Wonders of Western Australia

posted in: Wildlife illustration | 11


This morning, I’m feeling a bit sad that I’m not in Freemantle, Western Australia. The opening sessions have just started at the Ecological Society of Australia‘s annual conference, with a buzz of ecologists: old and young; enthusiastic and weathered; well-published and freshly-minted… but all fascinated by the natural world and its intricate interactions.

I’ve always found these conferences to be inspiring, stimulating, and a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, and make new ones. The Ecological Society of Australia is committed to nurturing the next generation of ecologists, so large numbers of post-grad students always brings a freshness and energy to these meetings. I have been a direct beneficiary of the ESA too – receiving awards and travel grants as an ecology student that really boosted my morale and allowed me to meet and listen to many other scientists who became my friends and mentors.

This year I can’t be at the conference, but I’m there in spirit. The ESA commissioned me to create an image for this year’s conference bag, and I had a lot of fun drawing some of my favorite Western Australian plants and animals. I also added some diagrams, symbols and even an equation that relate to the science of ecology. How many can you spot? And how many species do you recognize?

Some conference delegates have taken to Twitter to express their appreciation:



Thanks Bronwyn and Laura . I’m always thrilled when people enjoy my artwork. And when people recognize species, it’s like having a conversation…

Thanks ESA, and have a great conference in Freemantle!



11 Responses

  1. Carol

    Gorgeous artwork Paula. The more you look the more you see (just like nature!). Wish I could be at the conference, too.

    • Paula Peeters

      Hey thanks Carol! Yes I always get rather drunk on new information when I go to an ESA conference – and come back with my head spinning. A good way to be though ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Annette

    This bag is just glorious Paula, you should have a range and offer them for sale along with your post cards

    • Paula Peeters

      Thanks Annette! Hmmm I wonder what designs would be the most popular? Any suggestions?

  3. Helena Mills

    I’ve just bought a second bag for a friend, they are fantastic! A print would be great.

    • Paula Peeters

      Hey Helena, thank you, I’m really glad that you like it ๐Ÿ™‚ . A print may be possible… Perhaps the ESA might like to sell some through their online store… What size were you thinking?

  4. Sue Southwood

    Methinks you will not be missing your old job at all! Well done, and I am proud of you. Love all your writing as much as your art…just like listening to you.

    • Paula Peeters

      Hi Sue, ….what was my old job again?! Thanks for your encouragement, as always. I’m working on a kid’s book right now, so there have not been many blog posts recently, but more writing and art will surface again… one day. I hope you are most wonderfully well ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Helena Mills

    Hi Paula, probably about the same size as is on the bags (A4ish?), so you still have to hunt for all the hidden bits – it might be too easy if it were bigger.