Second Nature – The Art of Charles Tunnicliffe

Artist Charles Tunnicliffe 2How refreshing! once I got over the fact the Charles Tunnicliffe gallery at the RA was a little larger than my bedroom, but then the £3 entry fee is reflective of this. I decided to enjoy every moment of it.

At first glance Tunnicliffe’s work looked ordinarily traditional, nothing wowing me at first glance, but then as you read about each piece of artwork you feel and see his passion for each subject.

I checked with the gallery attendant if I were allowed to take photo’s and once it was confirmed that I could take as many photo’s as I liked I proceeded with that, until the gallery attendant pointed out I should download the app ‘Smartify‘ which, when you take a photo of the image it will show you a clear beautiful image on your device of the same and include details about it, I was ‘over the moon’ and proceeded to take lots of images with this new app and to my sadness I found out, when I had returned home some hours later, that I could not retrieve any of my collection! 😦 If I’m missing how to retrieve my collection please let me know! Luckily I had collected enough images of my own before the ‘Smartify’ interruption and had taken few more after this.

When reading about Charles Tunnicliffes work and what motivated him, Tunnicliffe was Artist Charles Tunnicliffe 1passionate about the animals that had surrounded his day to day life on the farm where he grew up in Sutton, a place near Macclesfield where he was born in 1901. He loved the animals and managed to really capture their spirit and attitude in each artwork, Capturing them in their natural surroundings and activities. All of his work as an air of innocence and purity, there is a definite child-likeness to to his work.

What was also added to the atmosphere of purity to the Tunnicliffe gallery is the family corner for children, they can colour in a paper bird then cut the bird out and add to the tree and join an assortment of beautifully coloured paper birds. A very nice touch and in keeping with the pure clean artwork of Charles Tunnicliffe.

Tunnicliffe Image 4

Seeing Tunnicliffe’s artwork didn’t powerfully inspire me, but it does stir me to want to create artwork born out of passion for the subject as opposed to just being commissioned to do a piece of work.

Charles Tunnicliffe’s passion of painting wildlife led him on to illustrate for over 250 books such as;

Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson,Tarka the Otter


Birds of the Estuary Penguin Books,


The Peregrine Sketchbook by C.F. Tunniclffe.


To see an extensive list of the books Charles Tunnicliffe illustrated in visit the Wikipedia link under the heading Bibliography.

An OBE was just one of Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe’s life time achievements. He used watercolours, etchings, oil paints and other media to re create his biggest passion, the wildlife he was surrounded by as a boy. His humble attention to detail combined with presenting each creatures spirit in that moment as bought his gift before thousands today, his work will be talked about many many years after his death. As an artist, a fellow creator it wouldsuch a privilege to leave behind a legacy like this.

Tunnicliffe Image 3

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