Bonnie Hall (1931-2004) trained as a scientist and took up illustration during her graduate school days at UC Berkeley, where she met her husband Jim Hall, who would become a professor of fisheries at Oregon State University and long-time Andrews Forest researcher. When she arrived in Corvallis, she began a 30-year career as an illustrator in the Department of Entomology. Most of her work was done for Professor Jack Lattin, who had been the Teaching Assistant in the Aquatic Entomology course in which she met Jim. Her blend of technical and artistic instincts appears in nine figures in the 1991 publication Invertebrates of the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Western Cascade Range, Oregon: Annotated List of Insects and Other Arthropods by Parsons et al. A description of Bonnie’s life and work and examples of her screenprints of wildflowers and butterflies are found in the book Ever Blooming: The Art of Bonnie Hall (2005. Oregon State University Press. edited by James D. Hall)
Associated H.J. Andrews Special Projects
About the Artist
“Bonnie Hall was born an artist. Though never formally trained, from her earliest school days she showed an innate talent for capturing life and transmitting it to paper. Through a nearly 40-year career as a scientific illustrator she regretted that her intensely detailed black-and-white drawings, though essential to the science, were shut away in scientific journals “very badly needed by very few people”. When she discovered color seriagraphy, she found her life’s mission. Her screenprints of native wildflowers and a few butterflies were immensely popular in the region. She was anxious that a larger public come to appreciate “the overlooked, the undervalued, or the threatened wild things native to our Pacific Northwest landscape.”
Bonnie died of cancer, too young, at 72. She was at the height of her game, having almost mastered screenprinting after 12 years of struggle. Of the 32 large prints she produced, 14 are now out of print, and others are nearly sold out. This book is dedicated to her life and talent, in the hope that through this medium many more people will come to appreciate the natural world in the way that she did.”
(from the introduction to Ever Blooming: The Art of Bonnie Hall, forward by Robert Michael Pyle, edited by James D. Hall)
Header image: Ever Blooming, page signed by James D. Hall.