Some pictures from a recent trip across Russia.
Some people I know.
India is a country I've visited three times and spent almost a year in. I've never stared humanity in the face the way I have in India. It is the most fascinating place to photograph.
Northern Spotted Owls are Canada's most endangered bird, with only 30 individuals living in the wild in B.C. In their range, which includes much of Washington and Oregon, Northern Spotted Owl populations have declined up to 90% in the last century. This is largely due to habitat loss - Northern Spotted Owls live in old growth forests, of which 90-95% have been logged in the Pacific Northwest. Since these owls are very territorial, require a large amount of land for hunting, and nest in large trees and tree trunks, logging has been devastating for their numbers.
Enter the Northern Spotted Owl Breeding Program of B.C.
Last week I went out to Langley with Bristol, who I've known since high school and who is totally passionate about wildlife and conservation. She has a soft spot for birds of prey and volunteers weekly at this tiny operation run by the Conservation Society of B.C.. With two full-time zoologists and a small crew of volunteers, the program seeks to study and breed Northern Spotted Owls in captivity with the aim of releasing successful offspring into the wild. Since the birds are so picky about their mates, it is a huge feat to even get them to mate, let alone successfully lay eggs and hatch chicks.
In 2007, NSO Breeding Program was initiated to prevent the extirpation of this iconic species in BC. The program was the first of its kind, and produced its first chick less than a year after being founded. The program began with six individuals and today the captive population is up to 16 Spotted Owls, thanks in part to the artificial incubation techniques and hand-rearing of newborn chicks.
Link to their FB page here.
The program also houses a Barred Owl named Forrest. Barred Owls are much more versatile than Spotted Owls and have taken a lot of their territory, helping to endanger them further. Since disturbing the Spotted Owls could interfere with the current mating season, we weren't able to see them up close, but we did take Forrest for a walk around the property. He and Bristol are acquainted so he was much more comfortable with her holding him.
Wild Wood is on at the Silk Purse Gallery in West Vancouver until March 6, 2016. The gallery is participating in the North Shore Art Crawl, the weekend of March 5th and 6th, and I will be there doing live demos all weekend!
Here are a few photos from the opening reception. There is a feeling which can only be described as euphoria when people take the time to come and experience your work first-hand, especially people you haven't seen in long time - like my high-school art teacher or old friends I've lost touch with. I can feel the energy from my paintings flowing into the viewers, and the energy from the viewers flowing back into the work so that everything vibrates at a higher, sweeter frequency.
Got an exhibition coming up! It's called Wild Wood and it's on from February 16 - March 6, 2016 at the Silk Purse Arts Centre in West Vancouver. The opening reception is on February 16th from 6-8pm and I would love to see you there!
The theme of this exhibition came about last summer, when forest fires were raging across North America and I felt the need to create art that celebrates trees. Forests are our greatest resource to battle climate change, acting as massive carbon sinks. They are the lungs of our planet. Drought, logging, and clearing for agriculture are threatening these big beautiful plants.
Please come and share the love.
“We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us...We can never have enough of nature.”
- Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Cold autumn and winter days in Vancouver.
Arbutus II is now showing as part of the AIRS 2015 exhibition at the Federation of Canadian Artists at 1241 Cartwright Street in Granville Island!
AIRS is an open, international, juried exhibition of representational or semi representational original paintings, prints and drawings. Artists can submit pieces of any subject matter including portraits, figures, still life, floral, landscape, interiors and wildlife. Work must retain semblance to reality while maintaining the subjective interpretation of the artist.
Go and check out the painting and all the other amazing winners next time you're in Granville Island!