Michael Tancrel

Born in Cape Town in 1952

My passion for art started at an early age. Copying from comics and magazines helped a lot in developing my ability to draw and colour. I have a great respect for comic book and pulp magazine artists.

During high school I took to sketching. Trying to reproduce photographs using only pencils was my first move towards realism and my affinity for portraits.

After completing military training in 1970, I started working for an art studio that specialized in portraits. I progressed to become “Head Artist”; responsible for employing and training young artists. Sharon, my wife, was one of the artists I employed.

In 1980, Sharon and I decided to tour the country in an old Bedford bus we converted into a mobile home. For a year we enjoyed discovering South Africa while supporting ourselves by painting portraits at small town agricultural shows.

Shortly after returning to Cape Town I was commissioned to do the artwork for the covers of a veterinary journal. As this entailed mainly birds and animals I was naturally pushed in a different direction as far as my art was concerned.

1990 saw us move to Nieu-Bethesda, a pristine village in the Karoo. At that time the village did not enjoy the comforts of electricity. It took some getting used to, but was also very enlightening (excuse the pun) After nine months we moved to Graaff-Reinet as our children were in boarding school there and we missed them far too much. This was also the start of the journey into wildlife painting.

Sharon and I returned to Cape Town in 2004. We presently live on a farm about 130 km from Cape Town.

Besides wildlife, I also enjoy painting landscapes and life studies. My preferred medium is oil on canvas.

The late Prof Chris Barnard bought one of my first wildlife paintings. Buyers of my work include; corporate business, private collectors, international buyers from France, Germany, UK, USA, Russia, Australia, UAE and Japan.