Susan Bowles Blog

Some of you may already know that tragically, my husband Ian, died in November last year from a very aggressive and rare neurological disease that took his life in a few weeks. We had just returned from a walking and birdwatching holiday in the Isles of Scilly so it came as a complete shock to our family and friends and we are still struggling to come to terms with his sudden loss.

It had been a good year. Ian was busy with work, interesting commissions and designing our calendar and loving his painting, and we had visited the island of Tiree in April/May, which was fabulous, and the Isles of Scilly in September for the umpteenth time, always a favourite. It was a glorious summer to remember, beautiful weather and sitting out eating most evenings in the garden in the sunshine overlooking the orchards at the bottom of the garden and often with buzzards wheeling overhead and all seemed right in our world.

We had actually had the conversation of how lucky we had been to have shared and experienced such an interesting and varied life and career and had achieved our ambitions through hard work and determination. From our beginnings with our pottery studio, making domestic and decorative ware and hand painted house plaques, to our twenty-five one-man Art Exhibitions at Sevenoaks Wildfowl Reserve and also many other London exhibitions, and to our participation and exhibits at the Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court Flower Show for over twenty year, and our many years of exhibiting at the CLA Game Fair. Of meeting and selling to celebrities and royalty and our wonderful customers from all over the world. Our ventures with wildlife organisations, the RSPB, the World Wildlife Fund, the Kent Wildlife Trust and also the National Trust and more. Commissions in memory of loved ones, special presents, retirement gifts, thank yous, Ian touched so many people’s lives and he has left such a massive legacy of his art behind him to be enjoyed forever by so many.

The Isles of Scilly in the September wove their magic as usual, and we had a wonderful week. We had only just returned when Ian was taken ill and after many scans and tests at Kings in London he was diagnosed and transferred to Hospice in the Weald where he died very quickly, but peacefully, devastating us as a family.

Ian had already painted some of the plates for his calendar for 2020 and so with help from our printers, I have completed this in his memory by adding some of our favourite plates from the last 18 years. It is now available for sale through this website, and I hope you will enjoy it through the coming year and celebrate his talent once more. The RSPB are also selling an A4 version in their shops and website. Over the years we have had amazing and humbling letters of thanks and praise for his art from so many, and which we have treasured and appreciated, thank you for supporting us and being part of our journey over the years.

As well as his paintings and sketches over many years Ian also wrote a lot of descriptive text, (in his distinctive style) of his travels and local observations of wildlife and also poems, and I may well produce a sketchbook of his work in the future, if I am able.

Susan Bowles
July 2019
Plaxtol, Kent