SHEET HARBOUR – Founded by Canadian artist Jeffrey Whiting in 1997, Artists for Conservation (AFC) has a global membership of 500 nature or wildlife artists from 30 countries that have a commitment to conservation. The mandate of the non-profit organization is to support wildlife, habitat conservation and the environment through art.
Sheet Harbour artist Sandy Moser received notification she has been juried for AFC. Artists apply to join the organization and must meet artistic standards and benefit conservation efforts or organizations. Once juried and accepted by the AFC committee, membership is deemed life-long.
“I have chosen the Nova Scotia Nature Trust to benefit from a portion of my sales on the [AFC] website. I will also donate a painting for their annual auction,” Sandy Moser told The Journal via email.
Moser has been working with the Nature Trust, which has purchased more than 200 islands off the coast of the Eastern Shore as part of their Wild Islands Program. Their intent is to protect islands’ wild spaces while allowing the public to continue to use the islands.
“I also hope that others will be able to see and support this worthwhile organization,” said Moser. “This Wild Island initiative will help grow the economy of the Eastern Shore.”
"I consider myself to be a wildlife artist who paints in a realistic style. I also paint scenery, florals and seascapes,” explained Moser. “I use acrylics and paint with many glazes to create fine details. I also use pastel pencils, gouache, scratch board and watercolors to create my art. I challenge myself to try new methods, colors and paints.”
Moser has attained significant accomplishments with her art over the years. “I started entering contests a decade ago. I have been extremely fortunate to win awards with my art. I have won over 100 awards – of which seven have been first place awards.”
Moser taught school for 20 years and two of the courses she offered during those two decades were art and drama.
“I was always interested in art and colours when I was a child. My parents would give me colouring books, paint by numbers and sand art. I started painting my designs when I was in junior high. In grade 10 and 11, I was able to take an adult painting course through the adult education program,” Moser recalled. “When I retired, I continued to take workshops and courses throughout my life. The latest workshops were about wildlife art.
“I think that the most important aspect of creating art is the self-satisfaction of being able to create something. I have been painting for over 50 years and I never get tired of it. One of my goals – early on – was to share my artwork with family and friends. Now I use my artwork to help conservation causes; for benefits for community members or families; and for community causes,” Moser said.
“It has been an interesting time, to say the least, since the pandemic started,” Moser reflected. “I think that the isolation has forced me to concentrate on my artwork. I have painted 20 paintings this past year which is the most productive year ever.”
Moser belongs to the Artisans of the Eastern Shore, whose mandate is to celebrate, foster and promote the artistic talent of diverse artists and crafters who make the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia their home. The group is an eclectic mixture of genres of artists and crafters. Pre-COVID-19, the artists met once a month and had presentations as part of the meeting.
“During non-COVID times, I mentor a group of artists one morning a week through the library program,” she noted.
Creativity for Moser is not confined to paints.
“I do photography such as landscape, seascapes and animal images. I have worked with stained glass and I have been making sea glass jewelry for about eight years. I do rug hooking and have made a few quilt pieces. I also paint on silk scarves which is quite relaxing.”
Before COVID-19 hit, Moser and her husband Robert – a photographer – attended Christmas fairs and markets. The couple would participate in the Artisans of the Eastern Shore summer art sales and other events in NS and PEI. Currently, they use social media as a means of promoting their product.
“I feel that it is important that each of us must do our part to try to preserve the environment and the habitat of all species on this earth,” said Moser. “I believe every individual has a responsibility to co-exist on this planet in a way that respects and protects wildlife and their surroundings. If we do not protect our lands, our water, our plant and animal species – who will?”
AFC empowers professional artists as ambassadors for the environment by promoting international art exhibits, art-science expeditions, festivals, awards and publications. AFC dedicates resources to nurturing a world-class community of artists and using these talents to support their mission through programs and initiatives.
By leading online initiatives, AFC works to inspire and inform the public. ArtistsForConservation.org supports and promotes programs and features thousands of original and limited-edition nature-inspired artwork. There are 8,000 original paintings and hundreds of original sculptures for sale valued collectively at more than US$30 million.
Janice Christie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal