In 1972, See-Paynton moved to a remote farmhouse in Wales, on to which he built his studio. Entirely self-taught as an engraver, he began to make prints in 1980 and has since produced over 250 editions.
Colin has brought a new vitality to one of the earliest forms of printmaking. Although his work is based on the meticulous observation of the natural world, his talent is to invent compositions which distil the ecological and behavioural relationships of the species and their habitats. He uses his knowledge and imagination to construct engravings of great complexity and refinement and has evolved something new by the patterning and layering of his images. Later compositions, particularly those from an underwater viewpoint, use an increasingly abstract and fluid line to capture the fast and fleeting movements of birds and fish.
Colin See-Paynton is a Fellow of the Royal Cambrian Academy, Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and a member of the Society of Wood Engravers. He is widely regarded as the leading exponent of wood engraving in the United Kingdom and his work is represented in many private and public collections around the world including the V & A, Ashmolean Museum, Berlin Graphothek, Fremantle Museum & Art Gallery, Australia, Gaudi Salon, Barcelona, National Library of Wales, National Museum of Wales and the Yosemite Wildlife Museum, California. He has travelled with the Artists for Nature Foundation to the Pyrenees and to Alaska to record and highlight through his art the threat to wildlife caused by man’s exploitation of the natural resources of these areas.