I am thrilled to announce I have a new book coming out called Exploring Vancouver Naturehoods: An Artist’s Sketchbook Journal.
Seen through the pages of my sketchbook journal, I share the extraordinary biodiversity I have discovered throughout urban Vancouver — in beautiful parks, along tree-lined streets, amid hedges by a building, or peeking through cracks in a sidewalk. These are places to connect with nature’s stories on a personal level by watching, asking questions and opening up to curiosity and wonder. Listening to a bird’s song, watching a dragonfly hunt for lunch, or musing at the antics of a squirrel are all great inspiration. I am in constant awe of the nature discoveries that can be made during a simple walk through the neighbourhood! My sketchbook is a tool to slow down and interact more meaningfully with nature. Stay tuned! I will post updates here. View some of my sketchbook pages here.
I am thrilled to post that I’m starting a new project called Metro Vancouver Naturehood Mandalas, made possible by receiving the 2022 Artists for Conservation Rob and Sharon Butler Art Explorers Grant. The Art Explorers Grant was established this year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it is having on the artist community. Thank you Rob, Sharon and AFC!
This project will consist of painting four mandalas, each focused on a different ecosystem in the Lower Mainland: Wetland, Forest, River and Marine environments. The image shown above is the Wetland Mandala in progress. The pandemic forced us to reevaluate the value of nature and the emotional balance it provides us. Our communities are more than ‘just us’ and include all of the species that reside alongside us — these are our “naturehoods”.
Mandalas are symbols of wholeness, characterized by concentric layers of shapes and images. They are tools to focus attention and contemplation. Creating and viewing nature mandala art is healing/transformative. They help us regain our of self by reconnecting us with the natural environment. In this project, mandalas will weave together and interconnect species in each of these ecosystems including those that are endangered and at risk, providing a powerful sense of that place.
Be sure to visit the Artists Conservation Festival opening September 22 – 25 at VanDusen Botanical Garden: 10am-5pm. Fantastic work from top wildlife artists around the globe will be on display, along with art demos, wildlife ambassadors and entertainment. Not to be missed! I will be doing demos Friday afternoon through Sunday. Stop by and say hello!
New Painting: Rainbow Lorikeets
Very happy to report that “Rainbow Lorikeets” has been accepted into the 2021 Artist for Conservation juried exhibition AND the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators annual members show.
These vibrantly colored cheeky parrots were my greeting party on a pre-Covid trip to Brisbane, Australia. Aptly named, their plumage is a brilliant mixture of greens, reds, oranges, yellows and blues, making them a true joy to paint. They are native to eastern coastal regions of the country from northern Queensland to Southern Australia. Unlike many other parrots, rainbow lorikeets do not eat seeds. A specialized “bristle brush” tongue allows them to feed on nectar and pollen from deep within native flowers including banksia, bottlebrush and grevilleas. The unprecedented bushfires that swept Australia in 2019 had a catastrophic impact on wildlife and habitat. A broad range of ecosystems from mountains to coastlines, including World Heritage-listed tropical and temperate rainforests—along with the species who live there—may not ever fully recover. This painting is a small tribute to Australia and the many conservation/restoration efforts that continue today.
The Artists for Conservation Festival is a multi-day, nature-themed arts and culture event for all ages. Artists for Conservation (AFC) is the world’s leading artist group supporting the environment. With members from over 30 countries, AFC’s mission is to support conservation and environmental education through art that celebrates nature.
Mark your calendars and plan a visit to the VanDusen Botanical Gardens to see the show! Workshops, musical performances, and First Nations presentations are scheduled throughout the event. I will be giving painting demonstrations on site from Friday to Sunday. Stop by and say hello!
Artists for Conservation Festival: September 23 – 26, 2021: VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, BC. With Covid-19 protocols still in place, tickets must be purchased in advance from VanDusen Botanical Garden website with designated entry times.
See you there!
Planning for the Artists for Conservation Show is Underway!
In a world finding ways to cope and move forward living with COVID-19, the last few months have been difficult for many. I have found pockets of joy by exploring local parks and working on my art. So, I was thrilled to learn that the 2020 Artists for Conservation Festival is scheduled to take place in early October! I am equally excited that my new painting “Raven Dance” has been accepted for the live show and will be published in the beautiful book 2020 Artists for Conservation International Exhibit of Nature in Art. A Preview exhibit will also take place at Maplewood Flats Conservation Area in North Vancouver.
“Raven Dance” was inspired by two cheeky ravens I saw during a local hike on Dog Mountain. The light was reflecting off their glossy feathers like oil on water. Beautiful blues, indigoes and violets shone in the sun as they chatted and danced on the rocks. When most people look at ravens, they only see black. Slightly exaggerated here, I wanted to capture the multifaceted colours that I saw that day. Considered the world’s largest songbird (!), its glossy plumage, guttural vocals, incredible intellect and presence in symbolism make it one of our most intriguing species. I have pledged 20% from the sale of this painting to Nature Canada, an organization dedicated to protecting habitat and species across the country.
The Artists for Conservation Festival is a multi-day, nature-themed arts and culture event for all ages. Many local and international artists attend the four day event, give demos and presentations, and are eager to talk to you about their work. Workshops, musical and cultural performances, and First Nations presentations are also scheduled throughout the event.
Please mark your calendar and drop by to see the exhibits!
Main event: October 1-4, 2020: VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, BC Preview exhibit: Maplewood Flats, North Vancouver, BC (Date: TBA)
See you there!
Wow! What a Summer!
It has been an exciting Summer! I received news that 2 of my paintings will be part of the 12th annual Artists for Conservation (AFC) Exibition at VanDusen Garden Visitor Centre, September 27-29. AFC’s flagship event, this festival is a one-of-a-kind, international cultural event supporting and celebrating nature.
My painting of the Great Green Macaw (above) and Western Fairy Orchids will join 200 artworks by 142 Artists from 14 countries in the AFC exhibit, celebrating artistic excellence in the depiction of nature, raising awareness of conservation issues and supporting organizations dedicated to them.
I also received news that I am one of four artists featured in the latest Wingspan Magazine profiling local Artist for Conservation members. It’s part of the promotion for this year’s AFC Festival and highlights a new cooperative exhibit with the Wild Bird Trust call “Pacific Coast Portraits”.
The exhibition showcases 30 artworks by local AFC members in partnership with the Wild Bird Trust of BC (WBT). Featuring local wildlife and wild places, with a special emphasis on birds of the Pacific coast. Three of my paintings will be on display in the Pacific Coast Portraits show, opening July 20 – September 29, 2019 at the Maplewood Conservancy in North Vancouver.
And, along with the thrill of launching my new book: Duets: The Dance of Symbiotic Relationships (more info @ DuetstheDance.com), two of my favorite paintings: Blue Jeans Poison Dart Frog and Bromeliad (left above), and Garry Oak Leaves (right above) have been accepted into the juried Guild of Natural Science Illustrators exhibition, on display July 1 – 7, 2019 at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, Australia. Wow! What a Summer!
Artists for Conservation, Annual Exhibition and Silent Skies Super-Mural
Earlier this year, I was honoured to be selected as a Signature member of the World’s leading Wildlife Artists group supporting the environment: The Artists for Conservation (AFC). In August, we partnered with the 2018 International Ornithological Bird Congress to create “Silent Skies”, a 100 foot super-mural made up of 678 individual 8″ x 8″ painted panels representing all endangered birds of the world. Over 70 artists were on hand to unveil the mural at the Vancouver Convention Centre in August during the grand opening of the AFC Annual Exhibition. The mural formed the artistic centerpiece of the Ornithological Congress Expo and was at once a celebration, but simultaneously sobering reminder of the current state of the world’s birds. Silent Skies is now on display at the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum, along with the AFC exhibit until the end of this year when they will continue on to China. A limited number of 8″ x 8″ canvas giclée prints are now available for purchase. Please visit my AFC mural page to order. 40% of all proceeds support bird conservation and education efforts in South America, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Mexico.
The Artists for Conservation annual exhibit celebrates art in the depiction of nature, raises awareness of important conservation issues and directly supports organizations dedicated to addressing them. I am delighted that two of my paintings (above), Succulent with Rufous hummingbird and White-bellied Sunbird on Bird of Paradise flower, were selected to be part of this year’s prestigious show. Selected artwork appears in the beautifully produced, hard cover book and calendar celebrating bird diversity. Visit Artists for Conservation to learn more.
Art of the Plant | L’art de la Flore
Art of the Plant is Canada’s contribution to a groundbreaking, simultaneous worldwide botanical art exhibition called Botanical Art Worldwide. The Art of the Plant exhibit will be on display at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Stone Wall Gallery in Ottawa, Ontario from May 10th – October 14th, 2018. I am very honoured to have both of my paintings representing species from British Columbia: Western Fairy Orchid (Calypso bulbosa var. occidentalis) and Garry Oak Leaves (Quercus garryana) selected for this exhibition. Stay tuned for painting images once the exhibit opens!
Botanical Art Worldwide, initiated by the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), brings 25 countries from around the world together to celebrate global plant diversity by creating exhibitions of plants native to their home regions. Artists around the world have been working on this project to build partnerships between artists, institutions, scientists, and the public, and to help raise awareness of the worldwide renaissance in botanical art. Read more …
I chose to paint Garry oak leaves, to help raise awareness for this species. Garry oaks, along with their associated ecosystems, are among the most rare and endangered in Canada! These ecosystems occupy only a small portion of the Coastal Douglas-fir zone, which itself comprises only 0.3% of the land area in British Columbia. Garry oak and associated ecosystems are home to more plant species than any other land-based ecosystem in coastal British Columbia, and many of these species occur nowhere else in the country. Over 100 species of plants, animals, birds and insects are officially listed as “at risk” in these ecosystems. For more information and to learn ways you can help, please visit the Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team website.
When I first saw the Western Fairy Orchid, I was mesmerized by the colours and intricate shape of its tiny blossoms. The plant stands 5-10 cm tall with flowers only measuring 12-25 mm long. Calypso is a genus of orchids containing only one species, Calypso bulbosa, also known as the calypso orchid or Venus’s slipper. While the genus Calypso takes its name from the Greek word signifying concealment (they tend to prefer sheltered areas on conifer forest floors), I was compelled to shine a light on this small jewel-like treasure of Western Canada and share it with a wider audience.
Join us in Ottawa for the opening of this landmark celebraton! Art of the Plant conference registration opens March 12, 2018. Read more …
Artists for Conservation
I am delighted to announce that I have been accepted as a Signature member to the Artists for Conservation (AFC). AFC is a Canadian based international non-profit, representing 500 artists from 30 countries who are committed to conservation. Our vision is to lead a global artistic movement that inspires individuals and organizations to preserve and sustain our natural heritage through nature and wildlife art.
This year, members of AFC are undertaking a project titled “Silent Skies“, an international collaborative super-mural mosaic featuring all 678 endangered species of birds of the world. The 100-ft installation will form the artistic centrepiece of the Congress 27th International Ornithological Congress held in August 2018 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. I have committed to paint three bird species for this mural: the Grey-breasted parakeet (Pyrrhura griseipectus); the Short-crested coquette (Lophornis brachylophus); and the Baudo oropendula (Psarocolius cassini). Please stop by the Convention Centre this fall and check out the many events celebrating birds.
Duets: The Dance of Symbiotic Relationships
Thank you to all who attended the Duets panel exhibition at the Bloedel Conservatory and the display of original watercolours at the Yosef Wosk Library at the VanDusen Botanical Garden! There was an exceptional turn-out for each show. Thank you for your support! Both exhibits are now finished.
I would also like to extend a special thank you to CBC North by Northwest and Sheryl MacKay for their media coverage and support; the staff and volunteers at the Bloedel Conservatory and VanDusen Garden; and the ASBA for making these exhibitions possible.
If you missed the display, please join me in April, 2018 for the next opening of the original watercolours for this project at the Foyer Gallery in Squamish, BC.
Duets: The Dance of Symbiotic Relationships
Inspired by plant species found at the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver, British Columbia, Vicky Earle presents a visual exploration of unique symbiotic relationships. Original watercolours for Duets: The Dance of Symbiotic Relationships, opens at the VanDusen Garden Visitor Centre, October 1st. The artist will be in attendance at the Opening Reception 2 – 4pm.
The Duets interpretive panels remain on display at the Bloedel Conservatory until October 30th, 2017. These panels, nestled into the lushness of the plant collection, detail the stories of the relationships between species. Hours: 10am – 5pm. Regular admission. Immerse yourself in the warm, tropical atmosphere under the dome of the Bloedel Consevatory, while discovering fascinating relationships that unfold every day in rainforests around the world!
Vicky began discovering unique relationships that many tropical plants have with insects, animals, and humans while doing research for teaching and painting. Recipient of the 2016 Anne Ophelia Dowden Art and Education Grant from the American Society of Botanical Artists, this project’s focus is to highlight the use of botanical art to promote educational awareness of the intricate interdependence of plant species within tropical ecosystems – as well as our own dependence on plants. Duets aims to bring attention to the interactive dance of two distinct species in nature that, together, create harmonic relationships allowing life to move forward.
I am so honored to have had two pieces: Tropical Pitcher Plant and Wax-tail Hopper selected to be part of the Focus On Nature XIV Juried Exhibition, sponsored by the New York State Museum. The exhibit takes place at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York from December, 2016 – April, 2017. I am thrilled the Institute accepted the Wax-tail Hopper as part of their permanent collection!