This Year's Artists

Jennifer Bates

Jennifer is an artist & illustrator based in Berkeley, California. She spent her early years getting covered in graphite, paint, and clay. It wasn't until college that she became enamored with the natural world as well. Hands stained by art supplies quickly became hands crusted in dirt and hardened by exploration. Combining her interests in fine art and zoological field work, she found her niche in the realm of scientific illustration. Her specialty lies in detailed representational works of natural subjects, with an affinity for all things bird-related. Her goal as an artist is to reintroduce the beauty of the natural world to those who spend the majority of their lives in urban areas, and to inspire them to explore the wonder just outside their windows.

Jennifer creates works in a variety of media including acrylic, watercolor, gouache, graphite, ink, and even wood burning, but all her pieces share the common thread of nature’s beauty. She has participated in dozens of art fairs & festivals including but not limited to: Seattle Audubon Bird & Nature Art Fair, Galt Winter Bird Festival, Alki Art Fair, Tukwila Backyard Wildlife Festival, Mountain View a la Carte & Art, Issaquah Salmon Days, and more.

Sherrie Russell Meline

Sherrie has been painting waterfowl since 1982 and has participated in the PFDA festival since 1983. Although she has had her waterfowl images selected for about 35 state duck stamps, the highlight for her was the Ross’ Goose which was selected by a Board of Judges for the 2006-07 Federal Duck Stamp.

Karen Ladd (Crystal Awards and Gifts for All Occasions)



  • Karen Ladd is a self-taught artist, with over 27 years of experience in her field. She is an artist
    who creates realistic floral and wildlife glass art. The vintage pieces of Rene` Lalique were her
    first inspiration into the world of crystal. Over the years, she has corroborated with other master
    glass artists throughout the country. She has really been one of the pioneers of realistic crystal
    The heart of the process is Flame working, a technique of melting and manipulating glass rods
    into a given shape through a bench mounted torch with a flame of over 8000 degrees. Each
    design begins with a sketch to adjust balance and form but it is in the glass studio where the true
    magic begins. The interplay of light within and through satin and clear glass is her main focus.
    The Satin affect is created by sandblasting at various depths to create contrast and dimension.
    The finished sculpture is then placed in an annealing kiln at 1050 degrees and slowly reduced to
    room temperature to assure durability and clarity.
    In 2011 Karen was accepted to show her work at the prestigious wildlife art exhibition at the
    “National Museum of Wildlife Art” in Jackson WY. A partial client list would include:
    Paramount Pictures, Mobile Oil, GMC, Toyota, Caesar’s Palace, Opryland Hotel, Lilly Corp.,
    Barbara Bush, Crystal Gayle, Dick Clark, Louise Mandrill the Rockefeller family and heads of
    State in China, Malaysia and OPEC. But just as important to Karen are the Hallards of
    Williamson SC who were married in 2000. Each September they order a custom piece to add to
    their personal collection of her work in remembrance of their anniversary.
    Karen lives with her husband, two cats and a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, in the beautiful
    mountains of Northern California in the small town of Mt. Shasta. They have one daughter who
    is a successful Web Designer and two beautiful granddaughters. Karen and Greg’s home over
    looks a creek on their property where on opening day of the fishing season her husband Greg,
    who is an avid fly fisherman, walks down to the creek and catches a trout and is back on their
    deck before his coffee is cold.

Steele Roberts-Ross

“I look at my paintings as windows of the world, which transports you somewhere else you would rather be and allows you to connect with the wildlife you love.” Steele resides in Yreka, California in an area that provides unlimited access to observing and painting wildlife. He enjoys participating in the annual Audubon bird count in Shasta Valley every year as well as an occasional hunting trip. His paintings can be found in galleries and private collections across the United States. Follow him on Facebook.

Doug Ridgway

“Growing up, I took snapshots with my old Kodak Brownie camera. In 1969 I bought my first real camera. I had a cousin that was stationed in Guam and was rotating home. Paul picked me up a Pentax Spotmatic 35mm camera, with a 50mm and a 135mm lens. I took various classes in photography over the years but the cost of film and developing reduced my picture taking and eventually my camera was put into the closet.

In 2003 I bought my first digital camera, a Canon G5. With this camera my interest and love of photography began to flourish again. When I retired in 2006, I decided that it was time to step up to a digital SLR camera, a Canon 30D.

Since then, I decided that to be the best photographer that I can, I needed to go back to the basics and I went to Delta College and took all of their film and digital classes. After I exhausted Delta’s photography classes, I took several digital classes at Consumes River College. Along with my college work, I have taken many workshops from professional photographers. I am also a member of the Stockton Camera Club and the San Joaquin Valley Council of Camera Clubs. I have learned much from them.

I am constantly striving to become a better photographer. Each photograph offers its own unique challenge, to be used as a learning opportunity. I have found that one of the secrets to better photography is not to listen to your friends and family but to get an unbiased critic and to learn what you did right and what you could have done to make it better.
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