Art Teachers

I’ve had a lot of different teachers over the decades. Here are the ones who had the biggest impact on my work, most recent on top:

Toru Sugita (relief printmaking):

Anita Toney (intaglio and relief printmaking):

Kay Russell (watercolor):

Sammi Books by Suzanne Mirviss

Hello from Sammi cover

While I volunteered with Hungry Owl Project (, I did many presentations at schools with my good friend, Suzanne Mirviss. Suzanne did most of the talking. I had the easy job – I brought out a glorious Western Screech Owl.  Fully grown, he is about 7″ from the top of his head to the end of his tail. Found in a forest in Sonoma, he was visually impaired so could not fend for himself in the wild.

Like me, Suzanne fell in love with that little Western Screech Owl (by the way, screech owls do not screech except, maybe, under extreme conditions).  As a result, I’ve done several paintings and etchings of him but nothing has quite caught his character. And Suzanne has been writing and illustrating owl-oriented children’s books. To learn more, visit

Wildlife Organizations

Here are the animal organizations I’ve been involved with. There are many, many more truly marvelous organizations.

WildCare. I actively volunteered at WildCare in San Rafael for 14 years and still do some graphic design volunteer work:

Hungry Owl Project (HOP). I actively volunteered for Hungry Owl Project for 7 years.

The Bird Rescue Center. My timing was lousy. After we moved up to Santa Rosa, it took a while before I was ready to commit to another wildlife rehab organization and finally joined BRC. I took the resident raptor handler training program and graduated 3 days before the shelter-in-place orders came down. As soon as I was fully vaccinated, I returned and my life feels so much fuller now. Great people to work with and their training program is truly remarkable:

All About Owls. I helped get this organization started. In the end, I couldn’t give them the time they needed. But I have watched them over the last few years and they’re doing very well (maybe even better) without me!

International Bird Rescue (IBR). I’ve only briefly volunteered here, during a big oil spill. They are organized, caring, and very, very hard working:

Raptors are the Solution (RATS). I’ve only met Lisa Owens Vianni a couple of times, but I’ve found that her website is a great source of information. I can’t get over her dedication and the quality of work she’s done:

© 2023┃ Mary C Blake