Wildlife artist and photographer Marie Rust is a life-long Michigan resident whose love of nature began as a child. Hours spent on the shores of Whitmore Lake taught Marie how to be still and observe the natural world. Over the years she developed a deep connection to natural rhythms and to the lives that share our world. A self-taught artist, she has taken her observational skill and applied it to her artwork, creating carefully wrought portraits of wildlife.
Now living on five acres outside of Bitely, Michigan, Marie is a partner in Bear Track Studios, LLC, a business she started with two other nature artists with whom she also lives. She is a member of the National Parks Conservation Association, Michigan Audubon, National Audubon, and the Nature Conservancy, and others, and has done volunteer work with the Michigan DNR through their Stewardship Program, and with the North Country Trail Association.
“Alternating layers of colored pencils, ink, graphite, and other drawing media, and working almost exclusively from my own photography and field experience, I create finely detailed and intimate portraits of wildlife. Through composition and cropping my work is meant to reconnect viewer and subject, a primal connection I feel has been lost in our hectic and overly-mechanized world. I believe it is important to present these amazing creatures as individuals in order to remind us that we are all sentient beings deserving of life.”