Wildlife Artist - Martin Ridley

Oil paintings of gray wolves hunting American elk or wapiti

GRAY WOLVES (Canis Lupis)

Oil paintings of wolves. Known as the gray wolf, grey wolf or timber wolf in the USA. It inhabits vast areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Numerous subspecies of gray wolves are recognized in North America and a further 7 - 12 are recognized in Eurasia, with one in Africa. In North America wolf populations exist most notably in Western Great Lake States such as Minnesota, the Northern Rocky Mountain States of Idaho and Montana, whilst the biggest populations are in the wilderness areas of Alaska. Wolves are highly social animals forming tight, nuclear packs. By hunting as a pack wolves are able to bring down animals far larger than themselves. The wolf is the largest surviving member of Canidae, with male wolves averaging 40 kg and females 37 kg. On average, wolves measure 105–160 cm in length and 80–85 cm at shoulder height. Gray wolves, or timber wolves, are canines with long bushy tails that are often have black tips. Their coat color is variable but commonly a mix of gray and brown with lighter facial markings and undersides, but the color can range from predominantly white to black or brown. All the wolf paintings below are by British wildlife artist Martin Ridley.

Gray wolves chasing American Elk or Wapiti original oil painting
"Shadow of the Wolf " American Elk or Wapiti chased by Gray Wolves

Original oil painting
image 36 x 48 inches


Timber wolves hunting Wapiti from an oil painting by Martin Ridley

Detail of Gray Wolves
Hunting Wapiti Painting

Howling gray wolf original oil painting on canvas
"Howling Wolf" Gray wolf howling amongst lodgepole pine trunks

Original oil painting
image 36 x 36 inches

Gray or timber wolf from an oil painting by Martin Ridley

Detail of Howling Gray Wolf
Oil Painting

NORTH AMERICAN ELK (Cervus elaphus Canadensis)

Oil paintings of elk otherwise known as wapiti, a Shawnee Indian word meaning "white rump". American Elk are the second largest species within the deer family, Cervidae after the moose or European Elk. American Elk are the bulkiest of the red deer species Cervus elaphus. It is one of the largest terrestrial mammals in North America and Northeast Asia. A set of antlers on a mature bull can weigh up to 40 pounds. Other red deer subspecies are smaller and are found in locations across the northern hemisphere: in Scotland and continental Europe, in North Africa, and in Asia. Prior to the arrival of European settlers, in excess of ten million elk roamed across most of the United States and parts of Canada. Currently, roughly a million elk reside in the western United States, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina, and from Ontario west in Canada. All these elk paintings and pictures are by Martin Ridley.

Running American Elk or Wapiti  original oil painting
"Spooked" American Elk or Wapiti

Original oil painting
image 36 x 48 inches

Running Wapiti - Detail from an oil painting by Martin Ridley

Detail of running
American Elk painting


Gray wolves chasing American Elk by Martin Ridley Gray wolves stampeding  American Elk by Martin Ridley

"STAMINA" Diptych

Two canvases each 36 x 48 inches
Gray Wolves chasing American Elk
Original Oil Painting
Fine Belgian Linen Canvas


NEW INSPIRATIONS - Story telling and rewilding themes

A number of years ago I received an interesting commission from a now close friend. As a result of that request I have enjoyed exploring a whole new range of creative ideas; pushing my visual imagination and researching an extended range of animal subjects. My friend James has since childhood harboured a fascination for the animals which used to roam the British Isles. As an historian he has studied many ancient records documenting the distribution of once abundant fauna that we have since lost. His brief for a commission was that I should paint a scene turning back the clock to imagine the wolves that once roamed the Highlands of Scotland. The landscape needed to incorporate recognisable features from the neighbourhood where James spent his childhood. I depicted the Ruchill Water near Comrie with views to mountains of Ben Halton and Mor Bheinn. A view I am very familar with, as it is less than a mile from my home. Here is the painting I came up with, a pack of wolves crossing the river.

Oil painting on canvas of a pack of wolves in the snow

Original oil painting
image 24 x 36 inches

Running wolves chasing across snow. Oil painting for sale
"Upping the Pace", Chasing wolves

Original oil painting
image 21 x 42 inches
£5950 For Sale Currency Converter

Dappled light illuminating an animal track my heart beats faster as a lynx pads into view. This experience would have been possible were it not for the accumulative effect of humanoids on the world's biodiversity. I know there is much debate surrounding the reintroduction of the larger apex predators. Here in the United Kingdom the countryside is vastly altered and such steps would need careful consideration and preparation. However it is my belief that controversial ideas should be debated as it can no longer be considered enough to simply conserve what we have. The United Kingdom is the most biodiversity depleted land in Europe and we have for decades failed to stop the decline. I'm not saying this as a so-called "bunny-hugger" or "Townie" I have spent my life in the countryside observing fauna and flora. It is my livelihood, working as a wildlife artist I have witnessed the decline first-hand. My passion for nature began at an early age and I naively thought that all the animal species I read about would be there for me to explore for the rest of my lifetime. How wrong! It saddens me greatly to walk through a landscape depleted of so much. Amazingly complex natural ecosystems are a wonder and help sustain the richness of the planet. I mourn the disappearance of animals, birds and flora that have become critically scarce in my neighbourhood. Many species have already vanished entirely. This is happening throughout the world at an alarming rate. What is needed are largescale projects where we actually support and increase biodiversity. I believe that marginal land should be rewilded on a massive scale.

I'm a painter not a writer of campaign manifestos so if you want to read more on the subject of increasing biodiversity I highly recommend this book by Isabella Tree "Wilding" The Return of Nature to a British Farm.

Full of astounding facts this beautifully researched text debates the issues facing the future of our countryside.

Further ideas for paintings

I am developing ideas for paintings of more animal species including sketching out compositions for European Elk otherwise know as Moose in North America. My latest composition depicts Caribou (Reindeer) crossing the wild Tundra.

My plan is to build up a litttle portfolio of North American subject matter. Once I have a body of work I'll focus on where I want to market them. I'm interested in some of the auctions such as Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, Scottsdale Art Auction or the Jackson Hole Art Auction. There are also numerous galleries which specialise in wildlife art. I may spread them about to give the best exposure.

Shop Items

Underwater otter prints for sale

"The Pursuit", Otter and Sea Trout

Available as a limited edition print

Otter art prints from Aquila

Prints are signed by the artist
Reproduced from an original oil otter painting
The prints are on Somerset Velvet watercolour paper
(100% cotton, acid free)

Underwater otter prints for sale

European Otter Print

Available as a framed print

Otter art prints from Aquila

Reproduced from an original oil otter painting
Please note: These European otter prints are produced following your order and are posted to you direct from the printers.
The prints are on a heavy weight canvas on a backing board and are protected with a matt laminate.