Wildlife Calendar Artists
Bonnie Marris has been studying and painting wolves, foxes, dogs and horses since childhood. Always, when Marris wasn’t around animals, she was painting them and this love led her to pursue degrees in zoology and animal behavior, studying predictors (wolves, big cats, bears, and foxes). Animals are an integral part of both her life and her art.
If anyone has never had the opportunity to see a fox running through a field and stopping suddenly to listen for a mouse or to watch a pack of wild wolves at play, Marris wants to give that person some of the experience with a painting. She also wants to let viewers see each animal she paints as an individual, to connect with its soul. “We all know that our dogs and cats have personalities and their own ways of being,” she says. “Well, this is also true of grizzlies, of horses, of wolves—all nature’s creatures.
Studying color and light, Marris says, has become an obsession with her. “Color sets a mood, an atmosphere that can create feelings ranging from contentment to terror. There are colors within colors, too. The many colors in a shadow, for instance, convey cold or heat. The way light plays with the subject is also very important. Light may dance across snow or water, then lead the eye through the thick fur of a wolf’s neck or flash in the corner of a cougar’s eye. I’m fascinated by hue changes in light as it ages with the day.”
The passion Bonnie Marris has for wilderness, for animals and for light and color come together in her art and she feels her work has accomplished its purpose when a viewer feels that same passion.
Greg’s source of inspiration is the great outdoors and he enjoys the fact that near his home in Wisconsin, he has more beautiful scenes than he can paint in a lifetime. Equally comfortable with a range of wildlife subjects, artist Greg Alexander jumps with ease from fin to fur to feather and back again. Committing at least a third of his time to field research and reference photography, accuracy has become a trademark of Greg Alexander’s work. “Anatomical correctness is essential, but for me it is only part of what I strive for in terms of accuracy,” says the artist. “I want to reveal something about the personality of each species and not merely paint portraits.” Discipline and hard work have paid off for Greg. The winner of numerous conservation stamp competitions, today he is rightly considered one of the country’s finest wildlife artists. Greg was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and currently makes his home in Wisconsin with his wife and children.
Rod Lawrence graduated with a fine arts degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan in 1973. Since then he has been working full-time as a professional artist. He is one of only two artists to win six Michigan Duck Stamps and one of only two artists to win four Michigan Trout Stamps. He is a Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists.
Lawrence has exhibited in many group and one-man shows, including the prestigious Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s “Birds in Art” and “Wildlife: The artist’s View”, Bennington Center for the Art’s “Art of the Animal Kingdom” and The Society of Animal Artists annual show.From these shows his work has been chosen several times for their national tour. His art has appeared as covers, illustrations and features in many outdoor magazines. Three sets of limited edition collector plates also feature his work. He is an active instructor for artists’ workshops. An instructional book “Painting Wildlife Textures” written and illustrated by Lawrence was published and released by North Light Books in March of 1997. A second instructional book, called “Painting Basics – Waterfowl & Wading Birds” was released in December of 2000. He is the co-author of the instructional book “Wildlife” for Walter Foster Publishing, released in the fall of 2004. A revised version of this book authored entirely by Lawrence titled “Animals” was released in 2009. His book “Painting Wildlife Textures” was updated and re-released as a “classic” by the publisher, North Light Books in 2011.
The main focus of Rod’s art currently is painting commissions for collectors and special venues such as the Woodson Art Museum’s “Birds in Art” show, the Society of Animal Artists annual members exhibition, the Bennington Center fo rthe Arts “Art of the Animal Kingdom” and others. Rod’s paintings were again juried into the Birds in Art show 2013, and the Society of Animal Artists 53rd Annual Members Exhibition. His painting in the SAA show was selected for an Award of Excellence in October, 2013.
Karla Mann grew up in a small town in the state of Washington. Her passion for drawing started at a very early age. She continued as a self-taught artist until she entered Tidewater Community College in 1991, the same year her son entered College. After receiving an Associate of Fine Art with honors from Tidewater Community College in 1994, she continued her education at Old Dominion University. She graduated Suma Cum Laude from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in 1997. Karla has taught at the Visual Arts Center of Tidewater Community College in Portsmouth, Virginia and is at present teaching at the Contemporary Arts Center in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The medium of choice for Karla is oil, but she is very adept at colored pencil, and even sculpture.
Karla has won numerous scholarships and national and international awards for her work. She has been published in the “Best of Colored Pencil, Volume Five, the Daniel Smith Catalog, and Art Wanted.com, Creative Minds. Her commissioned and sold works are in collections from Italy to the USA.