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Camille Doucet

When I was 3 years old I broke my right arm. On the next day I picked up a crayon with my left hand and continued scribbling on the kitchen walls just as before. I am left handed since then, however I have moved my drawing area to an horizontal surface for the love of watercolor. The subjects that make my cells move into the joyful creative mode are from nature; birds, plants, trees, landscapes. Commissions have made me branchout in new directions, for example drawing people of different nations for the Family Empowerment department of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, or backyart environments for a book by the Audubon society.

In 2002 I went to a weeklong conference of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators (GNSI) in Virginia and came back juiced up, excited and marvelling at the generous bunch of nature and art lovers I met there. I came back home wondering how I could be part of such a nurturing and prolific group here.  A few months later I found such a group of nature artists assembled at the home of late and beloved botanical artist and teacher Bente King. Right there and then I gathered phone numbers of those similarly interested. The following January we started officially meeting as a local chapter of the guild. We have been painting our love and concerns for the environment since. Last year we hosted the yearly GNSI conference here in Ithaca. Today we are working on an exhibit of "common declining birds of the US" using the Laboratory of Ornithology's bird specimens ressources. I meet weekly with other artists to paint and network. Laurel Hecht, Shirley Hogg and others are my steadfast companions in this adventure of active artmaking.

Teaching is another of my creative endeavors. I see every student as a peer looking to progress in the acquisition of artistic skills, in the refinement of perception and in deepening the satisfaction of creating. I enjoy varying the classes by interspersing technique skills like color theory and botanical illustration with relaxed sketching in poetic environments like the greenhouses of Cornell in the deep of the winter and landscape painting in the botanical garden and local parks.

When I met Steve Sierigk (and later his wonderful wife Anne) many years ago I was inspired by his focused desire to help educate people about the environment and the high ethics of his business towards artists, employees, products and the environment. It is my honor to be counted in the wonderful pool of artists  that grace the catalogues, cards and notebooks that Acorn Design produces. Long live Acorn Designs and our beautiful planet.