Featured Artist Isabelle du Toit

Artist Isabelle du Toit presents a collection of paintings that explore biodiversity and the relationship between humans and the natural world. See more of her work on her website.


painting of owls by Isabelle du Toit

“Parliament” (from the Diversity series) oil on canvas, 48” x 36”


I am a French South African artist working in the United States. My primary subject matter has been the protection of wildlife.


painting of an Ibis and snails by Isabelle du Toit

“Ibis/Snail” (from the Truce series) oil on canvas, 16” x 20”


For the past twenty-two years my goal has been to give a voice to animals.


painting of a cardinal, goldfinch and a bluejay by Isabelle du Toit

“Blue, Yellow & Red” (from the Diversity series) oil on canvas, 20” x 16”


I use my signature dark background to show off their beauty; these dark backgrounds force me to be as honest and truthful as possible with my subject matter and its execution.


paintig of different green birds by Isabelle du Toit

“Green Medley” (from the Eyecandy series) oil on canvas, 20” x 16”


I paint in oil on canvas and all my subjects are painted life size. My work is extremely detailed—I use the smallest sized brush. I feel it is important for the viewer to be able to come very close to the painting and appreciate the fine detailed work.


painting of birds by Isabelle du Toit

“Diversity” (from the Eyecandy series) oil on canvas, 24” x 20”


In my paintings, I use animals to relate to human issues. I stress the importance of biodiversity in the wild to convey messages about bigotry, racism and homophobia.


painting of frogs by Isabelle du Toit

“Little Chorus” (from the Diversity series) oil on canvas, 26” x 12”


In this way, I hope to illustrate the idea that if we can appreciate and love the biodiversity of wildlife, then we should be able to feel the same way about each other’s culture, religion, race and so on.


painting of a pygmy owl and a mouse by Isabelle du Toit

“Pygmy Owl/Mouse” (from the Truce series) oil on canvas, 20” x 16”


So much beauty can be found in society if we look at the world through the lens of nature.


painting of a wolf and a fox by Isabelle du Toit

“Wolf/Fox” (from the Truce series) oil on canvas, 66” x 48”


To further illustrate this point, I sometimes use the juxtaposition of non-compatible animals in a painting as a way to convey the hope of peace, understanding and compromise between people of different backgrounds.


painting of a white and a scarlet Ibis by Isabelle du Toit

“White Ibis/Scarlet Ibis” (from the Truce series) oil on canvas, 24” x 20”


I include figurative work to open a wider conversation about our responsibilities to the planet and each other; for instance, I sometimes incorporate human babies to encourage a discussion about how wildlife is the key to making us compassionate and kind.


painting of a baby with birds by Isabelle du Toit

“Nurture” (from the Empathy series) oil on canvas, 24” x 20”


I am hoping that the depiction of children in my work will encourage my viewers to take a stronger stance on climate change.


Artist Isabelle du Toit invites you to follow her on Facebook and Instagram.


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  1. Isabelle,
    Your paintings are an inspiration. Your insight is an encouragement for us to be tolerant and understanding to each other.

  2. Thank you so very much for your kind words! It help me keep going!
    We need more kindness in all it’s forms in the world.

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