This year’s inaugural ‘Downtown Wild Art Walk’ was a success with 2 art shows – our annual WildWings Nature Artists Exhibition at Just Jakes Restaurant and a ‘wildlife’ art show by Chantey Dayal hanging in the Old Firehouse Wine Bar.

The WildWings Nature Artists Exhibition at Just Jakes Restaurant in Downtown Duncan is one of our longest-standing events. Many of the WildWings artists have been with us since the beginnings of the festival. Lance & Liz Steward, owners of Just Jakes, have been strong supporters of WildWings and this exhibition since the very first festival. Your purchase of this art will support both the artist, future WildWings Festivals, and our restoration work in the S’amunu/Somenos Watershed. If you are interested in any of the artwork featured here, please contact us and we can connect you with the artist.

Cheri Fretz Beaulieu

“Early Morning Mist”
Digital Print on Canvas

Cheri has been a Cowichan Valley resident for over 30 years. She loves exploring Vancouver Island with her camera, capturing the charm of nature from behind her lens. One of her favourite subjects are the magnificent landscapes we call home, as well as things that might be overlooked by others. She often finds beauty in the forgotten and discarded.

Donna Birtwistle

“Kestrel Pair”
Water colour pencils

Donna is a Wildlife Artist using Water Colour pencils & paints. Recently she is exploring the qualities of Pastels. After years of enjoying the outdoors & wildlife on the Island with her camera, her challenge turned to depicting images through her drawings focusing on mammals & birds as it would appear naturally. Mill Bay is so beautiful with an open canvas of activity on & around the ocean. After capturing the animal or bird with the camera, she then replicates the image with pastels or water colour pencils. The fine features of the feathers or fur can be portrayed in detail with the pencils. Recreating these subjects is a satisfying challenge.

Victoria Blouin

“Travelling Salmon”

Victoria Blouin is a female artist from the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. She is currently attending VIU in pursuit of her bachelor’s in visual arts. Victoria is an active member of the local arts community. She is currently a board member on the Cowichan Valley Arts Council and helps run art programs for youth. She actively posts snapshots of her art process on social media under the handle @veebeearts.

Rachel Cruse

“Intertidal Moon”
Water soluble oils on Vintage (circa 1980) Octagonal stretched canvas
Dimension: 19.5” Diameter

Rachel Cruse is a Vancouver Island artist currently residing in the Cowichan Valley. Her paintings reflect deep longings for nature and simplicity. They embody light, flow, spaciousness, room to breathe and a profound heartfelt love for the natural world.

For more by Rachel Cruse, visit her website and instagram.

Deborah Czernecky, SCA

“Somenos Marsh”
8×10, plein air oil on board.

Somenos Marsh was painted on location this past September. The morning was sunny and warm, with the birds having choir practice. It was a great day to be outside, hanging out with Mother Nature. However, this morning became quite memorable, while painting a passerby informed me the Queen has just passed away and I thought to myself, she would have appreciated the beauty of this marsh.

For more of Deborah’s work, visit her website.

Chantey Dayal

30 x 36
Acrylic and oil stick on canvas

Chantey is thrilled to be participating in the Wild Wings Festival again this year. Her paintings have abstract beginnings which then give way to recognizable forms themed on women, nature, and patterns, Chantey’s ethnicity plays a large influence on her use of colour and line, and she seeks to reveal stories, both tangible and otherwise. The result is a juxtaposition of visual playfulness, and serious yet heartfelt content. She approaches her work through movement, meditation, and humour. Chantey also loves to star gaze, plant seeds, and her kitchen is her other favourite “studio space”.

Lois DeEll

“Dressed in White”
Digital image printed on Epson Premium Photo Paper
14” x 11”, finished size 20” x 16, white mat

In January 2014 I joined the Cowichan Valley Camera Club, became a member of the Canadian Association for Photographic Art in March 2015, and a member of the Photographic Society of America in September 2020. I joined the local camera club because I wanted to improve my photography, even though I have been snapping photographs for over 50 years. My interest in photography started as a child using the family’s Brownie camera. The world of cameras and photography continually changes. Upon the purchase of my first DLSR camera, an entire new world of photography unfolded before my eyes. There is always something new to learn. Post processing a RAW image, with the multiple photographic software that is available on the market today, is fascinating and intriguing. I always enjoy a challenge, so I photograph numerous genres. I am continually learning and trying new techniques.

Shirley Dickie

“Morning Light”
Acrylic on canvas

I love sparrows and remember many years ago (60 yrs) being dive bombed by them while working in the garden. I was born in Penticton BC and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. I am essentially self-taught, though as a young artist I attended various workshops and classes at the Vancouver School of Art. I sought expression in all types of media practicing such styles as: realism, abstraction, symbolism, and inner intuitive expression. Going beyond the learning curve of my early work gave me the groundwork for the art I practice today. I create from my inner experience and depend largely on dreams and imagination for ideas and vision.

You can find more of Shirley’s work on her website.

Jack Duckworth

“Pebble Beach (Galiano Island)”
18X24 unframed
Acrylic on Canvas

Jack’s talent for art emerged in his younger years while living in Duncan. Family and vocation caused an extended hiatus while serving various Christian missions in Victoria, Winnipeg, and brief trips overseas to teach in Ukraine, Armenia, Amsterdam, and Haiti. Upon retiring, his art interests were rekindled as he renewed his joy in the colours and rhythms in Canadian landscapes and seascapes through his preferred medium of acrylic on canvas.

Pauline Dueck

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine”
Original Acrylic
20” x 16”

Pauline Dueck is a full-time artist based in Cobble Hill, Vancouver Island. She paints bold, color saturated images, in a realistic yet painterly style, adding complexity with layers of acrylic paint and colored glazes. Her subjects frequently reflect her agricultural roots and love of the outdoors, featuring animals and bold florals, with a touch of whimsy. She is also known for her wave and water themed paintings. Pauline is an active member of the Cowichan Valley Arts Council, having curated their annual Fine Arts Show and numerous other shows for the past 7 years.

You can find more of Pauline’s work on her website, or by contacting her directly.

Jennifer Lawson

“Swan Family Swim”

Jennifer Lawson is a well-known Canadian artist recognized for her inviting images – radiant with light, colour and their refreshing impressionism. Yorkshire born and having studied and travelled extensively, Jennifer obtained two Honours Arts degrees. A plein air painter, her work reveals her as an optimist who is absorbed by the beauty around her.

Paul Fletcher

“Richards Creek 1998”
Silver gelatin print
11” x 14”
18” x 22”

Paul has worked as a professional photographer and artist for almost 30 years. He is well known in the Cowichan Valley for his black & white portraiture as well as his photographic artwork that he exhibits locally. Paul has traveled widely shooting travel stock for Getty Image’s Lonely Planet Collection. He also volunteers his time and photography skills to humanitarian and social change agencies including shooting in Nicaragua and Pakistan for Plan Canada, contributing photographs for five Photosensitive projects as well as volunteering for a local cause, the Somenos Marsh, which he has championed for over 35 years. He published his first book, Somenos…the grandfathers spoke to me in 1998. He currently teaches photography to high school students at Brentwood College in Mill Bay.

Catherine Fraser

“Estuary Patterns”
Giclee Print on canvas

Catherine has painted professionally since 1983 with art studios in Victoria and the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, BC Canada. She works in oils, acrylic, watercolour, graphite, and pastels, and is constantly exploring and experimenting with new art responses to the world around her. Catherine has a love of nature and plein air painting using watercolours and acrylic paints. Catherine is an accomplished and award winning artist having exhibited in over 35 one-woman shows, her artwork has been selected into juried shows and she has received many awards. Catherine’s work is inspired and informed by an interest in colour, spirituality and exploring inner and outer sacred space. Catherine divides her time as an artist and an art therapist. In all aspects of her life, she has woven thread of spirituality and creativity.

Catherine Fraser

Mixed Media

Charihey (CDGood)

“Holding Together 8”
Natural pigment with walnut oil
With tansy stalks and beeswaxed fabric
30 x 15 inches

Charihey (CDGood) uses IChing divination in her artwork to create a theme and inform her cross-disciplinary work. New to Vancouver Island, she is entranced with the water and mystical forests. She likes to bring nature through in her work and often seems to automatic paint. “A painting can be felt with your eyes closed. Look at it as you would listen to a piece of music possibly with eyes squinted and blurred focus. It will appear to move and in different lighting change. I believe a painting changes with the gaze of each person that looks at it.”

You can find more by Charihey by subscribing to her blog.

Jennifer Hedge

Acrylic on Canvas
16 x 40,

Living on Vancouver Island, Jennifer’s main inspiration comes from nature. While the detail gives a sense of realism, the composition of her paintings gives them a contemporary feel. Jennifer hopes her work reminds people of the beauty that surrounds them and how important it is for us to protect these exquisite landscapes and the creatures that inhabit them.

Barry Hetschko

“Oaken Heron”
Digital photo on metal framed.

Barry moved from Vancouver to the Cowichan Valley in 1989, drawn to the Valley by early memorable life experiences on his uncle’s dairy farm in Westholme. He purchased his first camera in 2011 and nature photography quickly became his passion. Photography opened up a whole new world for Barry and he walks a different path today, a path that brings awareness to the value of all living things.

Alisha Kairos (Baker)

“Rainbows & Rivers”
16 x 19 in (21 x 24.5 Framed)
Acrylic on Canvas

Inspired by the deep – all things wondrous and hidden beneath the surface – Alisha has been painting in the Cowichan Valley for ten years. Her career in graphic design lends well to her understanding for colour and composition. Her carefree spirit encourages the wild and unexpected, which fosters the freedom to truly get lost in the process. Through the working of each piece, she is truly gifted with love, passion, and glimpses of the prophetic.

To contact Alisha directly, visit her instagram.

Patricia Mansell

“TIGER OWL (Great Horned Owl)”
24″ h x 18″ w

This Great Horned Owl was being flown in a Bird of Prey demonstration in our local zoo. I watched him in flight and at rest, so he will appear in several more paintings. Great Horned Owls hunt both at night and in daylight so he is often seen in the skies of Alberta and British Columbia.” Born in Kent, England, Patricia moved to Canada in 1981 and resided for many years in Alberta. She now lives in Nanaimo, BC. She has a special interest in painting endangered wildlife. Often something unique about the animal will inspire a painting. She develops her paintings from research and photographing animals in the wild and enjoys bringing out each animal’s character. “One of the strengths of wildlife art is its ability tell stories. In my paintings I try to bring out the individuality of each animal as it goes about its everyday life. My journey as a Wildlife Artist is one of constant learning. No matter where I travel, I am looking for opportunities – what animals can be encountered in the wild in that area, what birds could I see migrating overhead, what sanctuaries and wildlife preserves are located there. Choosing subjects, learning about their struggles as a species, developing ideas for how best to paint them are ongoing for every painting – bringing that image out in paint is an absolute joy and so rewarding. I portray many endangered animals, hoping that bringing them to life in my art will raise awareness of how close we are to losing them.

Julie Nygaard

Digital Photography Manipulation
Bamboo Print
Frame 12 1/2 x 15 1/2

Being a visual artist, I am always surrounded by inspiration; life is art. The act of being in the NOW, being mindful and embracing the ebb and flow of life, opens your entire being to not only seeing with your eyes, instead with all of your senses. Photography, digital and film, are my outlet to bring my visions to life. I am self-taught and an active member of CVAC, Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society and the art community in the Cowichan Valley since 2008. My artwork can be found year round at Rainforest Arts Gallery in Chemainus, Artisans Studio in Nanaimo and various art events on Vancouver Island.

You can see more of Julie’s work on her blog, on instagram, or contact her directly.

Adrian Nygaard

“The Dragonfly”
Digital Photography
Photo Print Frame
Frame 12 1/2 x 15 1/2

I am currently a full time student in the Cowichan Valley with a passion for landscape and wildlife photography.

Kathleen Schmalz

“Salmon Run”
12 x 12
Acrylic on Cradleboard

‘Salmon Run’ was painted on location on a blustery fall day when the salmon, tinged with red, were magically making their way upstream. It was the perfect day to be outside painting with the multi-coloured leaves and luminous moss on the trees.

Craig Richards

“Mesachie Lake, Cowichan 2020”
Silver gelatin print

Craig Richards lived in Canmore, AB, for the 40 years and currently resides on Vancouver Island, B.C. His photographs have been the subject of 60 solo exhibitions, and over 70 group exhibitions at public and commercial art galleries and museums throughout the world. For 40 years Richards has used a 4″x5″ camera combined with the silver gelatin printing process. These vintage media are of value to him for the control and quality they offer, allowing him to explore the vast tonal range and to produce sumptuously rich, detailed, and sharp-focus images. In an age of speed, fast-changing technological innovation, and globalization, his works ask us to reflect on the traditional methods and places an emphasis on the art of photography. Mainly known for his photographs of the Canadian Rockies, his portfolio also includes projects for the Museo Nazionale Della Montagna, Torino, Italy that include the Yukon, Guatemala, Italy, Uganda, USA, Czech Republic and Bolivia. He traveled the world photographing 32 of the most influential mountain climbers; these portraits were featured in a book published in 2000 by National Geographic. Since 2018 he has been working on two projects; photographing a five generation First Nations family in British Columbia and creating portraits of Elders throughout British Columbia and Alberta. In 2017 Craig Richards was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. “I love the violence of storms as well as the delicacy and the calm. All of this is prevalent in my photographs as well as my excitement, my awe, and my interpretation.”

Tasli Shaw

“Kelp Cathedral”
18 x 24″
Limited Edition print

Tasli Shaw is a marine naturalist and artist. She has spent countless hours observing the marine mammals of the Salish Sea and uses these observations in the studio to create allegorical, narrative works based on the stories of the individual creatures that call the coast home. Tasli currently splits her time between the studio, whale watching, and contributing to marine mammal photographic identification projects.

Coco Jones

“Spirit Animals of S’amunu/Somenos”
Acrylic Paint/pen on canvas
1 ft x 3 ft

Almost daily I sip my tea on the porch
looking at sacred pi’pam
and offer prayers
(and sometimes quietly songs)
to the ancestors of these lands.
I talk to the animals, both the wild ones,
and my familiars.
I’m in awe of my life. Cackling at my children, and how hilarious they are.
Witnessing how nurturing my husband can be.
Staring constantly at my grandson,
Filled with gratitude that he’s come to join us all.

For him
May we never stop learning.
May we allow our capacity for love to continuously expand,
And have patience in the moments where we find ourselves in contraction.
May our relationship with plant spirit medicines bring up ancient memories,
And moment to moment solutions for these times.
May we see and know our place here.
May we be apart of the healing.
May the elements find ecstasy through our bodies,
And our lives.
May we protect ALL that is vulnerable.
May we care.
May we forgive, and be forgiven.
May we do our best to carry on
In a good way.
May we try and do better.
& May joy be a birthright for all.

May you be blessed

Kelsey Towe

“Knights Inlet Seals”
30 x 22

Neil Fatin

“Chairman of the Board”
Digital Photograph
(photo unavailable)

An award winning Photographic Artist producing images that use photography as a base and then adopting a creative approach to have that image provide a different and hopefully an engaging message. Neil sees photography as multidimensional, ranging from traditional photography (a replication of a scene or an event) at one level, but layered with one’s interpretation of the interplay of light and the subject matter while keeping a keen eye on the message or story. At the other end of the photographic spectrum, using the camera and the modern darkroom (the computer and software) as tools to create images that evoke a sense of place or event as well as expressing content and emotion. That is, controlling and adjusting the image until a unique end result is created, personalized by one’s imagination to create a new and different meaning from the first captured photograph. In the words of Ansel Adams, “The photographic negative is the musical score And The final print is the performance”

Maureen Stringer

“Victoria Amazonica”
Digital photograph
(photo unavailable)

Maureen, originally from Perth, Western Australia, lived and worked in Western Australia, Northern Ireland, and England before moving to Canada. Her background as an artist began playing piano and when she was 10 as a singer and actress. Since then, she has performed in numerous musicals and operas. She was President of the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival, has been a Board Member, worked and volunteered for numerous performing arts companies and Non-profit organizations. Maureen developed a keen interest in the visual arts, more recently in photography. She became enthused whilst in Mexico when friends formed a ‘camera club’. With encouragement from husband Neil Fatin, a successful photographer, Maureen decided to take photography more seriously. By volunteering for the Cowichan Valley Arts Council, Sooke & Sidney Fine Arts Shows, she saw first-hand the incredible talent of artists on Vancouver Island and decided to enter some juried art shows. She was thrilled to be accepted into the Sidney Fine Arts show in 2012. Since then, she has been successful in entering various juried shows, including Sooke Fine Arts Show and has been the recipient of a number of awards. Maureen is fascinated and inspired by the creative minds and skills she sees around her.