Swallowtails and counted scales

  This fall, Kloepfer Gallery right here in my city of residence—Guelph, Ontario—hosts an exhibit of my work from October 2 through 30. The show will include about 15 of my natural science illustrations in traditional media, including the painting of the Tiger swallowtail and the coloured pencil drawing of the Round whitefish seen on the exhibit postcard below. Also in the gallery will be the life-size painting of goldenrod I completed a couple years ago.…

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2018 Exhibit of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators

Each year, the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators puts on a juried exhibit of members’ work in a location near the annual conference. Most of the time, the conference and exhibit take place in the United States. It’s expensive and a hassle to ship artwork across the border, so I haven’t entered anything in recent years. However, with 2018 being the GNSI’s 50th anniversary year and in consideration of the distinguished venue and extended duration…

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The 2018 Conference of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators

During the week of July 15 to 22, I was in Washington DC for the 2018 Conference of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. It happened to be the 50th anniversary of the founding of the GNSI, and a record number of attendees made it extra special. This was my fourth time attending a GNSI conference, and as always it was an educational, inspirational, adventure-filled week, with new connections and reconnections made. I have two…

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A 50 mm Canadian Canopy coin

Now that it’s summer and the trees are in leaf, it’s fitting that the Royal Canadian Mint has recently released this new 2 oz. silver Canadian Canopy coin that I had the opportunity to design: 2 oz. Pure Silver Coin – Canadian Canopy: The Maple Leaf Of all of the maple canopy coins I’ve worked on, this one—at 50 mm—is the largest. The small openings between the leaves really let the silver “sky” sparkle through.…

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A Congressional Gold Medal design

On March 21, 2018 at the United States Capitol Visitors Center, a Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony honored the men and women who served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in World War II. The OSS was America’s first spy agency—the forerunner to the CIA. A brief synopsis of the OSS and details about the medal are here. My miniscule connection to this esteemed group of people is that I designed the gold medal being…

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Art of the Plant exhibit

This May, botanical artists from 25 different countries are showcasing their country’s native plant species through simultaneous exhibitions of botanical art in a unique event called Botanical Art Worldwide. The “groundbreaking collaboration between botanical artists, organizations, and institutions worldwide” will “call attention to the importance of conserving our botanical diversity,” according the website. In each country, the exhibition of botanical art will include a slide show of images from other participating country’s exhibits. Canada’s exhibit, titled Art…

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Breast Cancer Awareness coin designs

I’m excited to share that, on March 15, the U.S. Mint will release a new commemorative coin that I designed. The theme of the coin is Breast Cancer Awareness, and surcharges will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The design for this coin was selected through a national competition, open to all U.S. residents and citizens. There will be a clad, a silver, and a gold coin available, all with the same obverse and…

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Invitation to my presentation about science illustration and my goldenrod project

Next month, on Thursday January 11, I’m giving a presentation about the field of science illustration and about a project I’ve been working on for the last couple years. I’ll be including many of my illustrations as well as a handful of illustrations by other illustrators. The talk is for the local naturalist group Nature Guelph; it is free and open to the public. Details are here and the description is below. All are invited. In this image-filled presentation,…

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Atlantic salmon infographic: Tracking Smolt – Emily S. Damstra

The autumn 2017 issue of Atlantic Salmon Journal included a complex two-page illustration I created to help explain the life cycle of Atlantic salmon and how Atlantic Salmon Federation biologists catch smolt (young salmon), outfit them with transmitters, release and then track them in order to learn why so many never return to three Gulf of St. Lawrence rivers. Tracking Smolt illustration © Emily S. Damstra The illustration is entirely digital. As with any commission, I love…

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