Blogs

Nature Art Uncovered – The Time of Classification

Artists for Conservation

At some stage, every artist will be asked the same question: “An artist, how interesting. What do you paint?” Most people would think this is easy to answer, but you know it’s not. I’ve tried almost every way of explaining I can think of, a list of explanations that at some stage will inevitably illicit the response “Oh, a wildlife artist.” The list has included landscape, history, plants – but when it gets to wildlife, bingo! 

Charming Encounters at Algonquin Provincial Park

Artists for Conservation

Algonquin Provincial Park is one of my favourite places to visit. Fortunately it is only a couple hours drive from my home, so I can go often. Spring, summer, autumn or winter, each season has a flavour of its own. Of the many impressive residents that inhabit the park, ranging from magnificent moose, wolves, black bears and beavers the one that charms and captivates me the most is of course feathered.

My Feathered Friends: “Spix and the Spix’s macaw”

Artists for Conservation

This is a painting of the beautiful blue Spix's macaw Cyanopsitta spixii, and  the only species in its genus which makes it monotypic. The painting was part of the 2009 AFC exhibit held at the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum in New Jersey.

The Fall of the Frog

Artists for Conservation

 

I turned 14 in May of 1972, and like any self-respecting country boy of that age, I looked forward to the impending emergence of hibernating frogs. Three ponds near my home harbored good populations of Northern Leopard Frogs,  and each summer I brought home several eggs to watch the twitching embryos grow within their gelatinous orbs before bursting from them and metamorphosing into small frogs over the summer.

Connecting the Dots

Through Endangered Eyes - Book by AFC Artist, Rachel Dillon

 

I have one goal when I walk into an elementary school classroom: to teach kids why they need to care about endangered species. I'm not a biologist, or a scientist, I'm an artist with a slightly different approach to things.

My presentation starts with what inspired me to create my non-fiction children's picture book, "Through Endangered Eyes - a poetic journey into the wild" - my passion to help animals in trouble. I tell them that I believe every creature has a job to do on the planet, and when one species disappears, the world becomes unbalanced.

My Feathered Friends: Maintaining Everyday Backyard Relationships

Artists for Conservation

This morning I woke up to the ear piercing pulse of the Starship Enterprise's "red alert" alarm. Apparently I watched a lot of Star Trek during the formative years of Hoover's life. (Yeah, yeah, I'm a closet Trekky). Brad and I often wake up to the sounds of crows cawing, ambulance sirens screaming or the melodic song of a cardinal....all coming from the kitchen. The culprit is Hoover, our chatty, captive-raised, 20 year old Congo African Grey Parrot.

The Art of Business

Pollyanna Pickering - The Art of Business

Many people have a vision of an artist as someone blissfully detached from the realities of life - working only when the muse takes them, floating through life on a cloud of dreamy inspiration as far removed from tax returns and binding contracts as it is possible to be.

Or alternatively they might imagine an impassioned and slightly demented figure, starving poetically in a garret, working feverishly while existing on a diet of scrounged cigarettes and absinthe, never to be recognised in their own lifetime.

Painting the Painted Dog: Planning an Impactful Field Expedition for Awareness & Education

Artists for Conservation

In 2007 I was awarded AFC's 5th Flag Expedition Fellowship and had the amazing experience of spending 6 weeks at the Painted Dog Conservation project (PDC) in Zimbabwe, tracking and sketching highly endangered African wild dogs (known as Painted Dogs in Zimbabwe). The main objectives of my project were to raise awareness of this unique and persecuted species and to raise funds for their conservation.

Nature Art Uncovered - The Beginnings

The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch

In 1504 Hieronymus Bosch, living in the low countries of Northern Europe, applied the last touches to an image that has puzzled the world ever since. "The Garden of Earthly Delights" (1503-1504) seems to suggest a utopian world, yet running through the work are a series of human frailties that end in the ultimate damnation of the human race.

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