Tyler Toews created this image specifically for this book in response to hearing the Columbia River story. He has been creating art since he was a child. He has been working as a commercial artist since 2000 with a specialty in large scale murals. With his childhood friend Steven Skolka, they co-founded a business called Canadian Murals in 2002. In 2011, Tyler continued with Canadian Murals as a solo artist. Since it’s inception Canadian Murals has completed close to 100 pieces for cities, municipalities, and businesses that can be seen across Canada. In 2014 he began commissions for Cabelas retail stores and has completed 50 murals in four Cabelas outlets across the country. His most recent achievement is completing a prominent mural for the new BC Children's Hospital, scheduled to open in 2017. Over years of painting numerous subjects in murals and executing tens of thousands of square feet of painting, Tyler has refined his craft. He is currently focusing his work on a series of fine art oil paintings that explore our relationship with the natural world. Passionate about the outdoors, his artist's eye captures the heart and feeling of each subject painted. Born and raised in British Columbia, Tyler currently works and resides in Nelson BC in Sinixt Traditional Territory. CanadianMurals.com

About Amber Santos’ art for The Town of Nothing

Amber Santos made this cover art specifically for this book. It has been exciting to work with her because she enjoys collaboration as much as I do. She brings with her the wealth of having worked with kids and youth (as well as adult kids) for 14 years. During her seven years in Brazil, she was active in the artistic-social movement in Recife, painting murals with artists on diverse walls all over the city. Currently based out of Nelson, BC. Amber is a high school arts mentor at SelfDesign, an independent highschool that emphasizes enthusiasm-based learning. She’s also taught beginners break dance to kids and has taught via the Oxygen Art Centre, in local public schools and at festivals. She helped with the Nelson Youth Centre mural project in 2010, coordinated the Colours of Nelson: a mural project in 2012, was the art director for the Before I Die Project – Nelson.

About Tanya Pixie Johnson’s art for Unknown Hum

The cover art for Unknown Hum was taken from an accordion book piece by Tanya Pixie Johnson that I fell in love with and bought. The pages of the accordion are filled with a pencil drawing of the interlaced roots of trees. Pixie is an amazing painter who translates her visual language into various media, including: installation, assemblage, drawing, paper cutting, collage, print making, performance and design. Her paintings are a conscious and sub conscious narrative of how she relates to the inner and outer worlds. She continues to explore through colour, light, form and abstract form, representations of the seen and unseen, the dream, the thought, the sacred, and the physicalness of being human. She has a deep relationship with the land, is wild at heart and is pulled towards the edges of things.

About Oiseau’s art for When the Path is not a Straight Line

Oiseau is an Argenta-based Kootenay artist who has worked extensively in watercolour and oils as well as the powdered graphite used in her marvellous illustrations in When the Path is not a Straight Line. Oiseau painted the owl image on the cover of the book specifically for this project, based on an incident depicted in the book. Her work has a startling transparency, as if one were inside the natural worlds she depicts. www.hyperlife.net/Oiseau

About the cover of The Purcell Suite

When I think about the Purcells, three things come to mind: startling mountains, brilliant snow and golden larches. I started asking my photographer friends to send me potential cover photos that incorporated these three elements. I had my “that’s it!” moment when I went to visit Julie Castonguay. Like Carol Wallace (whose painting was featured on the cover of The Inner Green), Julie is a scientist and an artist. She works as a forester with a specialty in entomology and her artistic medium is photography. She has spent time in school studying both. Having been hiking with her, I know that when she’s up in the alpine and subalpine, she is a woman with a mission: picture taking.

This particular photo was taken in one of her favourite autumn haunts – Monica Meadows. The meadows are accessed from the West Kootenay side via Glacier Creek. They’re a hop and jump away from Jumbo Pass and are a great place to wander. In case you hadn’t noticed, the mountains, snow and larches in this photo are an upside down reflection in a mountain tarn, which is tres Julie. I’m grateful she was willing to donate this image for The Purcell Suite. To see more of Julie’s work visit www.juliecastonguay.com.

About the cover of The Inner Green:

In 2000, just as I was starting to work on the first chapter of The Inner Green, I went to visit my friend Carol Wallace. As a geologist, she had worked extensively around the Columbia Mountains and had researched the geological origins of the area. When I went to her, seeking information about geology, she spread maps across her kitchen table and attempted to describe the very complex story of rocks in the region. I must have looked mighty confused, because at one point, she disappeared into her basement and emerged with a simple yet colourful painting of rock layers. Looking at the painting, I had a big “ah-a!”; geological things began to fall into place in my head.

So, four years later, when Eileen and I were visiting artists’ studios, searching for just the right image for our book, I remembered Carol. Although Carol works as a geologist, she is also a fine painter. I had admired her work on many occasions, especially her watercolours of kokanee, great blue herons and caribou and her landscapes in acrylics. Eileen and I were looking for an image that conveyed steep slopes, abundant greenery, alpine peaks and plenty of water. Carol’s painting “City View”, painted from Giveout Creek, looking east across Nelson up the West Arm of Kootenay Lake fit the bill. My only regret is that the entire painting, uninterrupted, could not be featured on the cover. So here it is instead. If you’d like to see more of Carol’s paintings or purchase some of her greeting cards, get in touch with her. You might learn a thing or two about geology as well. cwall@netidea.com