Artist asking for Canadian landscape photos to paint for charity

landscape photos When all the fields lay bound and hoar (2014) Painting by Sarah Merry

Do you have landscape photos that capture the essence of Canada’s rugged, raw, or stunning beauty?

Sarah Merry, a Collingwood-based artist is seeking photos from Canadians of land, water or skies that she will use as inspiration for 200 oil paintings.

“I am inviting Canadians to send me photos of Canada in the wild,” Merry said. “That they’ve taken on backpack hikes to epic adventures, or that capture a moment that was significant–so I can translate that into paintings.”

landscape photos
Painting by Sarah Merry

She has teamed up with Nature Canada, the country’s oldest charity dedicated to nature conservancy, to host an exhibition of the paintings in Toronto in spring 2020. A portion of the funds raised from the sale of the paintings and prints will go towards supporting the organization’s programming. Graham Saul, executive director of Nature Canada, calls the project a perfect fit for their initiatives.

“The federal government has launched what is probably the most important nature protection initiative in Canadian history, a bold effort to expand protected areas to include 25 percent of Canada’s land and oceans by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030,” Saul explained. “This means more than doubling protected areas over the next decade.”

Merry continues to accept photo submissions on a rolling basis through email: She is particularly interested in receiving more landscape photos from the prairies and northern Canada including Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon.

landscape photos
Painting by Sarah Merry

“It’s important that there is integrity in what I’m doing and what I’m saying,” she says. “If that means I can help other organizations, whether it’s Nature Canada or Unicef, I’m going to do it.”

There are rules though around the type of submissions she’s willing to accept: no photos with buildings, machines, cars or people featured, with the exception of country barns, huts, tipis, dinghies, canoes, or lighthouses. Should your photo be one of the 200 chosen, Merry is planning to give the person the first print in the edition.

“There is nothing more Canadian than a beautiful landscape, a little slice of nature that has a special place in your heart,” Saul pointed out. “Nature Canada’s efforts to defend and restore nature depend on the leadership and support of people like Sarah.”

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