A Western New York native, artist Judith Hartke spent her early life experiencing and exploring the natural world, and a sketchbook was never far from her hands. After graduating from Cornell with a degree in both Animal Science and Education, she worked for thirteen years as a Nutrition and Management consultant to dairy farms before transitioning to becoming a full-time nature artist in 2003.
She quickly found success with winning New York State’s “Artist of the Year” competition several times, then placing 10th and then 12th in the prestigious Federal Duck Stamp competition. From there, she began exhibiting and working with galleries throughout the country and world, as her work gained acceptance and notice in the vibrant Wildlife Art scene. She was accepted as a signature member of the “Society of Animal Artists” and member of “Artists for Conservation”, and a frequent contributor to conservation groups and causes.
Her work has been included in cards, calendars, and books, such as “The Biology and Management of Whitetail Deer”, edited by Dr. David Hewitt of Texas A&M and one of the most comprehensive books compiled to date on the Whitetail. Judy is currently represented by a publishing company that allows her images to be found and enjoyed by thousands of people who wouldn’t otherwise find themselves in a gallery.
Though her art medium of choice is often acrylics, these days Judy is just as likely to find herself capturing the glare of a wolf in charcoal, the silky texture of a lynx in pastel, or a stunning local sunrise while painting plein air with oils. The soft, realistic texture of her acrylic pieces are achieved by laying down as many as fifty layers of thin paint, while her oils are often painted with thick slices of color carefully placed with a pallet knife. Pushing her comfort level is a task the artist keeps on her to-do list, and hopes that she always will.
The willingness to grow and change both personally and professionally has hallmarked her life, and led her to enter the holistic field in 20011 when she opened an office on the Roycroft campus in East Aurora. In the years following, Judy hosting or taught nearly 2,000 classes on holistic, art, spiritual, and metaphysical topics while working as a Reiki Master, BioGenesis Practitioner, and Spirit Artist/Medium, and maintaining her busy art career.
These days, Judy finds herself in a wonderful balance of working out of her art studio in Holland, NY creating works of nature and spiritual art, seeing clients at her holistic office in East Aurora, and enjoying time with her daughter, partner, loved ones, and friends. Time in nature, hiking, travel, meditation, reading, and pursuing new skills are all favorites that are fit in when time allows, and she looks forward to exploring new horizons in both art and life.