Tilly with dog.JPG


Born into a family of artists, I was brought up in rural Somerset, England. Growing up in an atmosphere of creativity, my father sculpting and painting, occasional visits from my cartoonist grandfather HM Bateman, and my elder sister forging her career as a painter, all contributed to my own interest in art.

Throughout my adult life, I have taken every opportunity to travel, preferably well off the tourist trail. Much of my work is influenced by my travels and in 1996 I became a fellow of The Royal Geographical Society and have since exhibited there. I've been particularly drawn to Africa and when travelling use my artistic skills, such as sketching quick portraits or painting outside, as an opportunity to meet people and to gain a deeper understanding of the places I visit. 

Over the years my stylised African paintings have become commercially very popular and are used by publishers worldwide as book/CD covers, calendars, prints and cards. 

 By contrast, at home in my Somerset studio, working in oil or watercolour, I produce an eclectic range of work, frequently confusing visitors who assume they are seeing the work of at least 3 different artists! The beautiful local landscapes are a constant source of inspiration, and during the warmer months I'll be found painting in my garden or out in the fields, trying to capture colour and light. I also paint still life and enjoy juxtaposing unlikely objects to add narrative and a touch of humour to the composition.

Portraiture is of particular interest to me - I paint quickly to capture the essence and likeness of my sitter. I often work to commission but equally enjoy painting friends, family members and self-portraits. Amongst my sitters have been actress Dawn French and in 2014 para-olympian Ade Adepitan when taking part in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year. 

I have exhibited nationwide and my work is in collections around the world, but I regularly exhibit locally and hold annual exhibitions in my studio every September.

 Learn more about Tilly teaching.

Click here to view Tilly’s CV.