Throughout, Hodges provides anecdotes behind some of his best loved drawings, warm memories of his time with wild animals, his close ties to many wildlife charities, personal photographs and profound insights into his Heart & Soul.
"I love books, but never before have I been so emotionally moved by a book before even turning a single page. There is something tangibly emotive just oozing out through the print of this magnificent masterpiece. For surely that is what this is, something more than a book and nothing less than a masterpiece."
Carolyn Hall, South Africa
"HEART & SOUL is the best book I own! Honestly, it is so beautiful, there is always a page to cheer you up, always a page to make you go Ahh...., always some info on the Amazing artist that is Gary Hodges and just the most enjoyable journey through the life of an amazing man, with an amazing talent, who has spent over twenty one years giving me and my Mother reasons to smile!"
Paul Skull Gutteridge, UK
"Your book finally made its way to me in Kenya. I am overwhelmed with emotion and deeply touched by what you wrote.
"It is simply one of the most special, sensitive, beautiful and outstanding pieces of work I have ever seen. Your writing, photographs and drawings, every page, is to be treasured.
"I am in tears. Thank you for sharing your story so far."
Lissa Ruben, Kenya
"Knowing the man, and collecting his work, this is just another beautiful piece with true HEART AND SOUL that I could not put down. Raw Hodges."
Mark Bristow, UK
“We have come to expect nothing but brilliance from Gary’s artwork. After all that is why we have so many prints around our home and I have such a long wish list. But can he write a book?? The answer is a resounding YES!"
"My family will treasure this book forever. Thank you Gary.”
Sally Cocker, UK
"Before even turning the pages you are already mesmerised by this book. Gary has truly allowed you into his world and you feel like you know the artist behind some of the most prized possessions that are hanging on your wall."
Jodie Philp, UK
"Gary`s new book has been a bit of a timely gem to help give focus to my life. I have the misfortune to suffer from depression and lack of self esteem. I had reached a new low, when I purchased a laptop for the first time, and on going onto Gary's website, saw to my immense delight, that he was about to bring out a big new book. Well, I can honestly say that the cloud that had been hanging over me for some time, began to clear, and with each new update, I felt an excitement of the anticipation of having this new book. I placed my order for the book and received it in time for my birthday, as my main present.
"Upon opening , I was not disappointed, for with the turning of each new page, I was treated to some of the most wonderful pencil artwork I have ever seen. The writing was a terrific insight into the life of the artist that over the years has given such immense pleasure to so many people. For me personally, it has helped to uplift my spirits when it was most needed, and inspired me to enjoy my life just that little bit more."
Ray Clark, UK
Gary's brand new personally signed and numbered hardback autobiography with a portfolio of all his published prints is now available from the shop. It is limited to 1,000 copies worldwide.
The book was launched at world renowned Nature in Art Museum in April 2014, by Nigel Marven, Wildlife TV presenter. You can see the photos taken by Neil Wray.
Included in the 272 pages:
All 129 published prints illustrated in the portfolio section.
Includes 79 unpublished drawings and sketches.
336 full colour and B/W photographs scattered throughout the book, including ones from his childhood and many from his adventures.
His intensely personal autobiography told over 20 chapters... find out what really makes him tick
Foreword by Virginia McKenna OBE.
Introduction by Rula Lenska.
Gary spent 15 months putting together this beautiful book, written from his heart and illustrated with his own wonderful drawings and photographs. Even his most loyal fans will be surprised at the depth of his writing and the stories he tells.
It is an intimate and sometimes heart-wrenching story of an artist who against the odds outsold his peers. Gary's personal account gently builds a deeper understanding of his life and his art. Through tragedy and joy, the artist’s ability to reach into the soul of his subjects becomes clearer, as his personal portrait emerges.
Son of a fishmonger, his safe teenage home-life was torn apart when his dear mother died. Unable to deal with the overwhelming sadness, he finally found a release for his emotions through drawing wildlife.
Struggling to find his way in the world and coming to terms with his sexuality he met a wonderful group of lifelong friends. Through them he found his soul-mate, with whom he has shared the last 37 years.
"Got to my mum's house last night after 3 weeks of Springwatch and your parcel had arrived. I had no idea it was going to be such a stunning coffee table type of book, it's absolutely beautiful. I've always loved the way you draw eyes so I adore the cover, there's so much in the book, your 'Heart and Soul' really must've gone into producing it. We need more Gary Hodges in this world!"
Michaela Strachan of BBC's Springwatch
"When I first received Heart & Soul, I got emotional and teary several times... but in a good way. It still happens! To be touched by a book like that is a rare thing.
"Heart & Soul is truly stunning and amazing; full of Gary Hodges' beautiful drawings and equally stunning photographs. Every page offers a new delight, along with many touching insights into Gary's personal and professional life. In the Foreword by Virginia McKenna OBE, she says: "Gary, without fail, captures the soul, the heart and the essence of whatever creature he is drawing. You only have to look into their eyes." I could not have put it any better. Gary works hard, and gives generously to support and protect the animals he loves to draw. He is an inspiration to art and animal lovers alike.
"This is no ordinary coffee table book; it is a work of art in itself, and I feel blessed to own a copy."
Josephine Logan, France
His art career began slowly, the commercial art world insisting he used colour. But through self-publishing his extraordinary pencil drawings developed a huge following not only breaking down barriers but selling out large editions.
It should have been easier from then onwards, but just as his career hit its peak, tragedy struck again, driving him back to the sadness of his teenage loss.