Biography of wildlife illustrator Peter Schouten.
Peter Schouten was born in Sydney, Australia. From a very early age he developed a passion for all things feathered, furred and scaled from both the present and the past - which led to a budding career in palaeontology. His first artistic reconstructions in this field, when presented to the Australian Museum, were subsequently published by them as the book Prehistoric Animals of Australia. The success of this book led to employment as a technical illustrator within the school of zoology at the University of New South Wales. After several years he left this post to commence his career as a freelance wildlife artist a career which to date has encompassed many books and exhibitions. One of his most recent commissions, the so-called Hobbit, received significant attention when it featured on the front page of most newspapers around the globe in October, 2004.
His commitment to his craft continues unabated, and he particularly delights in painting creatures that either cannot, or have not, been photographed, due to extinction or rarity. It is also his aim to draw attention to the unfortunate plight of many of these creatures and to emphasise the need for urgent conservation. This was essentially the premise of his recent books A Gap in Nature and Astonishing Animals, which for many provided the first, startling images of these wonderful animals, either lost or rare. Continuing in this vein, he has recently completed work on a new collection which challenges all of our preconceived images of those truly colossal animals of the past the dinosaurs. This book, entitled 'Feathered Dinosaurs - The Origin of Birds' was published in May, 2008, by CSIRO Publishing. It was published in North America by Oxford University Press (America) in September, 2008, and is still currently in print. This is followed by the August, 2012 publication of 'Gliding Mammals of the World' (Stephen Jackson & Peter Schouten), which is a beautifully illustrated and comprehensive monograph of all gliding mammals.
Also published in 2012 is a book to which Peter has extensively contibuted paintings - 'A Comparison of the Heritage Values of Important Australian Fossil Sites' . This is an Australian Government publication under the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
Currently in production is the provisionally titled 'Megafauna' - a collaboration with Dr. Ross MacPhee of the American Museum of Natural History. This book will investigate the movement of modern humans out of Africa and trace the impact these migrations had upon the world's megafauna. It is intended that this volume be a companion piece and prequel to the the popular 'A Gap In Nature' .
Also under production is 'The Antipodean Ark - A Prehistory of Australasia'. This book will be co-authored with contributions from leading palaeontologists in Australia. It will revisit some familiar ground already discussed in Peter's first two books - 'Prehistoric Animals of Australia' and 'The Antipodean Ark' - however, this book will feature all new full colour illustrations, and the most current information.
Peter Schouten is a self taught and trained artist. His preferred media are watercolour, gouache and acrylics on either canvas or paper. For more information, please contact us.
1984 Wildlife Society of Australasia Annual Exhibition.
1989 Faber-Castell Annual Drawing Exhibition.
1991 Australian Wildlife Artists Exhibition - Australian Consulate,Washington D.C., with Bill Cooper, Ray Harris-Ching and Rod Scott.
1993 W.I.R.E.S. Wildlife Art Exhibition.
1994 W.I.R.E.S. Wildlife Art Exhibition.
1995 W.I.R.E.S. Wildlife Art Exhibition.
1996 Fine Art Society Gallery, New Bond St London. A solo exhibition featuring tree kangaroos.
1997 Christies (U.K.) - Annual Wildlife Art Auction.
1999 Levin Gallery, Naturalis Museum Leiden, Netherlands, permanent exhibition of twenty paintings.
1999 Christies (U.K.) Annual Wildlife Art Auction.
2001 Museum of South Australia, Adelaide. A Gap In Nature exhibition. Solo exhibition featuring 103 paintings.
2002 Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston. A Gap In Nature. Solo exhibition featuring 103 paintings.
2005 Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston. Astonishing Animals exhibition. Solo exhibition featuring 80 paintings.
2007 'Animal Ornata ' exhibition of 30 paintings highlighting the adornment and ornamentation of obscure wildlife was held to commemorate the opening of the new wing of the Manning Valley Regional Art Gallery
1983 Whitley Awards for books on Australian animals or history of Australian zoology - highly commended.
1984 Wildlife Society of Australia - annual prize for drawing.
1989 Faber Castell Drawing Competition - highly commended.
1997 Whitley Awards - Gold Medal for most outstanding book of the year Tree Kangaroos, A Curious Natural History.
1997 Colin Roderick Literary Award - prize for most outstanding book on an Australian subject.
2002 Victorian Premiers Literary Awards - Science Writing, A Gap In Nature', - highly commended.
2005 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards - Science Writing, 'Astonishing Animals' - Winner
© Peter Schouten. All rights reserved. All images protected by copyright.