Monica Van der Vieren is a participating artist at the Fourth Annual Fort Worden Wildlife and Nature Art Exposition. Her delicate renderings of birds, small mammals and butterflies are done in colored pencil, charcoal and watercolors. For more information, and to see examples of the participating artist’s work, visit www.wildartexpo.org.
A life-long self-taught artist and career scientist, she formalized her interest in nature and science through the University of Washington’s certificate program in Scientific Illustration. Working as a freelance illustrator after completing the program in 1998 she designed and produced artwork for the National Wildlife Federation’s poster series Landscaping for Wildlife in West/East Cascadia. A botanical piece was also selected for the book, Walking in the Beauty of the World by botanist Joe Arnett.
Her interest in promoting wildlife and wildlife habitat extends beyond art to education and restoration. She completed the Native Plant Steward program through the Washington Native Plant Society. She works as a volunteer instructor representing WNPS at the Woodland Park Zoo’s Backyard Habitat program, and has trained various community groups as a representative of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Her goal is to inspire people to gain a keen appreciation for wildlife in the Pacific Northwest and to work in the great outdoors and their own backyards to preserve and restore wildlife habitat. At home she is restoring wildlife habitat on a 100-year old farmstead in the upper Snohomish River Estuary and has created interpretive signage including artwork and writing for a wetland trail at a large local agritourism business.