It’s no secret that Penticton’s resident wildlife artist, Terry Isaac, is a nature lover; he has spent the past three decades painting the beauty he sees around him in the wild.
“During my early childhood, I always loved nature. And while I did get a teaching job straight out of college, while I was teaching I went to a gallery and discovered the work of Robert Bateman. I knew then, seeing his work, that it was the direction I wanted to go,” said Isaac.”The real reason I want to paint nature is I just love nature, I think it’s beautiful. The medium I use is acrylic and I actually paint on board as opposed to canvas. I usually try to have as many as five paintings on the go at the same time.”
The Oregon native was named Ducks Unlimited Canada’s Wildlife Artist of the Year for 2019 thanks to his piece Veiled in Mist. The piece will be included in the organization’s National Art Portfolio, which supports wetland conservation.
“Veiled in Mist is a grizzly bear in a sort of early morning mist, kind of mysterious,” said Isaac.
This is not the first time Isaac has used his career and passion to give back, noting that he will donate some of his pieces to various environmental and conservation initiatives. He said he has a deep reverence for nature and appreciates that his art allows him to showcase its beauty and advocate for its protection.
“One of the benefits of being an artist and having paintings and prints is the ability to donate money that is generated from the sales. I’ve helped out mountain gorillas, snow leopards, and more recently with Ducks Unlimited, the sales of the art goes directly to conservation of wetlands,” said Isaac. “I feel very blessed that my work has contributed to helping conservation. A lot of times I just come up with an idea of who I want to benefit, and sometimes the organization contacts me directly.”
Pursuing a career as an artist, after Bateman recommended his work to his publisher, has afforded Isaac numerous opportunities that he is grateful for, including being able to work with Walt Disney. He has also been able to travel all over the world to see different parts of nature, which has influenced his artwork.
“One of my childhood fantasies was working for Walt Disney, and that fantasy was realized when I was being published. One of the art directors for a movie saw the book The Art of Robert Bateman and saw where he was published. So they contacted them, and I got lucky because the work they presented, one of them was my work,” said Isaac. “So Walt Disney Productions thought ‘This is the guy we want for the job.’ It was a fantasy come true. I worked on the main character for the movie Dinosaur and the character’s name was Aladar.”
Though he is not a school teacher anymore, he does still teach in the form of art classes for adults and children in the fall and spring months. He explained that in the summer, he cuts back on teaching in order to focus on keeping his gallery at 475 Upper Bench Rd. open.
“I plan on re-opening the gallery for a grand opening on June 21. I will have lots of new inventory and would like to start having it open to the public,” said Isaac.
Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment.
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