Biography

As an internationally acclaimed wildlife artist and World Champion sculptor of birds, author, explorer, diver, filmmaker and art and environmental impresario, it has been Jeffrey’s life calling to share nature’s beauty, through art and other vocations.

Jeff’s artistic career began auspiciously at 16 years of age (in 1988), when the Prime Minister of Canada presented one of his sculptures to Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh on an official visit. That year, Jeffrey competed against senior professionals and won 3rd prize at the World Championship of Wildfowl Carving, receiving national recognition in television, radio and print. His research as an emerging artist, naturalist and expert on the Common Loon led to his first book and several special exhibits, including one at the Royal Canadian Mint, in celebration of the release of the one dollar “Loonie”, and in a group exhibit of Canada’s top contemporary wildlife artists, including Robert Bateman, Glen Loates and Fenwick Lansdowne, at Canada’s national Museum of Nature.  Two years later Jeffrey won first prize at the same World Championships, and his first book was published for artists, about the Common Loon. The book would sell over 10,000 copies over 3 printings and fund Jeff’s post-secondary education.  

While studying for his Honors Bachelors of Science in Biology and Geology at Carleton University, Jeff began work on his next book – “Owls of North America” – a coffee-table style publication featuring detailed studies and illustrations of 17 species of owls. The project involved a 5 week solo cross-Canada journey with stops at wildlife rehabilitation centres in almost every province and two years creating life-sized hyper-realistic illustrations of the species. In 1996, at age 24, Jeff was featured in a dedicated chapter to his work, as one of 15 of the world's leading wildfowl carvers in the book "Wildfowl Art" by Ernie Sparks and Laurel Aziz.

Jeff has since received numerous artistic awards and has written and illustrated several more books about birds, nature and art including the 542-page Birder’s Lifelist and Master Reference. He was also one of the youngest ever to be inducted as a Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists – an international league of the world’s most distinguished artists who specialize in portraying animals. Jeff was also among the youngest to be accepted into the Leigh Yawkey Birds in Art Exhibit – featuring an elite international collection of artwork by artists from around the globe. 

Shortly after graduating, Jeff pursued his passion for technology and natural facility in software programming and co-founded a leading Internet consulting firm. A successful entrepreneur by 30 years of age, Jeff used his business success as a vehicle to support his non-profit passions and philanthropic work in the arts and environment. As a result of these achievements, Jeff was honored as one of Vancouver’s top young business professionals by Business in Vancouver’s Top Forty under 40 awards.  

As an artist, Jeff is known best for his striking mixed-media and bronze sculptures of birds and other natural history subjects. His subjects range from anatomical restorations of prehistoric life, such as dinosaurs, to modern birds, insects and plants. Jeff produces a small number of creations each year, many requiring hundreds of hours of work. Recent notable acquisitions of Jeff’s artwork include a bronze sculpture purchased for the collection of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

Jeff’s pursuits in arts and science have led him to produce documentary films about wildlife and art and to travel to many fascinating and wild places. In his first film, produced in cooperation with the American Museum of Natural History and Houston Zoo, Jeff traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda to retrace the steps of a famous historic explorer 11,000 feet up a volcano and tell the story of how an artist and scientist helped establish Africa’s first national park and save Mountain Gorillas from extinction, nearly a century ago.

Jeff’s expeditions have been publicized and shared through his art, books, and documentary films. As a result of his exploratory work, in 2011, Jeffrey was inducted as a “Fellow International” of the illustrious Explorer’s Club. Some of Jeff’s other art and science expeditions include:; a 300km canoe trek in Nunavut on the George River to the Arctic Ocean to track the world’s largest herd of caribou; studies of the endangered Rothschild Giraffe in Kenya by hot air balloon; expeditions to catch and identify new species of moths in the jungles of Costa Rica and Northern Vietnam; biodiversity studies in Malaysian Borneo; diving with stingrays, sea turtles and whale sharks, and studies of grizzly bears in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest. 

In 1997, Jeff combined his passions for the arts, business, natural history and technology to form an international charity - Artists for Conservation (AFC) - of which he is the President and founding Chairman. AFC is the world’s leading artist group supporting the environment with 500 members from 27 countries, including many of the world’s most respected artists. AFC mounts exhibits, festivals, cultural events, education programs and expeditions to study and conserve wildlife.

Jeff is in demand as a public speaker, as a judge for art competitions and writer for online and print publications. His role in AFC along with his artistic credentials has uniquely positioned him as an authority in the nature and wildlife art genre. 

Currently, Jeff is working on a fourth documentary film, a series of paintings and sculptures for a major personal exhibit in 2016. He is also working to establish Artists for Conservation festivals in multiple locations around the world.

A devoted family man, Jeff currently resides in North Vancouver, British Columbia with his wife Yasaman and two children, Amanda and Anthony.

Support for Conservation: 

Since he was a child, Jeffrey has been passionate about nature and wildlife. In early adulthood, Jeff dedicated much of his time and effort to its documentation or its preservation, through his art, his publications and his brainchild - Artists for Conservation. His scientific and artistic field studies of flora and fauna has lead him throughout North America to the cloud forests of Costa Rica, the Virunga Volcanoes and Rift Valley of Africa, the lowlands of Central America and the Patagonian region in southern Chile, to remote parts of northern Vietnam and of Borneo and to the World Heritage ecosystem of the Loire Valley in France. His art and his books aim to educate and inspire viewers and readers to learn more about our natural heritage.

Jeff sees himself contributing directly to the conservation agenda by leading Artists for Conservation, by connecting the public with nature through arts, culture and science, and inspiring other artists to take on greater leadership and educational roles in supporting conservation causes.

 

Special Achievements: 
  • 2011 - Inducted as International Fellow of the Explorer's Club
    http://www.explorers.org
    In 2011, Jeff was inducted as Fellow of the Explorer's Club - their highest level of membership. Founded in New York City in 1904, The Explorers Club promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. The Club's members have been responsible for an illustrious series of famous firsts: First to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, first to the surface of the moon—all accomplished by our members.
     
  • 2012 - BIV Forty Under 40 Award Recipient
    http://www.biv.com/40under40/
    Forty under 40 celebrates the depth of business talent in British Columbia, from the rising stars of the corporate world to successful entrepreneurs, and non-profit leaders. Winners are chosen based on such values as achievement, experience, innovation, vision, leadership, and community involvement.
     
  • 1990 - 1st Prize, World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition, Open Class

     

Collections:

  • 1989 - Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, London
    Sculpture commissioned by the Canadian Government and presented by the Prime Minister of Canada to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in London, England.
     
  • 1989 - Mr. R. Ruggiero, Minister of Foreign Trade, Rome
    Sculpture commissioned by the Governement of Canada and presented by the Canadian Minister of International Trade to his Italian counterpart, R. Ruggiero, Minister of Foreign Trade, in Rome, Italy.
     

Publications:

  • The Birder's Lifelist and Master Reference (1999)
    Author and Illustrator - A 542-page, richly illustrated lifetime journal for recording personal birding sightings for all birds of the world. Also contains 200 pages of general reference on feeding, housing, natural history, anatomy and much more.
    Author: Jeffrey Whiting
    Published by: Lee Valley
     
  • The Birder's Field Notebook (1999)
    Author and Illustrator - A pocket-sized companion to the Birder's Lifelist & Master Reference. Contains key reference highlights for identifying and describing birds in the field, with an ample supply of blank pages for taking notes.
     
  • Jeffrey Whiting's Owls of North America (1997)
    Author and Illustrator - Hardcover, coffee-table format book richly illustrated with detailed schematics by Jeffrey Whiting and a collection of beautiful artworks depicting owls by some of the world's leading wildlife artists.
    Author: Jeffrey Whiting
    Published by: The Heliconia Press
     
  • Loon Carving Patterns and Techniques (1997)
    Author and Illustrator - Instructional oversized book with detailed anatomical drawings and patterns to aid "loon artists". Also contains instructions on Jeff's painting and sculpting techniques.
     
  • Wildfowl Art (1996)
    Artwork Contributor - A coffee-table portfolio, featuring works by the world's top 15 wildfowl carvers.
     

Organization Membership:

  • 2011 - Explorer's Club, Fellow
    http://www.explorers.org
    In 2011, Jeff was inducted as Fellow of the Explorer's Club - their highest level of membership. Founded in New York City in 1904, The Explorers Club promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. The Club's members have been responsible for an illustrious series of famous firsts: First to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, first to the surface of the moon—all accomplished by our members.
     
  • Society of Animal Artists
    http://www.societyofanimalartists.com
    Juried as member of prestigious group of artists who depict animals. Based in New York, NY.
     
  • Artists for Conservation
    http://www.artistsforconservation.org/ 
    The Artists for Conservation Foundation (AFC) is a non-profit, international organization dedicated to the celebration and preservation of the natural world. Based in Vancouver, Canada, the Foundation represents the world's leading collective of artists focused on nature and wildlife, with a membership spanning five continents and twenty-seven countries. The organization's mission is to support wildlife and habitat conservation, biodiversity, sustainability and environmental education through art that celebrates our natural heritage.