WHEN it comes to capturing Australian wildlife in all its beauty, Daryl Dickson is at the top of the tree.
The award-winning painter and illustrator provides a captivating glimpse into our unique wildlife in her latest book, Celebrating Australia's Magnificent Wildlife.
From black-winged stilts to brushtail possums, koalas to kookaburras, Dickson works in multiple media - from illustration to watercolour - to capture the intricate beauty of her subjects.
She combines this art with a deep knowledge of, and appreciation for, habitat and behaviour in the notes accompanying many of the artworks.
Dickson also shares something of herself... her family's move from England to South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula in 1961; surviving the shock of being told by a high school vocational guidance officer that there was no future for women in art; and finding her haven in the far north tropics of Queensland.
Her home is perched on the edge of the World Heritage Kirrama Range, surrounded by lush rainforest and an astonishing array of animals.
"It changed my life and my future as an artist," she writes. "If I had ever hoped for the perfect inspiration, here it was in endless splendour."
Energetic conservationists, Dickson and her husband Geoff Moffatt have converted their home into a sanctuary for the endangered mahogany glider.
"As few as 1500 animals now remain in the wild," she writes. "This gentle and delicate creature's survival rests, to a great extent, with the goodwill of local landholders and national park management."
This delightful artbook is a treasure trove of beauty and knowledge from a woman at one with nature.
Celebrating Australia's Magnificent Wildlife: The art of Daryl Dickson (Exisle Publishing) RRP $55.