Naturally, with Rachel's lifelong passion for wildlife comes the awareness that many species are struggling to survive due largely to habitat loss. This has lead her to wanting to increasingly use her artwork to raise both awareness and funds for the conservation of threatened Species. Below are some of her recent conservation themed works.
In September 2017 the people of Dominica collectively stared death in the face, not for a brief moment, but for over 6 long hours, praying that they and their families would survive, but with an immense fear that they would not. Hurricane Maria was not discriminatory, nor did she act with prejudice, she destroyed everything in her path with brute force the like of which has not been witnessed in living memory. No person or animal could possibly escape her fury; such was the magnitude of this mighty storm.
The flora and fauna wore the brunt of Maria’s force and it is now clear that the populations of both the Sisserou or Imperial Amazon and the Jaco or Red-necked Amazon have been left totally devastated by this natural disaster. Make no mistake; both species are NOW under serious threat of extinction.
“Maria” by Rachel Lewis, is a breathtaking, yet raw and emotion stirring artwork depicting a lone female Imperial Amazon, dubbed Maria, amongst the backdrop of destruction left by the worst hurricane to hit the region in living memory. Is the fate of the species resting solely on Maria’s shoulders…. only time will tell.
Spix's Macaws -
The first Attempt
This was my first attempt at painting Spix's Macaws, whilst I was very happy with the result, I knew I wanted to paint them again, soon!
This artwork was a one off, with no reproductions having been created. It is now a treasured piece in the home of an overseas couple, who are both parrot lovers and art collectors.
Spix's Macaws - second attempt
In 2018 I painted this piece, titled "De-Extinction", depicting the incredible and beautiful Spix’s Macaw. This endemic Brazilian species is considered extinct in the wild, but is the subject of a captive breeding program being driven by the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots (a German NGO) along with their program partners including the Government of Brazil, with the aim to bring them back from extinction, so they can once again be seen flying around the Brazilian Caatinga. The first release of captive bred Spix’s Macaws back into the wild is planned for 2021.
I chose to paint this species because the conservation of endangered species is very close to my heart and I’m striving to create awareness of such programs and support these causes through my artworks.
This piece was created using oils, and was actually the first painting I have ever done using this medium. I was very impressed with the depth and overall feel that I was able to achieve with oil paints.
After finishing this piece it was decided that it will be auctioned off to raise money for the re-introduction program, which is something that I am very excited about! Stay tuned for more details.
I thoroughly enjoyed creating this artwork.