Allan Hancock

AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for December, 2014

W. Allan Hancock’s fascination with the natural world began in his childhood and has found expression in his artwork ever since. While the subject of Allan’s art continues to be the beauty of the natural world, many of his paintings offer a reminder of the impact we have on it. Allan spent most of his youth in Saskatchewan where abandoned homesteads and the remnants of human heritage also began to leave a lasting impression. Today Allan continues to share these two interests, reflecting on the passing of time and our influence on this world.


Allan’s art career began in 1989 when he started to work as a wildlife artist for a greeting card company. Drawn to its natural beauty and abundant wildlife, Allan moved to Vancouver Island in 1995 to pursue a self-employed art career. Since then Allan’s artwork has been selected for numerous fundraising projects for wildlife and habitat conservation purposes. In 1996, he became the youngest artist ever selected as Ducks Unlimited Canada’s Artist of the Year and was honoured with the Waterfowl Art Award. His artwork is also featured on the 2005 & 2011 Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamps as well as the 2014 Salmon Conservation Stamp. His artwork has been chosen for 3 Provincial conservation stamps (1998 North West Territories Conservation Stamp, 2001 Saskatchewan Conservation Stamp, 2003 Prince Edward Island Conservation Stamp) which benefits conservation efforts within those provinces and territories.  The 2014 Salmon Conservation Stamp features one of my paintings in support of salmon and habitat conservation.


Most recently Allan was an artist participant involving over 50 artists, including some of Canada’s most celebrated and many of whom are First Nations – took to the language of paintbrushes and carving tools to give a voice to the fragile Canadian Westcoast. The artists were united in the belief that an oil spill from a supertanker would have a catastrophic impact on this remarkable region.  They wanted to bring international attention to the fragile coast and believed no amount of profit is worth the risk. Led by Raincoast, with support from First Nations communities, eco-tour operators (Columbia III, MapleLeaf and Bluewater Adventures), and coastal lodges (Spirit Bear, Hakai Institute and King Pacific), on an expedition into the heart of the tanker route. The resultant art works, film, and book are a world class reminder of why our coast needs to remain oil free.

Once completed, over 60 pieces of art, most of which are original, paintings, carvings, sculptures, and jewellery resulted. The art was then displayed in a travelling exhibition shown throughout British Columbia and Alberta, including stops in Calgary, Canmore, Whistler, Vancouver, Nanaimo, Victoria, and Salt Spring Island. Although the exhibitions are now complete, and raised over $125, 000 for the Oil-Free Coast campaign, some works are still for sale in their collection, along with others since donated. Interested collectors or galleries wishing to purchase or display the art should contact them for more details. Allan's painting raised over $3000 for the cause.


 "The Art For An Oil-free Coast campaign was such an honour to be part of, and so very important.  I continue to draw inspiration from that trip, both in my artwork and my desire to take care of the natural world we are blessed with.  I am grateful everyday...for the privilege to paint and for the natural world that inspires me.


In most cases his artwork (originals and limited edition prints) has been used in fundraising efforts.  He has been supporting conservation groups in this way since 1990. In 1991 he was inspired to paint "Of Days Passed - Ferruginous Hawk" commenting on endangered species and habitats.  The Ferruginous Hawk was an endangered species and the short grass prairie in the background, an endangered habitat.  In the painting the hawk is perched on an old binder, which is extinct in that it is no longer used - except for yard decoration.  In 1993 I was informed by Ducks Unlimited Canada that limited edition prints of "Of Days Passed - Ferruginous Hawk" raised approximately $97,000.00 for their conservation efforts.  Over the years DU has made prints of 12 of his paintings.


In 2013 he donated a painting to the BirdLife International World Congress, hosted by Nature Canada in Ottawa, in support of BirdLife International's conservation efforts around the world.  My painting was purchased by Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado of Japan, BirdLife Honorary President.


"In 2009 I was asked by Tundra Books to illustrate a book entitled "Amazing Animals - The Remarkable Things That Creatures Do" written by Margriet Ruurs.  This book is aimed to educate young readers about nature and encourage them to get outside and enjoy nature.  As a member of the Salt Spring Island Conservancy, I volunteer in their Stewards In Training program which takes school groups out into nature to teach them about the natural world and the importance of taking care of it."  


Allan resides on Salt Spring Island with his wife Taryn and their children Ezra and Sage.  His paintings can be found in collections throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia.

Previous Conservation Artists of the Month

(December, 2019)
(November, 2019)
(October, 2019)
(September, 2019)
(August, 2019)
(July, 2019)
(June, 2019)
(May, 2019)
(April, 2019)
(March, 2019)
(February, 2019)
(January, 2019)
(December, 2018)
(November, 2018)
(October, 2018)
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