Peter Warner

Peter Warner

Peter Warner was a wildlife artist of considerable talent who was sadly lost to the world when he died of cancer in the autumn of 2007. He illustrated the four Moon Cottage cat books.

Peter studied drawing and painting at Wimbledon School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools. He has illustrated over fifty children's and wildlife books, among them five major books on domestic and wild cats, notably The Book of the Cat and Perfect Cats, of which he is also the author.

He has also designed many internationally well-known advertising and product icons, such as Whiskas and Friskies cats, and Hush Puppies dogs. As a painter he specialises in animal and human portraits, wildlife and landscape. He is about to embark on a cat sculpture project, and complements creative activities with clarinet playing, in orchestras and chamber groups, and as soloist.

Comments from Peter

The Cats of Moon Cottage, the first collaboration between Marilyn and myself, has become a bestseller since its publication in September 2003. This is in no small part due to an immediate rapport between us, and recognising this successful association, in the great English tradition of author/illustrator partnerships, Hodder & Stoughton commissioned two more books to make a trilogy.

I felt immediate affinity with The Cats of Moon Cottage because Marilyn articulates with great sensitivity intricate feline relationships that I recognise from years of being possessed by, and studying, some wonderful cats in my life. My two cats Django and Blue had, fortuitously, many comparable characteristics to Septi and Otto in the book, and stood - and sat and purred - for well over a hundred spontaneous pencil drawings. Such feline essence can only be captured at the drop of a hat, so paper and pencils waited in strategic positions all over studio and house!

Pencil marks made this way in direct response to a moving subject have a fluency, vitality and integrity almost impossible to achieve otherwise.

Very sadly Django died at 7pm on Thursday, 9 October 2003, aged 19 years, 3 months and 9 days, after a blessedly short deterioration from kidney failure. The Cats of Moon Cottage thus become a magnificent memorial for him.

In the sequel, More Cat Tales from Moon Cottage many more drawings were possible from Fannie, Titus and Pushkin, but still my own cat Blue had to work overtime as a stand in following Django's death. Django too makes occasional appearances.

For both books Marilyn and I then collaborated to marry about seventy of these free drawings with decisive feline moments in the text, which was then designed around them. I hope this process has added something special to the underlying spirit of these wonderfully funny and poignant tales.