Jody Hewgill
April 2010
Earth Day 2010
The US Department of State commissioned me to do their 2010 Earth Day Poster which is distributed to all of their embassies and consulates around the world. I was excited to work with art director Diane Woolverton again, she had previously commissioned me to create the posters for the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights.

I spent as much time researching the subject, biodiversity, as I did creating the 20" x 30" painting.
I chose to express the fragility of our planet by imagining it as a small island inhabited by a variety of endangered animals and plants.  With a complex topic such as  biodiversity, it seemed obvious that the first place to start was to spend time working on the research. At first  this felt like a daunting task, and then it became a great learning experience for me. As a basis I used a chart that divided all species into taxonomic groups, selected those that were specifically endangered, and then narrowed it down further for diverse global representation. Lastly, I chose a limited colour palette, and selected critters and fauna within that range.

While researching my subjects I found it very sad to discover the reasons for the decline of most of these animals, for example the very cute tasmanian devil, who is plagued with horrible cancerous facial tumors , which interferes with feeding and eventually leads to death by starvation. Other reasons for the decline in species include loss of habitat,depletion of prey, disease from pollution and toxins, and over-hunting.
I chose to illustrate all these endangered animals in their natural healthy state as a celebration of
My rough. In the finished I created more space in the water area between the island and the banner. I changed the crocodile newt for a gecko from Madagascar( Phelsuma Antanosy ) because I already had an amphibian, the golden toad.
 Mostly I get called for figurative work, but I truly relish an assignment where I get to depict animals.
I am really passionate about being outdoors . We have a cottage in northern Ontario, where I love to spend the summer swimming, hiking and kayaking and observing animals in their natural habitat.
Here are a few watercolor studies from my bug book. My husband Balvis collects bugs ( found dead ) and displays them in a shadow box.
View of Lake Crawford from the deck. photo: Ray Cicin
Hold that pose hungry little chipmunk. photo: Balvis
My other passion is travel, especially if there's a opportunity to observe nature.
My inspiration for the water section was from snorkeling in Bora Bora, and observing all the fantastic coral and sea life.
Me feeding the fish in Bora Bora photo: Balvis
The original painting will be on display in an upcoming exhibit " Earth : Fragile Planet " opening June 4 at the Society of Illustrators NYC.

To reserve a poster ( limited edition of 100 signed posters,  20" x 30 " ) please go to this link on my site.
Happy Earth Day everyone.
Get outside, enjoy the sun, the critters and the flowers on this gorgeous spring day.
Robin's nest under the bedroom window. photo: balvis
Mark Twain's Lost Love
April 21 is the 100th anniversary of Mark Twain's death.
Smithsonian Magazine's art director Maria Keehan commissioned me to create an illustration to accompany Ron Power's essay about a how a young woman made an indelible impression on Samuel Clemens ( fyi: Mark Twain's real name ).
When Maria called all I heard were the words " lost love " and was immediately intrigued. In further correspondence it became clear that I was expected to do a portrait of Mark Twain as there was little reference of this mysterious Laura Wright.
 Samuel Clemens was only 22 when he met Laura Wright, but I chose to depict him as an older man to create a piece that had a nostalgic mood. Maria was very happy with my rough; her sole request was that I include a flower to play up the romantic aspect. I told her that I planned to paint the smoke / sky pink and felt that it would evoke that romantic feeling. She was happy with the results, and so was the author. I am always delighted to receive praise from the authors.
White crazy hair, a pipe and a lost love = all good material for an interesting assignment.
Thank you Maria for the assignment. I hope this one encourages the magazine to assign more illustration.
As the opening of the event draws near ( Saturday April 10 ), here is another post for 100 Heads for Haiti.
My contribution to the fundraising show "100 Heads for Haiti" that Dave Plunkert at SPUR Design has organized to benefit Doctors Without Borders in the wake of the earthquake that devastated Haiti
GOAL: $10,000
Original Art and a Group Poster print will be sold at the gallery, pieces will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. The remaining pieces & posters that do not sell at the gallery event will be available for purchase online for one month after the opening.
Original Art: $100 (plus tax) Two piece maximum per customer.
Group Poster: $50 (plus tax)
more info:
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