<font color="#808080">COMBES, Simon</font>

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1940 - 2004)

Simon Combes was born in Shaftesbury, England, in 1940 and, at the age of six, moved with his family to an 800-acre farm in Kenya's Great Rift Valley. At the age of 19 he was drafted, serving in the Kenya regiment. He then applied for and received a commission in the King's African Rifles.

Combes' subsequent adventures and promotion to major at the age of 24, lead to perhaps a greater significance, the start of a new hobby. During moments of inactivity in the northern desert, Simon began to draw, and eventually paint the local nomadic people and the landscape in which they lived.

In 1969, he was persuaded to stage an exhibition of his work in Nairobi's New Stanley Art Gallery. The show was a near sell-out and an idea about an alternative career began to form in Combes' mind when someone made the suggestion that he paint wildlife. The creative seed was sown, and in 1974 Combes said farewell to the army, bought a small house on the outskirts of Nairobi and set up shop as a freelance artist.

In the three decades since, he has achieved worldwide success, countless commissions and many prestigious awards - including the Society of Animal Artists' Award of Excellence. He was chosen "Artist of the Year" for the 1994 Pacific Rim Wildlife Art Show. The success of his work has aided Combes as he seeks to raise awareness of wildlife conservation; he has made contributions and served on the councils of several conservation organizations.

Combes is the author and artist of two critically acclaimed books, Great Cats and An African Experience.

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