Mick Loates was born in South London, 1947 and studied at Sidcup and Ravensbourne Schools of Art. Following a brief and disillusioned spell in advertising he quit London to pursue a career in wildlife illustration and painting from a former studio in East Sussex.
Throughout a career spanning 43 years his output has been considerable solely illustrating 22 titles which include the Henry Williamson classics, “Salar the Salmon” and “A Clear Water Stream,” the “Collins Guide to Fish of Britain & Europe,” Brian Clarke’s “Trout Etcetera” and Tony Soper’s “Oceans of Birds.” He has participated in numerous volumes on Wildlife and Sporting subjects and been featured both on television and in many publications. He is also an accomplished painter of nudes and portraits.
A sometime contributor to The Society of Wildlife Artists since 1976, he has exhibited extensively throughout the UK and overseas selling to collectors from Europe, the Americas, Australia and New Zealand. Mick was represented by the Malcolm Innes Gallery, London.
Employing both graphite and transparent watercolour he works into the white of the paper building tone with drybrush overglazes, excercising a discipline that avoids use of white paint, body colour or masking fluid.
A keen marine swimmer and angler of coarse, sea and game fish, his affinity with aquatic environments is apparent. Nearly all his concepts realise their genesis whilst on or by water.
“Fish move with a grace and fluidity few creatures can match, I spend hours watching them and the rhythms of water mesmerised every time, forever fascinated.”
“Influences and painters I admire are not easy to encapsulate, there are so many but I would cite Rembrandt, Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Stanhope Forbes, Millais, Waterhouse and Holman Hunt. Of contemporaries, certainly Lucien Freud features. However, the entire catalogue of Raymond Ching’s wildlife and portraiture has consistently struck me as being one step ahead. I consider myself fortunate in visiting the painter on several occasions at three studios he worked from when living in Sussex. Apparently, I was the first person to view the fully completed “Gilded Triptych!”
A widely travelled man, Mick’s journeys have taken him across much of Europe, the Ukraine, America, New Zealand, the Far East and the Nepalese Himalayas. A regular diarist since 1969 his other passions include music, playing blues guitar, going to sea in small traditional boats, gardening and distance swimming off his local beach.
He lives and works from his studio in Stokenham, on the South Devon coast.