An Artful Nature

A blog to explore art, nature, and everything in between. 

Finding time

Like most of us, I struggle to fit everything into busy days. The past few months have been full of change, and while I know change means growth, it also makes it harder to establish routines and set aside time to paint.

I was finally forced to as I prepared to be a guest artist for the month of October at a gallery in Granville, OH. It reinforced just how much I love putting marks on paper and that I need to find that time. It is my meditation.

 The result was this little, 8" x 10", watercolor of an American Kestrel. I am infatuated with these little falcons. 

I finished the day of the show opening - nothing like procrastination!! It was a great feeling to see my work on the wall! Hopefully, the first of many!


Making a difference...

So I am leaping into a deep issue on just my second post, but then I tend to plow forward full speed ahead on things! 

Nature has been a constant in my life. I grew up roaming the woods and fields, delighting in the daily discoveries I made. My parents fortunately encouraged this, often driving me long distances to partake in classes at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the zoo. My fascination led me to pursue science and conservation as a career.

I also have what can only be called a soft heart. I wanted to rescue every injured and orphaned creature. It was not uncommon for me, and by default my parents, to be up nursing orphaned babies in the spring or driving to the closest wildlife rehabilitator with an unlucky victim of a collision we found on the side of the road. Once I reached high school, I volunteered at those same wildlife rehabilitation centers, learning valuable skills in wildlife care and handling. 

I was about 15 here with Gandalf, my favorite Red-tailed hawk.

I was about 15 here with Gandalf, my favorite Red-tailed hawk.

 I am now able to more objectively view the natural order of things. Some animals are prey, some predators. Some will suffer due to natural processes. However, I still believe in stepping in when the cause of suffering is man made. As more and more species face extinction at an increasingly rapid rate, I feel a need to try to make change happen in any way I can. I try to do this through environmental education, but also through my art.

As I write this, the news has been filled with the poaching of Cecil the lion. Some have been offended by the outrage, as there are so many other humanitarian issues. To me, human health and welfare is intrinsically linked with environmental health. We have a responsibility to future generations to conserve the natural resources of our beautiful Earth. 

The ‘greatest good for the greatest number’ applies to the number within the womb of time, compared to which those now alive form but an insignificant fraction. Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations. The movement for the conservation of wild life and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method.”
— A Book-Lover's Holidays in the Open, 1916 Muir

As such, I donate a portion of my art proceeds to wildlife conservation. I also try to celebrate the beauty of our natural resources in the subject matter I choose to paint.  in the coming months I plan to revisit my undergraduate thesis. I looked into the effect of visual art on endangered species awareness and completed a series of large scale inks of endangered species. You can see some of these big guys below. It is my hope that my art in some small way can make change happen. So look for some new pieces in the coming months!

grizzly - 9' x 7'

grizzly - 9' x 7'

Elephant 9' x 7'

Elephant 9' x 7'

Getting started....

 I think the first step is always the hardest. For me, this website is the first step in introducing my artwork to the world in a serious way. It is also me acknowledging to myself that I consider my artwork more than a hobby, and that I will refer to myself as an artist without fear.

I plan to showcase my original paintings, as well as the inspiration that drives them. They, as well as prints, will be for sale. I hope you enjoy!