight years ago, bringing her horses and dogs with her...


What brought you to the area?

It was time to make changes in my life and, whilst looking for property in the UK within my budget, I saw a website offering French properties with the potential to combine my artistic and equestrian lifestyle at an affordable cost. The area is still fairly verdant even in the summer, and that’s essential for the horses. I have enough land to make my own hay whilst the barns give me studio space, and the light is amazing. Even coming from rural Scotland, the skies in France seem huge.


What led you to specialise in animal portraits?

My drive from when I was a wee girl was to become a vet, however the mathematical side of science was a non-starter for me, so I changed tack from physics to art and wound up at Art College, with the privilege of a post-grad year. Once graduated, I returned to horses, but after a few years managed to combine bits of art with riding and training. The natural progression was friends asking me to do portraits of their horses, so I bit the bullet and set up in business, and have been very lucky that people continue to commission me.


What’s the process?

Ideally I meet the subject, get to know the character, and take photos that I can work from. Each animal has a unique personality, and I try to capture as much as possible what the owner sees. I also work from sent photographs if taking the photographs myself is not an option, perhaps the animal is no longer with us or the distance makes it impossible. In both cases, I use as many photos as I can to make sure all details are accurate but, most importantly, that the expression is one that is that horse, not just a generic bay! I spend a lot of time on each piece, and it’s important to my professional integrity that I do every portrait to the best of my ability.


misty-tifHow do you know when you’ve captured the spirit of an animal?

I simultaneously look forward to and dread the owner seeing the picture for the first time, hoping I’ve got everything right, and that they love it. I have had people burst into tears, but only in a good way. I get a lot of repeat business, so hope that I’m doing it right. I sometimes go back to visit clients and photograph another animal, and I walk into a gallery of my own work!


Your one piece of advice to others moving here?

Be aware that chocolate is more expensive than wine! Commissions for pastel portraits start at 290€ for cats, 395€ for dogs and 735€ for horses. Oils begin at 1450€.

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