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Kathryn Weisberg: Painter and Wildlife Conservationist

Art in itself is always beautiful, but when you add a sense of purpose and an informative aspect to it, it takes on a whole new life.

Case in point, for more than 30 years acrylic and oil painter Kathryn Weisberg has been the heart and soul behind a creative endeavor to enlighten viewers on the importance of conserving wildlife, endangered animals and remote cultures. In fact, her artwork was presented in the World Tour of the Endangered Species Media Project, and she is a signature member of Artists for Conservation.

Working primarily out of her studio in the northern Idaho panhandle, Kathryn’s visits to the Arctic, Amazon, Scandinavia, Peruvian Andes, Central America and more have only added to the breadth, range and scope of her work.

This oil on linen piece below, entitled Secretary, is full of unassuming neutrals and soft colors that mimic the texture of fine powder. . . and its smudged, out-of-focus background allows us to focus in on all the beautiful characteristics of this gorgeous, yet lethal bird of prey.

secretary

Although supple down feathers line its body, we can clearly see this African bird is nothing to trifle with. Its elegant crest rises like a crown around its head, and the bird’s sharp beak, keen eyes and strong legs are ready for action at a second’s notice.

As if rising from the ashes of its ancestors, it stands alone—proudly, yet curiously. The neutral colors only add to the dramatic posture of the secretary as it gazes past us uninterestedly like we are no more of a threat than its next snack.

In Raising a Little Dust, this elephant does not ask, but rather tells these wiry-framed birds to kindly get out of its way as it stomps with force, propelling powerful legs onward.

raising-a-little-dust

I love the smoky dust Kathryn was able to create, painting plumes of it rise from the dry environment, casting a cloud of darkness and confusion up into the air.

The elephant, high above its own damage being done on the land, remains perfectly detailed; we can see each wrinkle, as well as the unthreatening nature in its eyes—or is that a twinkle? What a pleasure it must be to know you have the upper hand throughout the entire savannah!

This last oil painting on canvas is titled Along the Inca Trail, and it’s simply stunning.

along-the-inca-trail

Unexpected florals—the periwinkle of the shadowed rock and rosy foliage along the path—create for me a dreamlike setting. A soft haze falls over the gully as if the sun has just sank behind clouds surrounding the horizon.

The forest canopy offers protection for this snow-white llama, but the beaten path offers a view that cannot be denied. The intricate layers and detail throughout this painting—from the plateau in the distance to the rocky cliff in the forefront—add a majestic, lush, beauty rarely seen in today’s busy, urban world.

Kathryn also enjoys painting en plein air, and I definitely encourage you to visit her website to see those works as well. You’ll be glad you did!

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When oil painter Susan Hale speaks of her career in art (and by the way, she’s been an exhibiting artist for more than 30 years!) she exudes a playful, exaggeratory attitude. So, it’s not unusual her paintings mimic her charismatic, fun-filled take on life.

“From dancing corn stalks to popcorn clouds, I always see a painting in the. . . read more

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