Think of your favourite animal. What does it look like? How does its muscles curve or how does it stand or how thick is it’s coat/plumage?
In a world of animal fetishization (think cutesy owl/horse/fox and flamingo tees/makeup bags/phone cases), Gowling’s work is real and depicts reality instead of just cuteness. While it’s great to worship our fauna friends, I wonder how often we really picture them in their natural habitat deep in the grip of Mother Nature? Judging by her work, Jessica Gowling thinks about these details too. You instantly know Gowling’s work because while her art is exact, detailed. The animals, birds and reptiles that exist in her tableau are real – like they’ve leapt out of a the pages of an Audubon book or Attenborough documentary, sometimes with whimsy, most mostly without. You can tell her love for the natural world and the creatures that inhabit it is unparalleled.
I first encountered Gowling’s art in Invermere, B.C. at Black Star Studios and later at an auction for a wild salmon rehabilitation non-profit. It was only fitting that her art portfolio is called Nature’s my Friend. Her brand is distinguished. She collects vintage books and naturalist texts to study and recreate the creatures from Canada and beyond. I believe my first Gowling purchase was a small moose print and then a set of magnets, screen printed moleskin journals, the list goes on.
A graduate of the Alberta College of Art & Design, Gowling lives in a small Kootenay town with her husband and cat. Her studio has been featured on Etsy’s blog and she is a regular at Western Canadian crafting circuits. She’s a gal with a big laugh, big heart and huge talents that conveys her critter love so beautifully. Meet this week’s f*#king awesome jobber: Jessica Gowling from Nature’s My Friend.