Tell Hicks is one of the world’s leading wildlife artists, specialising in reptiles and amphibians.
He was a founding member of the International Herpetological Society and became its President in 2009.
Tell has his studio in Somerset, in the UK, where he lives with his wife and family. His fascination with reptiles and other wildlife continues to take him around the world, studying them in their natural habitat and gathering material for his highly detailed paintings. Many of these are now available from this website as beautifully produced limited edition prints.
Also available, exclusively through EcoUniverse USA is a range of Giclee canvas prints of his most recent work. These are produced at a 1:1 ratio to the original artwork and are confined to extremely limited editions. Giclee prints are regarded as the highest quality reproduction currently available. Each one is personally signed and numbered by the artist.
Tell’s other work includes various wildlife subjects, landscapes and human portraits.
Tell was born in London and spent much of his early childhood seeking out what little wildlife the city streets could offer a young boy with a passion for natural history.
When his family moved to Buckinghamshire he was in his element and spent every spare moment wandering the fields and woodlands of the surrounding countryside. On one such ramble, at the age of ten, he discovered a colony of European Vipers and his fate was sealed. From that day onwards reptiles have held a deep fascination for him and he has travelled the world to study them.
He was a founder member of the International Herpetological Society, back in the 1960’s, and has recently served as its President. In the 1960’s he also assisted with fieldwork used to gain legal protection for Britain’s most endangered amphibians and reptiles. As a teenager, he worked in British zoos, training and flying birds of prey, before travelling, overland, through Europe and Asia, to Australia, catching and painting amphibians and reptiles along the way.
Tell had always been intrigued by the portfolios of paintings brought back by early explorers and naturalists, full of wonderfully exotic animals and plants and this influence can still be seen in his work. When travelling, without field guides to rely on, he sent batches of notes, sketches and watercolour paintings of the reptiles and other creatures that he’d discovered, back home to England for colleagues to identify.
He lived in Australia for a year, travelling extensively throughout the country, and has returned on several occasions since, to study its wildlife.
Tell gives talks to wildlife groups and natural history societies, about his artwork, field trips and travels to such places as Turkey, Cyprus, Canary Islands, Australia, New Zealand, the Galapagos Islands and the USA.
Despite being completely self-taught, he has won many major awards within the screen-printing industry, for his t-shirt designs. He has been runner-up ‘Wildlife Artist of the Year’ in the UK and still produces work for Eco and other leading t-shirt printers, in the USA and Britain.
To achieve the realist representation that he was after, he developed new techniques in egg-temper painting, a very ancient medium, which requires much discipline in its application. In recent years he has successfully employed these techniques with oil paints on canvas. His passion for wildlife has led him to specialise in painting these subjects, but Tell also enjoys painting human portraits, and some of his other commissioned works include mosaics and sculptures. One such commission is of a fifteen foot sculpture of a rattlesnake tail, at the Chiricahua Desert Museum, Rodeo, NM.
Tell collaborated with Charlie Painter (the State Herpetologist for New Mexico) to build this metal sculpture in the parking-lot of the museum. A model of the design was made at his home studio, from which detailed measurements were taken and used as the specifications for its construction.
For some time now, he has made regular trips to the USA, to exhibit paintings, to give talks, and to gather material for a collection of illustrations depicting the rattlesnakes of Arizona.
Tell has been awarded first prize at the “1st International Competition for Herpetological Scientific Illustration 2014”, X111 Iberian Congress of Herpetology, University of Aveiro, Portugal.