Painter, illustrator and mapmaker Emily Drew Yates is best known for her colorful, joyous artworks in acrylic, watercolor and mixed media – paintings and maps celebrating the beauty and mystery of the natural world, botanicals and reverence for the great outdoors.

Emily spends lots of time making things and continues to go back to art and creating as a comfort. Observing nature and its creatures – seeing the language of a universe that is alive – is a constant inspiration.

She also creates a series of watercolor maps as tribute to the wonderful public lands (and plants and animals they support) explored in her 20-year career as an ecologist and seed conservationist. Revisiting the beauty of these places with watercolor and calligraphy promotes reverence and noticing, allowing others to be inspired, to enjoy, and to take action for the preservation of natural places and the life around them.

Emily grew up in Jackson County in southern Illinois and makes it her current home base while frequently traveling about.

Follow her process on Instagram @emilydrewyates

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