Wildlife artist Rosemary Conroy paints bold, expressive and engaging portraits of endangered animals. To see more of her wonderful art, please visit her website.
Before I became a full-time artist, I worked in the conservation field for many years. In addition to being communications director for a non-profit land trust, I also wrote a nature column and recorded a bi-weekly natural history radio program for our local public radio station. I am passionate about birds and wildlife and want to ensure that there is enough room for them in this world.
My artwork is just the latest way I advocate for wild creatures. Through my portrayals of individual animals, I hope to get my viewers to consider, connect with, and consequently care about what happens to them.
I just started a new series that expresses my gratitude for wild creatures —especially the more endangered ones. If animals like lions, tigers, and polar bears go extinct in our lifetime (which I pray won’t EVER happen), I want to express my deep gratitude for them having been part of our world. I literally embed my words of thanks into the artwork. Sometimes the words are obscured, or read like an aura around the animal.
This is my way of counteracting my despair over what is happening to the natural world. At the very least, I can honor the animals this way. They deserve it. There will never be anything like a tiger or a lion or an elephant again. We can’t let them pass from this world without somehow acknowledging that.
How beautiful, abundant, and amazing this world is — nature gives me such endless joy and inspiration. I am always surprised that some people don’t even notice it! But I do — I notice it all — it’s both a blessing and a curse.
A blessing when I hear birds singing that no one else does, but also a curse as when I observe a road-killed turtle or frog. I feel each tiny death — I just can’t help it. It occurred to me that perhaps I was given this power of observation, this attunement to nature, for a reason.
So my job now is to celebrate the beauty, power and mystery of the natural world. That is my mission, my dharma if you will. And now with this new series, I am raising awareness of all that we are in danger of losing.
It gives me hope when people respond so powerfully to my work. I believe that having a deep affinity for animals is an essential part of being human. Modern life seems to discount this connection but I know that it enriches us all on so many levels. Sometimes we just need a reminder; I hope my art can serve that role.
Artist Rosemary Conroy invites you to follow her on Facebook.