I'm Jessica and I call The Chesapeake Bay home. The Virginia coast is all I know. I am an avid birder, curious naturalist, wildlife photographer and wildlife artist. The natural world is the reason I create. Birding/wildlife watching is very freeing to me. My soul is soothed and I am at peace. My binoculars, eyes, and ears are all I need when I venture out. You can most likely find me barefoot in the sand, exploring a marsh during low tide, or purposely getting lost in the woods with my soul turned to the open windows of mother nature. Stay wild, my friends.
"Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world."
- John Muir
Birding changed my life - from hours on the water looking at Terns, Gulls, Sandpipers, and various shorebirds, to lost trails in the forest listening to Warblers, Owls, observing native plants and many creatures that remain hidden from society. I do enjoy chasing a few "rarities" that visit our state of Virginia. I spend my days in my studio creating and finding new ways to depict Virginia's amazing flora and fauna.
Watercolor is my medium of choice; I often say that watercolor picked me, not the other way around. I couldn't be happier that it did. I love the delicacy with each brush stroke and the challenge of "getting it right" the first time. Graphite is another that I favorite and use when I take a break from painting. You can capture such a strong emotion when using a monochromatic approach with wildlife. I paint and draw realistically, emphasizing natural habitat with various surroundings tied to the species itself. I want to use my art to advocate the importance about biodiversity and the entire natural world within our planet and most importantly, my home state of Virginia.
There is no surprise that my home, The Chesapeake Bay, is enough inspiration that started this journey. The largest estuary in North America. Home to thousands of species during each season, and holds the largest breeding population in the world for a very special raptor: the Osprey. That's my inspiration. My heart and reason why I became a "birder". That osprey is Opal. I have never made a connection with a wild raptor until I met Opal. She is special. I've never seen such dark, speckled eyes like the night sky on a bird before. I'm thankful for the many seasons I've welcomed her and her mate back to the Chesapeake Bay each spring to breed and raise their young. I treasure each summer evening sitting under the Pine Trees, the salty breeze, and Opal perched right above me. This was the start of an amazing adventure, all because of her.