Californian Wildlife Biro Drawing Workshop
Blue House, Laguna Beach
10 February 2020


It was a privilege for Jane to work with more extremely talented women of Laguna Beach city, where art and nature are treasured, during this second adult Californian Wildlife Biro drawing workshop, and an honour to be joined by the inspirational Marinta Skupin, Curator of Education, Caitlin Reller, Assistant Curator of Education and Kristen Anthony of Laguna Art Museum, Danelle Hickman, Outreach Specialist of Ocean Institute and Staci Bina owner of Bala Shala

Left to right: Marinta Skupin, Danelle Hickman, Kristen Anthony and Caitlin Reller

Jane's presentation for this workshop explored the enormous variety of Californian species. From coast to mountains to desert, California is brimming with endemic and iconic species. The state has 321 endangered species so this workshop highlighted ways to combat the bio-diversity crisis:

  • LOOK AFTER YOUR OWN BACK YARD! Looking after local environments can help biodiversity flourish, no matter where we live. Plant pollinator-friendly plants from seed in gardens, pots and window boxes. If you don’t have a garden, volunteer for community urban or woodland planting schemes or beach clean-ups. Our gardens, parks and wild spaces can become a network of nature reserves. STOP using pesticides, nature will look after itself with birds and other insects eating greenfly on your roses! Embrace endemic weeds as the wildflowers they are and let them grow

  • REDUCE CONSUMPTION: CHOOSE products that are sustainably and ethically sourced. RECYLCLE; EAT less meat; TAKE less car journeys; USE less water & power

  • TELL others about climate emergency and biodiversity crisis – WORD OF MOUTH is key

  • CONTACT your local Senator and voice your concerns about the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis

  • DONATE to or RAISE funds for conservation organisations to help them help wildlife

Image: Jane delivering her presentation

    One of the most endangered species in California is the gray wolf and the presentation included information about the famous wolf known as OR-7 who journeyed from Oregon to California in 2011. Sadly since this workshop OR-7's daughter OR-54 was killed. Read more here:


    Slide from presentation with information about gray wolves in California

    Discussing the phenomenal journey and presence in California of OR-7 during Jane's presentation also reflected the work of the Wolf Conservation Center, New York who she has supported since 2012 to producing fundraising artwork:

       American Dream 2014 colour Biro drawing, Jane Lee McCracken for Wolf Conservation Center

    Selected for this workshop were endangered, endemic or iconic Californian species:
    Gray Wolf:
    Conservation Status CA: EN
    Population CA: 7-10
    Mountain Lion:
    Global Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN
    Population CA: 4,000 - 6,000
    Canada Lynx:
    Conservation Status CA: VU 
    Population CA: UNKNOWN
    Tule Elk:
    Conservation Status CA: UNTHREATENED
    Population CA: 4,000
    Desert Tortoise:  
    Conservation Status CA: VU
    Population USA & Mexico: 100,000
    Island Fox
    Conservation Status CA: EN
    Population: approx. 6,000 across six Channel Island subspecies

    California Sea Lion
    Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN
    Global population: 387,646
    California Condor
    Conservation Status CA: EN
    Population: 488
    Ohlone Tiger Beetle
    Conservation Status: EN
    Population: UNKNOWN

    Southern Sea Otter
    Conservation Status: EN
    Population CA: 3,000
    California Tiger Salamander
    Conservation Status: EN
    Population: approx. 10,000

    Drawings produced during this workshop were of an astonishing caliber. Marinta created an exceptional drawing of a sea otter mother and pup displaying a sumptuous and expressive drawing style. Kristen made an accomplished and iconic drawing of a sea lion and Caitlin produced an impressive and ethereal drawing of a Tule elk with a seawind swept coat. Danelle created a stunning drawing of sea otters with beautiful mark-making which she is gifting to her daughter.

    Talented artist Susie Frosell produced a breathtaking drawing of a California Condor, Blythe Callanan Wheaton, an accomplished photographer, made a marvellous and detailed work in progress of a desert tortoise, Chris completed two amazing drawings of a mountain lion and Ana hummingbird and Maryann also made a striking drawing of an Ana hummingbird.

    Jane was particularly proud of Julie, Staci and Susie who proved yet again that everyone can draw. With her beautiful drawing of an Island fox Julie captured adeptly this delicate species features, Staci produced a jewel of a drawing with her striking Ohlone beetle and Susie created a remarkable drawing of a California Tiger Salamander, which filled the page with its dazzling presence. 

    Finally, following the creation in the first adult Californian Wildlife drawing workshop of her stunning Mountain Lion drawing Kristin Hunziker returned to begin a wonderful portrait in progress of her beautiful dog Piper; Kirsten Rogers finished her sensational drawing of a Canada lynx with the most ravishing eyes and included in this gallery is a brilliant drawing by super talented John Rogers of a California Condor. 

    A huge thank you to Kirsten Rogers for hosting this event and to all who participated and celebrated the astonishing wildlife of this state:

    Sea Otter Mother and Pup 2020 Biro drawing, Marinta Skupin
    California Sea Lion 2020 Biro drawing, Kristen Anthony

    Tule Elk 2020 Biro drawing, Caitlin Renner

    Sea Otter Mother and Pup 2020 Biro drawing, Danelle Hickman
    California Condor 2020 colour Biro drawing, Susie Frosell

    Mountain Lion 2020 Biro drawing, Chris Woodburn

    Ana Hummingbird 2020 colour Biro drawing, Chris

    Desert Tortoise 2020 colour Biro drawing, Blythe Callanan Wheaton
    Ana Hummingbird 2020 colour Biro drawing, Maryann Minck
    Island Fox 2020 colour Biro drawing, Julie  Heussenstamm
    Ohlone Tiger Beetle 2020 colour Biro drawing, Staci Bina
    California Tiger Salamander 2020 colour Biro drawing, Susie Moutray
    Piper 2020 colour Biro drawing, Kristen Hunziker
    Canada Lynx 2020 Biro drawing, Kirsten Rogers
    California Condor 2020 colour Biro drawing, John Rogers