Nature comes to life on canvas

Penticton artist Terry Isaac is hosting an open house and giving back

A poster of the painting Tyger Tyger is being raffled off in support of the AlleyCATS Alliance. Photo submitted.

The world of nature is Terry Isaac’s canvas and for more than three decades his brush has brought that world to life for others to enjoy.

Whether it’s a simple moss-covered rock in his backyard or Africa’s sweeping savannah to the harsh beauty of the Artic tundra at little bit of the artist’s soul can be found in his award-winning works.

Drawing his inspiration from the wild, whether it’s the Call of Autumn, a bald eagle flying over a river in a forest setting shrouded in mist to Chasing Rainbows, of an otter underwater after a tasty finned treat, Isaac’s passion for the world around him is hugely evident in his works.

Related: AlleyCats ally with local artist

Originally from Oregon, the realism of his work has landed him jobs with Walt Disney creating the main character for the movie Dinosaur to gracing a recent cover of the prestigious Saturday Evening Post and the cover of a wildlife book featuring some of the world’s best artists.

This weekend Isaac, 60, is hosting one of his special open houses from June 2 to 3 and is inviting the public to visit his gallery and studio at 475 Upper Bench Rd.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day visitors will have an opportunity to speak with the internationally acclaimed artist, view his work, sign up for an art class or two and maybe even pick up a furry friend in the process.

That’s because the folks from AlleyCATS Alliance will be at the gallery with kittens available for adoption, just one of the many organizations Isaac supports as his way of giving back for his success.

As well, this weekend he is raffling off a poster of his painting Tyger Tyger with all of the proceeds going to AlleyCATS for its work in the Okanagan with feral and orphaned cats and kittens.

“For me I just think it’s a general love and appreciation of animals. I have a dog and a cat and I think they are truly my companions. I think because they give you unconditional love,” said Isaac, who got his start as a professional in 1987 under the tutelage of another prominent Canadian wildlife artist, Robert Bateman. “I’m very blessed and grateful that my art is used to raise money and that I can use my art as a vehicle to help animals and people. I’m grateful for that.”

He is also a huge supporter of Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) in its efforts to preserve wetland habitat as well as a member of Artists for Conservation and the Langley Animal Protection Society.

Once again this year one of Isaac’s works, Trotting to Water from a reference photo by Bruce Turnbull of a group of wild horses on the west side of Penticton was included in the DUC 2018 National Art Portfolio.

Related: Penticton artist chosen for Ducks Unlimited National Art Portfolio

It was one of 11 pieces chosen out of hundreds of submissions and the third time Isaac’s paintings have been included in the portfolio. The donated works are turned into high-quality prints for use in DUC’s fundraising initiatives.

Isaac’s works are housed in prominent permanent collections Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wis. the Bennington Centre for the arts in Bennington, Vt. American Airlines First National Bank of South Africa and many other private and corporate collections around the work.

As well, his paintings have been on the block at Christies Auction House in London England.

“I really enjoy getting to mingle with people and shake their hands and get to know them on a more personal level and seeing paintings that capture special moments in nature,” said Isaac. “Generally what I get out of it is an experience of being with like-minded people, people who care about our planet and care about preserving natural beauty, after all that is the reason I paint.

“I do have a passion for it and hopefully the people who attend the gallery will be kindred spirits with that same level of appreciation.”

He believes as technology becomes increasingly prevalent in society, so too does people’s need for that connection with nature and the need for spiritual renewal.

“This is where we live and we should care about it, we should care about it more,” he said.

An artist now for over three decades, Isaac once taught art in middle school and that remains a passion of his, to help others develop to their full potential the way Bateman helped him.

In his artist’s statement Isaac said: “When it is my time to leave this world, I wish to do so knowing that I have left paintings that inspire others to appreciate the true wonder and beauty of the natural world.”


Terry Isaac with his work Tyger Tyger, a poster of which will be auctioned off at his open house taking place this weeked. Mark Bret/Western News

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