Pollyanna is recognised as one of Europe's foremost wildlife artists. She is the most published fine artist in the UK, and her original paintings hang in corporate and private collections throughout the world from Australia to Siberia.
Pollyanna studied at the London Central school of Art, graduating with distinction, and she has worked freelance since 1969. Her original paintings have been exhibited to critical acclaim in top galleries throughout the UK and Europe. She has her own gallery in the Peak District of Derbyshire where she lives and works. In 1983 her work was first accepted for display by the Royal Academy, the same year in which she won her first major trophy, the Silver Palette Award. For many years she was accredited to the Tryon and Swann gallery, and has exhibited at the Mall galleries with The Society of Wildlife Artists, and in Australia with Christies Fine Art. She acts as patron of the Wildlife Art Society International, and is a member of The Society of Animal Artists (New York) and a signature member of Artists for Conservation and the Society of Feline Artists. In 2008 she recieved an honorary degree from the University of Derby in recognition of her acheivements.
Pollyanna's skills as an artist, and her journeys into remote, inhospitable and often dangerous areas of the world attract much media attention. She was voted Speaker of the Year in 2004, is regularly featured in the international press, and on radio. A familiar face on TV, the most recent documentary about her work Made in England was broadcast on BBC 1. She films over thirty live shows annually for the Create and Craft TV channel, which are simulcast to the UK and USA.
Pollyanna's work will be familiar to most people through her extensive range of published work. Her limited edition and fine art prints, ranges of greeting and Christmas cards and gift ware are exported into over eighty countries world-wide. by her publishers, Otter House. Set up initially to publish Pollyanna's work Otter House are now the market leaders in animal-led gift ware in Europe. Pollyanna designs exclusively for Harrods, the world's most famous depart ment store. Doulton and Wedgwood have released series of limited edition plates , and both Danbury Mint in Europe and Bradford Exchange in the US continue to extend their ranges of collectables featuring her work.
She has painted series of postage stamps for the Republic of Benin and The Congo, and in 2004, First Day Covers for the Royal Mail. Pollyanna is however most pleased when her work can be used to support causes close to her heart, and work has been commissioned and published by every major animal charity including WWF, the RSPB, IFAW, Cats Protection, The Born Free Foundation, and Guide Dogs for the Blind. Many International charities have also commissioned work including the RSPCA (Hong Kong) and Second Sight, the American Guide Dogs association.
For fifteen years Pollyanna ran a registered hospital for birds of prey from her home. Caring mainly for injured and orphaned raptors, she also rehabilitated foxes, hedgehogs, squirrels and other mammals, all of which feature in her work. Her third book 'A Brush with Wildlife' tells the story of the sanctuary, and the paintings inspired by the close contact with the creatures in her care, which is reflected in the realism and vitality of her work.
Pollyanna's determination to paint only animals which she has observed in their natural habitats has lead her into a remarkable and unique series of journeys into some of the most inhospitable areas of the globe. Her expeditions to study threatened species have taken her across five continents, from the jungles of India to the deserts of North America, and the wastelands of Siberia where she painted the threatened Amur Tiger. She has painted in the rain forests of Central America, and the forests of Transylvania. The award-winning book 'Giant Pandas and Sleeping Dragons' was inspired by her travels in the Tibetan Borderlands of China in search of the giant panda, while 'On Top of the World' tells of her expeditions into the High Arctic to paint polar wildlife. In 2007 she undertook the 4th AFC flag expedition into the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. She is accompanied on her journeys by her daughter and business partner Anna-Louise who also writes the text and contributes the photography to the books.
The Pollyanna Pickering Foundation raises funds for world-wide conservation, animal welfare and disaster relief. Pollyanna continues in her support of other charities. Within her local community she has acted as Honorary president of associations including the RSPCA, and Hearing dogs for the Deaf, and has been awarded the Freedom of Bolsover and District in recognition of her charitable work in the area. She is a member of the Court of the University of Derby, and a patron of charities including the Born Free Foundation, The Badger Trust, Cats in Need, Raptor Rescue, Naturewatch, and FABLE who raise funds for epilepsy sufferers and a trustee of the Irish African/Asian Conservation Trust. She has accepted the post of International Vice President of The Wildlife Defence Fund, and acts as global ambassador for Australian conservation initiative Wildlife Warriors. She holds the official role of Conservation Partner to the Wildlife Conservation Division of the Department of Forests and Park Services of Bhutan.
Pollyanna has received over thirty international awards and accolades for her paintings, including the Silver Palette Trophy and the Millennium Trophy bestowed by the Wildlife Art Society International who have also awarded her two Gold Medals. In 2004 she was awarded a coveted first prize in the Wildlife Artist of the Year Awards, and in 2007 won the first National Wildscape Masterclass Challenge. In 2009 the Society of All Artists named her Professional Wildlife Artist of the Year in their annual award, and in 2011 she won the inaugural Environmental Concern Award in the Wildlife Artist of the Year Awards. In 2016 the Association of Animal Artists honoured her with their Inaugural Chiarmans Award, and the following year she recieved the Gold Medal for Best Painting in Show at their annual exhibition.
However in recent years she has also been recognised for her remarkable accomplishments in both business and conservation. The International Fund for Animal Welfare named her Animal Conservation Fund-raiser of the Year, honouring her with an award at a special presentation at the House of Lords. She has received a commendation for her work in Arts and Media at the European Women of Achievment Awards and won the Hera Award at the prestigious NatWest everywoman Awards which celebrate the achievements of women in business.
In 2006 she was awarded the Department of Trade and Investment's Women in Business Achievement Award. and the following year receieved one of the first Excellence in the Community from Derbyshire County Council, in recognition of her ‘outstanding personal achievement’ which has helped to put Derbyshire on the map. In 2009 she was one of the three shortlisted finalists for the Women in Public Life Awards. In 2010 she was named Entrepeneur of the Year in the inaugural Derbyshire Times Business Awards.
Pollyanna has recently been honoured with two Lifetime Achievement Awards - Peak FM (2016) and at the Inspirational Women Awards (2015)