Art and Conservation

Grizzly mother and cubs feeding on coho salmon, Marin County CA in the past. Oil on cotton rag paper.

A lot has happened since I first published A State of Change: Forgotten Landscapes of California (Heyday) in 2010. The book came out in paperback as a second edition recently, and I wrote and illustrated a children's book, The Bay Area Through Time (Heyday 2015).

I have some other book manuscripts I'm working on, including a guide to oil painting from Classical methods, through California Impressionists, to today's practice of plein air and studio painting landscapes. Also a book on the Ice Age of California, full of mammoths, sabertooth cats, and giant condors.

Since 2009 I have been working with friends and colleagues on desert conservation issues in California and Nevada, and just this past month we incorporated into a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization: Basin & Range Watch. I am happy we can take the next step towards protecting the vast Mojave Desert landscapes that I first visited in 1986. We will be seeking to host workshops, educational talks, and other events on conservation and natural history in the future.

I am also planning on a series of art workshops and classes during the coming year, to be held in various places and cities, where I will teach my methods of field sketching and oil painting landscapes, wildlife and nature. After spending years writing comment letters to agencies, becoming ever more involved in the environmental public review process, and still seeing desert ecosystems get bulldozed, I think education and participation in the outdoors is one of the most important activities we can do to help preserve the planet.

So join me soon and stay tuned for a calendar of events!


Field sketch of pronghorn antelope

Cratering sidewinder, oil on cotton rag paper.


  1. Hi Laura, did those field sketching workshops ever pan out? How does one find out about when/where?

  2. I really like art work and your blog is related to my interest thank you very much it shows the real artist good work..


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