My Story

At the bottom of my garden in the Cornish countryside, gently nestled into the wild hedgerow of alder, blackthorn, brambles, and birdsong lies my small artist studio called Thickets. I look up from my drawing board and over to the neighbouring meadow where wild rabbits run through the long, wind-teased grass, a silent buzzard circles overhead, and the occasional glimpse of a fleeting deer or fox at dusk never fails to fill my heart with wonder. I have an affinity for the relationships between flora and fauna, and our beautiful changing seasons.

Natalie Toms - Wildlife Artist painting in her art studio

My name is Natalie, I'm a Cornish wildlife artist living and working in the village of Lanlivery in rural Cornwall. Inspired by the woods, fields, hedgerows, and rivers, I have been influenced by the natural world for as long as I can remember. I spent the summers of my childhood marvelling at the world within the meadow behind my grandparents' house. I would set off down the garden with my sketchbook and pencils to find new hiding places where I could sit and wait for wildlife to emerge. I took to drawing from a very young age. (According to my parents, I would often ask for a "piece-y paper piece-y pen" when I wanted to draw!)

Natalie Toms drawing when she was a child

I have been self-employed since 2017, following emergency surgery and a diagnosis of Crohn's Disease the year before. I was also diagnosed with heart failure in 2020 and I had a TIA (mini-stroke) in 2022. These events have only hardened my resolve to combine my passion for drawing and painting, and my love for nature and conservation, turning them into my life's work. From my garden studio I look out onto the very same meadow that filled my heart with so much joy as a child and kindled my love for wildlife. It's not always easy or straightforward but turning my passion into my profession and working for myself has allowed me the flexibility I need, helping me take back some control over my good days and the bad.

I have been developing my creative process and techniques over many years. I surround myself with the references I need in the form of nature books, online images, and my photographs where possible. On cold press watercolour paper, I sketch a detailed composition in pencil before I slowly begin to add layers of drawing with ink and painting with watercolour. It's a delicate and meticulous process.
I sell my work as fine art prints and cards both online and in local shops and galleries in Cornwall and a few further afield. I use only recyclable and biodegradable materials for posting, even down to my packing tape. All of my cards are sent in glassine paper sleeves with are 100% recyclable and plastic-free. My Giclee prints are sent gallery wrapped in plastic to preserve the longevity and archival quality. I've also recently started producing solid oak picture frames for my Giclee prints, with hopes to expand my range online and in various stockists, not just at events.

I am also a proud business supporter of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, helping to protect Cornwall's wildlife and wild places. I also rehome hedgehogs from the wonderful Prickles and Paws Hedgehog Rescue in Cubert.

Natalie Toms - Wildlife Artist standing outside her art studio in Lanlivery, Cornwall.