Love of Art Rekindled
Back in the early 90s, I had just started my career with The Nature Conservancy. I was delighted to be working in conservation and could hardly believe I was getting paid to help preserve the natural world! Early on, I discovered that TNC's Ohio Chapter, in Columbus where I lived, needed artwork to enhance their newsletters and communications to donors. I thought to myself, "I used to love art in school! Maybe I can help!"
So I began creating pen and ink drawings of rare plants and animals, donating my time and the use of my images for the Conservancy's marketing materials in Ohio. Then I was asked to share a few pieces with the national office. As I rekindled my creativity, I began to wonder how I could visually communicate the concept of biological diversity through my art. I wanted to help people really see how all life on our beautiful planet is connected, and inspire even more conservation action.
I can remember the squeals of children and the amazement of their parents when we'd show them firsthand these small pretty fish and the macroinvertebrates that lived in Big and Little Darby Creeks. TNC would host field trips and as staff, we'd educate attendees about the incredible life forms in their own backyards, and in the streams and rivers right down the road. My favorite part of the day was releasing all the fish and critters safely back into the creek.
Home for Darters was welcomed with open arms by the Conservancy, and it became the cover image of The Darby Book, a guide to conservation in the Darby Creek Watershed. I was tickled pink!
For the next several years, I continued to paint the rare and endangered species of Ohio preserves to bring attention to those wonderful places, connecting viable species to their landscape homes. Then after moving to the Adirondacks, I created a series of images to bring focus to the plants and animals most affected by acid rain to help abate pollution coming from the Midwest which is the cause.
My images for TNC were the beginning of a lifelong quest to paint the unity of all life, to inspire care for the natural world. Nature has given me so much peace and happiness. In return, I want to give back with all my heart and soul.
So in celebration of nature, wishing you a wonderful summer!
Winner of the Earth Day Drawing!
I'm excited to share the thrush image with Hillary and her family! One of Hillary's favorite activities is watching birds with her granddaughter, Drew. The new print will decorate Drew's bedroom which is so special to me. Thank you, Hillary! Sharing our love of nature with family and friends is such an amazing gift!
"The earth has music for those who listen."
~ George Santayana, philosopher & poet
Nature Walk at Chatfield Farms
Here's some inspiration to bring back the natives (plants that is!) These beauties really flourish in their natural habitats here in the West. They need less water, too!
The paths and trails at Chatfield Farms are simply lovely. They adjoin Deer Creek Natural Area and you can enjoy a peaceful walk through the garden, then relax in the shade with a good book. There are signs along the trails identifying the flowers and educating visitors about conservation practices. There's even a bee hotel!
What a beautiful day enjoying this colorful and inspiring place!
Happy summer, nature friends! Enjoy this gorgeous season!
I'd love to hear from YOU! What's are some of your favorite native plants? Please share in the comments below!
With love for the natural world, I'm inspired to share how species are connected to each other, to their ecosystem homes, and to people around the world. An eternal optimist, I bring into visual form the concept of biological diversity, the unity of all life, and how we're all connected. In our connection lies hope.