I've been painting birds for years from my own photos. I'm not sure where the love of painting them started, when I was in art school the last thing I ever wanted to do was paint wildlife, but when I moved from Ontario to BC and explored the forests near my home, I fell in love with the spectacular beauty and in awe of my brief encounters with wild animals.
I remember seeing my first bear in the wild. For a moment, I thought it was just a huge dog with fat ankles, yeah, I was a bit clueless When I realized it was a black bear, I froze, forgetting all my bear sense - was I supposed to walk away? stand still? make myself bigger and be loud? The bear ignored me and just walked on. Sightings were few and far between in those early years but have become more frequent - near the school, the gas station, in my neighbourhood, not in the wild places as much, the wild places are decreasing.
The more I read about the impact of climate change, the accelerated rate of species extinction, the more troubled I am doing nothing other than the standard recycling and bringing reusable bags to the store. It may be just a tiny contribution, but I’ve decided to donate 50% of the sale price of my small bird studies to land conservation efforts. 20% of the sale price of all my paintings for sale online will be donated to charitable organizations.