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4:00pm Wednesday 7th January 2009 in Search
WHEN wildlife artist Jonathan Truss was creating his most recent painting, little did he know how the image would unite two art lovers living in the same town.
Miss Siberian – an oil painting of a majestic tiger – attracted interest from all over the country when it was offered as a limited-edition print.
But Jonathan, who lives in Dorset but is equally at home in the African bush, noticed that two of the reservations happened to come from the same area – Kypersley in Stoke-on-Trent.
Both clients were avid collectors of Jonathan’s work, but totally unaware of each other until Jonathan mentioned it when replying to their emails.
He put Helen Dutton and Carol Hodgkinson in touch with each other, and when they made contact they realised they had a lot more in common than wildlife paintings!
Helen said: “Carol and I have very similar tastes, and it’s funny how she and her husband, Ant, live just up the road.
“It turns out they know my next-door neighbour and the person who lives opposite me, too.
“Even more weird is that his mother’s maiden name was Dutton, so we may even be related in some way.”
Carol added: “It’s amazing that there’s someone living so close who has such similar interests and a mutual admiration for Jonathan’s work.
“In another strange twist of fate, I had been searching for another of Jonathan’s paintings called Siberian Siesta for about seven years and it was only a stone’s throw away.”
Helen said: “I wouldn’t have parted with it for any money, but she could have come periodically to visit it!”
Jonathan, from Bournemouth, regularly camps out in the game parks of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia, working on oil paintings and sketches of animals in the flesh, as well as taking thousands of photos as reference.
His work is appreciated and sold worldwide, from New York to New Zealand, and Botswana to Beverly Hills.
Last month his elephant painting, Squaring Up, was auctioned at Christies in the USA.
Jonathan contributes thousands of pounds to conservation and wildlife trusts, including the David Shepherd Foundation, which has published several of his paintings.