Born on Canada’s west coast of Vancouver British Columbia, and primarily raised on the prairies of Calgary Alberta, Jodie (Jo) Dansereau was introduced to a wide variety of Canadian wildlife. From a very early age, Dansereau, would depict her encounters using pencil on paper. Later, on her twelfth birthday and after receiving an oil painting set, she would start to depict her natural encounters using oil on canvas.
In 1996 Dansereau started a series of painting’s entitled, ‘The Canadian Wildlife – Endangered Series.’ This series depicts an endangered or extripated animal from Canada in their natural environment. Dansereau has traveled extensively across Canada, and even flew in a small six- seater Cessna plane to the Yukon, and Northwest Territories gathering pertinent material for her series. In 2003 this series was featured in Wildlife Art Magazine, in their spotlight section. Her commitment to the environment and the natural world is a driving force behind her work.
Through the years Dansereau has studied with biologists and wildlife reservists to develop an accurate sense of each animal and their surroundings. One such experience was working with a biologist at the Birds of Prey Rescue Center in Coaldale Alberta. Using a blind and a few techniques suggested by the biologist, Dansereau was able to photograph and study a family of burrowing owls. “It was quite an incredible experience, being able to have a glimpse into their world and how they relate to one another.” This experience was used to create the second painting in Dansereau’s series, ‘Winds of Change – Burrowing Owl Family.’ Representing the province of Saskatchewan for her Canadian Wildlife – Endangered Series.
Due to a family tragedy, Dansereau was unable to paint for more than ten years. However, in the of spring 2013 Dansereau met with internationally accliamed wildlife artist Terry Isaac. Through a couple of workshops and some very encouraging words, Dansereau has once again picked up the paintbrush and has entered back into the world of art. “Terry was very encouraging to me, his words gave me a whole new sense of hope and inspiration.’ Dansereau intends to finish the series that came to an abrupt halt many years ago. “Tragedy can sometimes engulf your entire being, paralyzing your soul and leaving you with an empty void. I am on my way back, and I am going to continue to work very hard everyday, to be an overcomer.”
Wildlife artist Jo Dansereau has donated many of her limited edition art reproductions to organizations such as Duck’s Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Operation Burrowing Owl and the Alberta Wilderness Association. These art prints were auctioned at special events and dinners to raise funding for the continuation of these vital environmental organizations. As well, Dansereau has volunteered countless hours at the Cochrane Ecological Society, which is known for their Swift Fox recovery program. It was here that Dansereau was inspired to create the Canadian Wildlife – Endangered Series. The ‘cat like’ foxes captivated the artist, compelling her to do more for these and other endangered species. Thus resulted in the first of the series depicting a Swift Fox against a Chinook sky, representing the province of Alberta in her Series.