A Roundup of Member News

SONSI members are always doing something interesting, so we thought we’d share some news about what’s happening in our studios.


Jessica Hsiung is busy working on habitus, leg and wing drawings of various species of Syrphid flies for a field guide. These will be black and white digital drawings to show the structure and anatomy- particularly wing venation and microtrichia (tiny little hairs on the surface of the wing) distribution, which are diagnostic for species. She will share some images after the book is published.


Dino Pulerà reports that he’s been able to contribute to another publication and be granted co-authorship. “A couple of years ago, my good friend, Thomas Carr, a dinosaur paleontologist, invited me to be part of a fossil field guide he was creating. I created 30 black and white life restorations of organisms that lived in the Hell Creek Formation of Montana about 66 million years ago. This field guide will be self-published like the first two editions and is in the final stages of editing with the hopes of a late 2017 publication date. Thomas recently Tweeted ‘WOW! Our Field Guide to Fossils of the Hell Creek Formation clocks in at 677 pages! Food webs! Cladograms! Animals to scale! Fossil atlas!’ ”


Jacqueline Mahannah is excited to announce that she is now teaching after school youth art lessons in Sarnia. “My students are learning about the elements of art (line, value, form, etc.) while exploring a range of mediums and techniques such as drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. The kids are having a blast at Artjam!” https://www.facebook.com/artJamSarnia/


Alida Cameron has been trying to squeeze in as much painting time as her busy schedule allows. She recently finished this work based on a view of the Athabasca river in Alberta where she has had an opportunity to travel. She says, “My love for nature and animals always comes to play when l paint. It’s painted in oils and is 4 ft by 3 ft in size.”

The Southampton-based artist also adds this invitation to other SONSI members: ” l am having a show at my studio August 5th and 6th 2017 with three other artists; if a SONSI artist would like to enter a few pieces in my show l would love it! l need to have the pieces by July 15th so that it gives me time to put things together. l also need a one or two paragraph biography of the artist. There is no entry fee but if the artist is able to attend for a day to share their inspirations with other artists and answer questions that viewers and possible buyers may have then that would be great.” Contact her (through Emily if you need her e-mail address) if you’re interested.


Emily S. Damstra attended an inspiring coin and medal design symposium at the United States Mint in Philadephia earlier this month. As often as possible, she incorporates nature into her coin designs, as she did in her first U.S. coin. Additionally, Emily continues to create illustrations of marine life for each issue of Sport Diver magazine, including this recent watercolour painting of an Ocean sunfish.


Celia Godkin, along with illustrator Wallace Edwards, gave a joint a book reading to an elementary school audience at the Prince Edward County Authors Festival on April 21. Celia started by reading her most recent picture book, The Wolves Return, then Wallace entertained the children by drawing fantastical combination animals such as a bumblebeaver and Celia wound up the event by showing the children how she puts a book together.


Shelly Hawley-Yan recently completed a new illustration on Ampersand scratchboard, with watercolour. “Snow Leopard,” 5×7 inches, is the first in her new series “Faces I Will Never Meet” which focuses on creatures that are critically endangered or live in such remote parts of the planet that she will never be able to see them in their natural surroundings.


Geraldine Sadoway has been working on botanical portraits this year, including “Cup Plant, September and October, Toronto Island” (Silphium perfoliatum), which is her entry to the upcoming Botanical Artists of Canada juried exhibit on Native and Indigenous plants, taking place July 5 – 26 at Wilfred Laurier University.


Kathryn Chorney had two fungus illustrations accepted into the juried exhibit Focus on Nature at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York, this year.


Nellie Sue Potter is focused on a new botanical illustration. She reports “Steven and I have been working recently on a project centered on the Cottonwood tree. I am always amazed at how much I don’t know about my surroundings, and how much there is to learn. We’ve made several forays into Cottonwood territory, to sketch and photograph our subject at different stages. It flowers early, in chilly weather, and has plump seed pods by mid May. At this point (3rd week in May) there is not an unopened bud to be found; all have burst open into sprays of bright green leaves. I have a few specimens in the studio now, and I’ll be working intensely while they are fresh. In this business, timing is everything!”


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