Judi Wild, Guardian of the Spirit Bear, undated; watercolor on illustration board, 28 x 40; Courtesy of the artist

Judi Wild, Guardian of the Spirit Bear, undated; watercolor on illustration board, 28 x 40; Courtesy of the artist

A Watercolorist Makes a Difference by Alicia Myers

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Judi Wild is a Canadian artist with an intense passion for the environment and the animals that inhabit it. She painstakingly creates extraordinary watercolor works of art using an extreme dry-brush technique; and as one can see she has truly mastered this labor intensive method of painting. Judi employs all her skills she learned as a draftsperson and graphic designer into her work using an abundance of detail and texture.

When beginning a painting, Judi starts with a shaded, black and white pencil drawing followed by multi-layered, dry-brush water colors using a very limited palette; For this reason a large painting would take up to 600 hours to complete. It is with this intricate watercolor technique that she is able to achieve such depth and detail in her work.

Judi: “I enjoy using the dry-brush watercolor technique because it is slow, precise, forgiving, and meditative. You can see the color build up so gradually that you can make changes if things are not going as you wish”

The dry-brush technique produces crisp and hard-edged marks by dragging pigment over dry paper. The brush is slightly wetted with paint so that it is fluid enough to transfer to the paper without dissolving the paint layer underneath and is applied with small crosshatching or crisscrossing brushstrokes.

In order to express her deep connection and concern to the natural environment, Judi creates work that incorporates animals and nature that portray the stillness and tranquility of the world we may not normally see. Along with creating these beautiful pieces, Judi is a huge advocate for creating and working toward a healthier environment; her greatest contribution involves her painting “Guardian of the Spirit Bear” because she donates all her proceeds from these prints to the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition. This is an organization dedicated to saving and protecting the genetically unique, white Kermode bear.

http://www.spiritbearyouth.org/ -SBYC

Judi: “When I am in the middle of a painting I find such a deep connection with nature /universe, my art is also influenced by the beliefs of the ancient First nation’s tribes of this region of Canada - I love the fact that they lived with - and respected nature, instead of altering & plundering from the earth without giving back”

Now retired, Judi has huge plans for the next chapter in her life. She now donates most of her proceeds from her prints to various charitable organizations such as Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, Cancer Society, and Ducks Unlimited. She has recently started a website and Blog called Working towards a healthier world, where she lists environmental groups and sites dedicated to the concerns of public health and climate change. Judi also lists links to various websites, charities and organizations on her website http://www.judiwildartist.com/index.html.

http://www.wingtips.org/ -MARS

http://workingtowardsahealthierworld.weebly.com/index.html -Working towards a healthier world

In a time when our climate is changing more rapidly, it has become increasingly more important to direct attention toward creating a healthier planet; this idea of “going green” can now be seen in schools and various organizations, and here in Buffalo the Burchfield Penney Art Center prides itself on this mission by becoming the first art museum in New York State to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council’s (LEED) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program. Is this the first step toward building a bigger connection between art and activism? Judi Wild bridges this idea into her job as an artist through her artwork, donations, and her overall mission to work toward a healthier environment for us as well as future generations.

“Painting with watercolors is one of my greatest delights – it always has been, since I was a very young girl. It is a way for me to visually express my creativity within an environment of great tranquility”-Judi Wild

Alicia Myers


Alicia Myers is a current Art Education graduate student at Buffalo State College, and works as a substitute teacher in various school districts. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Art Education at Buffalo State College in 2009, and hopes to become an art educator.