The stunning wildlife prints in the new book show the beauty of the beasts

Watch rusty red foxes flash through the frosty woods, watch badgers play through a fringe of ferns, greet a bright hedgehog framed in a bundle of leaves.

The wild animals of our countryside are the stars of an impressive collection of prints by some of our finest nature artists.

Images of badgers, hares, hedgehogs, deer, otters, mice, and moles fill the pages of Beauty of the Beast. They are by printmakers from all over the country, from Cornwall to Shetland, including many Norfolk and Suffolk artists. The book focuses on British wild mammals and features over 450 artworks, created using most printing methods from linocuts to screen printing and woodcuts to etchings.

Norwich Evening News: Red Squirrel By Vanessa LubachRed Squirrel – Vanessa Lubach (Photo: Vanessa Lubach)

It includes the work by renowned Cley-next-the-Sea artist Robert Gilmour, who died in May, and is dedicated to his memory.

Robert’s photographs have traveled the world, flying thousands of miles from its creation in North Norfolk.

The artist and ornithologist helped design the familiar Avocet logo for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and designed eight sets of stamps for Royal Mail.

His bold, bright prints captured birds in flight or an undulating seashore, the close-up lace of a dragonfly’s wing or the majesty of a wide-open landscape. Robert has illustrated hundreds of books and designed dozens of covers and jackets for the Collins New Naturalist series, as well as decorative prints, cards, and logos. The former President of the Society of Wildlife Artists has been awarded an MBE for his services to wildlife art.

Norwich Evening News: Badgers by Robert GilmourBadgers by Robert Gilmour (Photo: Robert Gilmour)

Norwich Evening News: White Deer By Rob BarnesWhite Deer – Rob Barnes (Photo: Rob Barnes)

Other artists featured in Norfolk include Diana Ashdown of Little Snoring near Fakenham, Rob Barnes of Langley near Loddon, Sarah Bays, Liz Hughes, Vanessa Lubach of Norwich, Amelia Bowman, Kerry Buck of Wymondham, Joanna Padfield of Sheringham and Janette Williams of Castle Acre.

Artists in Suffolk included Kate Batchelor of Weston near Beccles, Greta Hansen of Stowmarket, Andrew Haslin of Preston St Mary’s and Ann Townsend of Boxford.

Norwich Evening News: Spring by Andrew HaslinSpring by Andrew Haslin (Photo: Andrew Haslin)

Norwich Evening News: River Spirit By Kate BatchelorRiver Spirit by Kate Batchelor (Photo: Kate Batchelor)

The book is probably the last large-scale multi-artist production of Marion and Alan Marshall of Sutton, near Stallham, who, for the past ten years, as Mascot Media, have published exquisitely illustrated books featuring the work of some of the most talented printmakers in the country.

Some of their books featured individual artists, while others were filled with images of a specific animal. They have created books focusing on the hares, owls, chickens, water and wading birds, gardens and landscapes of Norfolk and Suffolk – and the cats that keep many artists in their studios.

Printmakers Cat has become a bestseller. Other popular titles include The Artful Hare, Suffolk Jewels, and Norfolk Gems. Each book includes vignettes about the animals or landscapes displayed and an opportunity for artists to explain how they create their prints.

Alan said he felt particularly proud to have published Robert Gilmour’s book, Pushing On, describing it as: “arguably the UK’s foremost wildlife printmaker.”

Marion and Alan run Stalham Books and Art in Stalham High Street along with Mascot Media, selling greeting cards and stationery designs as well as their books.

Norwich Evening News: Alan and Marion Marshall from Mascot MediaAlan and Marion Marshall from Mascot Media (Photo: Alan and Marion Marshall)

They have always had a commitment to working locally, and The Beast’s Beauty is printed on responsibly sourced, high quality paper, by Swallowtail Print of Drayton, near Norwich. “We believe it is important to print locally to reduce our carbon footprint, and to support local industry,” they said.

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