Press Coverage & Publications
Book : The Eye of the TigerJun, 2017
The Eye of the Tiger
The Eye of the Tiger is the beautifully illustrated story of two expeditions to India recounting their unique experiences – working with project tiger rangers; being given an orphan sloth bear as a birthday gift; facing a charging tiger and living to tell the tale. At the heart of this absorbing travel journal is the majestic tiger and the heroic efforts of all those who strive to ensure its survival in the wild.
Pollyanna has long held a fascination for painting this increasingly threatened species, and in 1990 she travelled to some of the remotest protected reserves in the jungles of Southern India. Accompanied by her daughter Anna-Louise and the world-renowned vet Bill Jordan, founder of the charity Care for the Wild, she braved the heat and discomfort to be rewarded with a sketch pad full of inspiration. Entertaining and informative extracts from Anna-Louise’s journals tell the remarkable story of an orphaned sloth bear cub as well as Pollyanna’s visit to the Bannaghatta reserve to sketch the ‘Born Free’ tigers. These five tigers were rescued from a roadside circus in Kent, where they had been kept in horrendous conditions, in cages with barely enough space to turn round. Following a campaign by the Born Free Foundation and The Mail on Sunday, enough money was raised to fly them out to a sanctuary in their ancestral homeland. “The only image I had of these tigers prior to my visit was the black and white photos of them confined in their circus 'beast wagon', a squalid prison. To see them roaming free under the heat of the Indian sun was an incredible experience.” Pollyanna commented “In the sanctuary they can run for the first time in their lives, roam and even swim in the river” .
Pollyanna and Anna-Louise fell in love with the country, the people, the wildlife and the constant chaos that is India. In 2002 they made a second expedition, this time into the foothills of the Himalayas in the North of India to paint Bengal Tigers. Here they stayed and worked with anti-poaching rangers in the heart of a project tiger reserve. In order to see and sketch her subjects first hand Pollyanna was bounced, jolted, cut, bruised, scratched stung and bitten - and even charged by a wild tiger. "I have had one or two scary moments over the years of travelling to paint endangered species” Pollyanna commented "but I have never experienced a fear like looking into the eyes of a snarling wild tiger from a distance of four feet."
The book is lavishly illustrated throughout with Pollyanna’s sketches, and Anna-Louise’s photographs, and features 20 superb colour plates selected from the paintings completed by Pollyanna following her inspirational journeys. The foreword is by Virginia McKenna, and the Preface contributed by Nick Jenkins of the International Fund for Animal Welfare
Book : WildnessJun, 2017
Book : The Way of the WolfJun, 2016
We are proud to announce the publication of 'Way of the Wolf' - the latest in a series of intricately researched and beautifully illustrated journals of discovery and thought-provoking observation from the mother and daughter team Pollyanna and Anna-Louise Pickering. In common with their highly-acclaimed back catalogue of work, 'Way of the Wolf' tackles the perilous state of an endangered species struggling on the edge of existence, battling against loss of habitat, ignorance and disease.
In the book Pollyanna and Anna-Louise will take you on two specific journeys, taken five years apart on different continents, to seek out the threatened European wolf in Romania and the critically endangered Ethiopian wolf that clings to a rapidly diminishing habitat in the high mountains of the Horn of Africa.
In 2004 the intrepid duo travelled to the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania, the Romanian region forever associated with Bram Stoker's most famous creation ' Count Dracula', to observe the European wolf in its natural habitat. Romania is a country still steeped in ancient superstition, tradition and folklore where the relentless progress of the twenty-first century has yet to make an impact. This European country with a troubled history is blessed with some truly spectacular scenery: the teeming bird life of the iconic Danube Delta; the rich fertile hinterland and the soaring impenetrable forests of the majestic Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania.
Fast forward five years and Pollyanna and Anna-Louise are on a plane bound for Addis Ababa. The upland regions of the Bale and Simien National Parks are chilly, cloud-covered areas of great beauty surrounded by fertile farmland. This region is home to the Ethiopian wolf, which has the dubious distinction of being the rarest of all canids and the most endangered carnivore in Africa. Small populations survive here having adapted to the harsh Afroalpine meadow and moorland habitat high up on the Roof of Africa. These slight, red-furred long-legged canines, that seem more fox than wolf, face a daily struggle against encroachment from agriculture and deadly diseases spread by domestic dogs.
Ethiopia is a beguiling country that has the power to bewitch and shock in equal measure. There is still poverty and deprivation aplenty, but this journal successfully captures the stunning natural beauty of the landscape and its people and the immense cultural and historical significance of a country rightly known as the 'Cradle of Civilisation'.
Anna-Louise writes with the straightforward, frequently humorous, observational style of the consummate diarist and her fascinating photographs provide documentary evidence of these meticulously planned expeditions. The beating heart of this book are Pollyanna's intricate working sketches and stunning original paintings. Her passion for conserving endangered wildlife in its natural environment inhabits her work - the threatened wolves that face a daily struggle for survival in the highlands of Transylvania and Ethiopia could find no greater champion.
Lavishly illustrated with paintings,sketches and photographs on every page in full colour.
Foreword by Graham Norton
Prefaces by Prof Claudio Sillero, founder of Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme and Count Tibor Kalnoky.
Book : A Brush With WildlifeJun, 2015
A Brush with Wildlife
'A Brush With Wildlife' tells the story of the wildlife sanctuary which Pollyanna ran from her home for fifteen years. Lavishly illustrated with sketches, paintings and photographs on every page, it tells the heart-warming, amusing and inspirational stories of many of the birds and animals cared for by Pollyanna and her team of helpers. The book provides a unique insight into Pollyanna's life and work, and reveals the real life stories of many of the birds and animals featured in her most famous paintings. The book also includes a portfolio of thirty paintings of British Wildlife and landscapes, and a faithful reproduction of the 'Millennium Triptych' - the remarkable work painted by Pollyanna to celebrate the start of a new century.
The book ends with an extended biography, tracing the fascinating rise of Pollyanna's career - from scouting jumble sales to find frames for her paintings, to selling her work in eighty countries world-wide.
The forward to the book has been written by respected naturalist David Bellamy, and the preface by Twiggy, who is patron of the Halcyon Haven Animal Sanctuary.
Book : On Top of the WorldDec, 2014
On Top Of The World
tells the story of her two painting expeditions into the frozen wastelands of the north, accompanied by her daughter and business partner Anna-Louise. These two slim blondes are probably the least likely arctic adventurers ever - but embarked on their remarkable expeditions in order to enable Pollyanna to sketch wild polar bears in their natural habitat. Pollyanna has become renowned for her travels into remote parts of the world to study and paint endangered species. By experiencing some of the most remote regions of the planet she feels she is able to portray wildlife in a uniquely compelling way, and bring an unmistakable accuracy and reality to her work.
Pollyanna and Anna-Louise made two expeditions to the far north in search of polar bears - the world largest carnivore. The first took them above the arctic circle, where the intrepid pair travelled by husky dog sledge, camping out on the ice in tents and igloos at night. Temperatures fell as low as -40†c - and the two vegetarians found themselves surviving on a diet of raw frozen caribou meat, the diet of their two Innuit guides. Even sketching was a problem for Pollyanna who travels with a set of water colours - her paints were frozen solid! "I was able to remove my two outer pairs of gloves, and wearing just the inner layer of thermal silk gloves sketch in pencil for 20 minute bursts before my fingers began to feel numb" she explained " as soon as I felt any real discomfort I would immediately put my thick down filled gloves back on - frost bite is a very real risk in those temperatures - and that is the last thing I need in my right hand!"
Their second journey took Pollyanna and Anna-Louise back to the Northwest territories of Canada this time to stay in a remote lodge on the migration path of female polar bears and their cubs. Such is the danger of polar bear attack in this region that the wooden lodge is entirely encased in steel bars, and once they had been flown out to the building by helicopter, they were unable to step out of the confines of this 'cage' for the duration of their stay.
Their suffering was rewarded with frequent sightings of polar bears, and sheets of sketches which provided Pollyanna with the reference for her paintings, completed on her return to her Derbyshire studio. A portfolio of twenty-one of these paintings is reproduced in the final chapter of the new book.
On Top of the World is an amusing, informative and entertaining account of the highs and lows endured while travelling through the awe inspiring kingdom of the ice bear. A fascinating travelogue, the book illustrated throughout with Pollyanna's paintings and sketches and Anna-Louise's photographs. Anna-Louise also wrote the text for this, their second collaboration, which provides a riveting insight into the real story behind Pollyanna's paintings
Book : Giant Pandas and Sleeping DragonsJun, 2014
Giant Pandas and Sleeping Dragons
This lavishly illustrated book tells the remarkable story of Pollyanna's unique journey into China to study and paint the giant panda. It will enchant art and nature lovers alike while providing an insight into an area of the world which is shrouded in mystery.
The book is written as a travelogue, based on extracts from Anna-Louise's diary, each page illustrated with her photographs and Pollyanna's sketches. The rewards of the journey can be seen in the stunning portfolio of 21 original paintings reproduced at the end of the book.
In 1998 Anna-Louise was honoured to be a finalist in the cosmopolitan magazine Woman of Achievement awards for the writing and photography of this book.
Foreword by Virginia McKenna, Preface Stuart Chapman WWF.