Toronto Nature Sketch Team!

Introducing the amazing Naturalists & Volunteers who’ll be helping me teach Bateman NatureSketch classes this spring!  I know that the children & adults who sign up for the program will learn so much from this wonderful group of nature experts.  

Please visit to learn more about the program and sign up for classes!

Diana Teal - Diana is the Programs Manager at Allan Gardens Conservatory.  I’ve known Diana for several years, first when she worked for Bird Studies Canada, and later when she returned to the High Park Nature Centre as Executive Director.  I snapped this photo of Diana & High Park supporters welcoming Mayor John Tory (back to camera) to the Nature Centre.

Dr.Judy Brown - Judy is a Veterinarian who draws.  She’s been to several of my workshops and oozes with drawing talent.  Dr.Judy has a deep understanding of mammal anatomy and will be sharing her awesomeness with the kids when we’re sketching at Riverdale Farm.   

Paloma Plant - On the FLAP Canada Facebook page, there’s a video of a woman rescuing an injured Red Tailed Hawk with her bare hands.  That’s Paloma.  She’s a tireless advocate for bird conservation who inspires people to act on behalf of our avian neighbours.  Paloma will be leading a walk at Colonel Sam Smith Park where the kids will be sketching birds in the field. 

Here's a link to the video of Paloma and the Hawk:  Red Tailed Rescue

Colleen Cirillo - Colleen is the Director of Education at Toronto Botanical Garden.  I first became aware of Colleen when she worked at Ontario Nature through an article she wrote about oak trees.  Colleen regularly gives public talks on pollinator friendly gardening and she supports grass-root conservation efforts.  Colleen will be helping me kick off Junior NatureSketch in April.

Mark Peck - Mark is an avian expert with the Royal Ontario Musem who travels the world and oversees the museum’s collection of more than 140,000 bird specimens.  He also champions conservation work to protect birds everywhere.  Mark will be giving the children a special behind the scenes look inside the Bird Collection rooms and setting up birds for the kids to sketch afterwards.

Mark has an interesting connection to Robert Bateman through his late Aunt Alice.  It was at the Alice Peck Gallery in Burlington where a young Bob Bateman had his first solo show in 1967.  That sellout show was the beginning of Bob’s meteoric rise as a painter. 

Mark in discussion with FLAP Director, Michael Mesure.

Sally Girdler - I met Sally last spring when she attended my Plant Drawing class at Wychwood Barns.  She’s not only talented with a pencil, but knows her plants too!  Sally works in Toronto's Parks & Forestry division and is responsible for the stunning gardens at High Park.  Sally will be sharing her expertise in both the Junior and Adult NS programs.

Jackie Hamilton - Jackie is an expert in forest conservation and has worked across Ontario, Nepal and the UK.  I first met Jackie a few years ago when she was working for LEAF and was helping at my Tree Drawing workshop.  She now works for the Toronto & Region Conservation Authority and her projects focus on living green infrastructure (like the urban forest) and the many ways it benefits our communities.  Jackie will be discussing ravine ecosystems with the children at Evergreen Brickworks.

Lauren Moretto - Lauren is passionate about Bats!  She was involved with starting up the Urban Bat Project in High Park and all the items you see in her car are for bat monitoring.  Lauren has done wetland field work for the Ministry of Natural Resources and will soon be completing her Masters at Carleton University. 

Chris Patzwald - Chris has kindly offered to volunteer for Junior NS.  She participated in one of my Bird Drawing classes where she made a great sketch of a Killdeer!  Chris hopes to inspire her young son to take up drawing and plans to sign him up for NS when he’s a bit older.

Jan Kraus - Jan is a retired health care professional who’s also a very talented artist. She’s been to several of my drawing workshops and has generously offered to volunteer for Junior NS.  Jan also paints and will be travelling this spring to paint Irish landscapes! 

Katrina Maurer - Katrina is an avid birder, educator and School Programs Coordinator at the High Park Nature Centre.  Kat will be sharing her enthusiasm and love of the natural wonders found in High Park’s globally rare Black Oak Savannah ecosystem. 

Jon Hayes - Jon is the High Park Nature Centre’s Program Director and all round swell guy.  Jon has been an outdoor educator for over a decade and will be sharing his passion for the natural world with the participants in the Adult NS program.