If nothing, 2020 has served as a teaching tool about the ways in which we treat and mistreat our natural surroundings. Nature, in all its harshness and beauty, has made its mark, but will we care to listen?
For most of her adult life, artist Alison Nicholls has been promoting awareness about conservation issues through her paintings and sketches. Inspired by the people, wildlife, and landscapes of Africa, Nicholls works with conservation organizations and leads what she calls “Art Safaris” for Africa Geographic.
After living herself for several years in Botswana and Zimbabwe, she now regularly returns to Africa to sketch in the field, and teach others to take her lead. “My Conservation Sketching Expeditions allow me to visit African conservation organizations, sketch on site and learn in detail about conservation issues,” she explains on her website. “I use the resulting sketches and paintings to raise awareness and funds for the organizations’ field work. These visits also inspired the creation of a growing body of conservation and environmental-themed paintings based on issues I have encountered in the field.”
According to Nicholls, she makes a donation to African conservation organizations from every purchase of her art, which includes acrylics, watercolors, limited editions, and daily sketches. Her work can be also bought from her Etsy shop.
“Everywhere people are suffering physically, financially and mentally from the pandemic and obviously this includes many Africans who work in tourism, wildlife research or conservation,” she recently wrote in a blog post. “Much vital conservation work involves people rather than wildlife. Reducing human-wildlife conflict, conducting anti-poaching patrols, or helping rural people find sustainable income-generating opportunities are all conservation activities that help people but also ensure the continued existence of endangered species.”
Support her cause by following her on Instagram.