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Artist Statement

eva stanley

A childhood surrounded by nature often provides the building blocks for future wildlife artists.  It helps create a reverence for the earth’s tremendous and amazing variety of life forms.  Growing up on the southern shore of Lake Michigan, I spent my childhood exploring the woodlands, marshes, and ponds of the Indiana Dunes.  Many happy hours were spent scouring the dunes and their ponds for frogs, tadpoles, turtles, toads, and salamanders.  My mother did not learn to drive until I was in 8th grade, but once she got rolling, she boldly took her kids camping each summer, across the U.S. and Canada.  That early exposure to so many different types of habitats and wildlife, helped to further instill my love of nature and wild places.  

I began drawing animals quite early, and then true serendipity stepped in, bringing horses into my life during my early teen years and giving greater access to wild areas where few people venture.  Like most children, I loved animals- especially wild ones, and each fleeting encounter left a hauntingly beautiful image etched in my mind.  Even now, they rattle around for years, waiting to come back to life in the form of a sculpture or painting.  As an adult, I find that all of the fieldwork and research that goes into being able to accurately recreate those moments, continues to stoke my creative fires.  It rejuvenates my spirit and reconnects my soul to all that has come before and all that I hope will continue long after.  

While always “creating” in one form or another, actual fine art came into my life with a plein aire oil painting class in Santa Cruz, California, while pregnant with my first baby.  What a time to discover your life’s true passion!  Since then, life’s adventure has taken me from the giant redwoods and ocean of California, to the Hill Country of Texas, the remote mountains of western North Carolina, the piedmont of Virginia, the beautiful wooded hills of south-central Indiana, the Ozarks of southwestern Missouri, leading me finally to wildlife-rich Colorado!  

I spent 3 years working with biologists from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and since then, travels have taken me across the length and breadth of North America several times in search of wildlife- from Washington State to Florida, Prince Edward Island to Arizona and California.  Even Australia and China- my first world travels!    While it is possible that some “down-under” creatures could eventually pop up in my work, my primary focus has always been our North American wildlife.  So when the opportunity of a lifetime came up - a 10-week camping travel throughout the wonders of Alaska - you can believe I took it!  We can experience many of the same wildlife species down in the “lower 48,” but when you add in the sheer grandeur and scope that is Alaska... well, words are hardly good enough.  

Life on our delicate little blue planet is an extremely complex web - interconnected and interdependent – and its threads something we still understand so little about.  It is the remnants of all time before, and the fragile promise of all that may come after.  Given the proper stewardship, the earth possesses a remarkable ability to replenish and heal itself.  Art serves to remind us to stop, brush off the dust of our everyday lives, and appreciate the remarkable beauty that surrounds us.  My mission with all of my work is to share some of my own unique and personal wildlife experiences with you, and hopefully bring both a sense of wonder to your heart and a smile to your face.  Living with wildlife art in your home and office offers a lasting daily connection to the natural world.  My collectors tell me it continually brightens their days.  And if it encourages even a momentary pause in our busy lives - to marvel at nature’s exquisite beauty, its intricacies of form, and how that life in all its variety relates to survival for each species, including us - then I have done my job!

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