MCMC student Brant Georgia illustrates local flora and fauna

Eighteen year old Middle College student Brant Georgia combines education and art in his acrylic wildlife paintings. 

Brant started painting when he was 13.

A painting of cardinals showing where they live and the differences between male and female cardinals
This acrylic painting is a personal project of Brant’s. He shows the parts of North America that cardinals inhabit, as well as the differences between males and females. (Photo courtesy of Brant Georgia)

“I had always been skilled in sketching, and painting just seemed like the next logical step,” Brant said. “It certainly allows for more artistic freedom in terms of color and form when compared to drawing.”

He had always painted nature, but recently, he has focused on the finer details of his subjects, adding structure with tighter brushstrokes. 

Brant said he draws inspiration from scientists and artists of the 18th and 19th century, who were captivated by the biodiversity of the Americas, which was made accessible by colonialism.

“I want to make it clear that I’m not promoting colonialism,” Brant said. “I just find that period of history fascinating.” 

Brant said he often references the work of John James Audubon, who documented hundreds of birds in North America, and Elizabeth Gould, who painted the birds of Australia. 

“My pieces aim to emulate the vintage style of these naturalists while providing further information on the animal such as geographic range, habitat, differences between sexes or even number of offspring,” said Brant. 

An acrylic painting of an elm bark canoe
Using acrylic paint, Brant illustrated an elm bark canoe for display at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park. (Photo courtesy of Brant Georgia)

Brant is an artist in residence at River Raisin National Battlefield Park. He illustrates plants and animals that are significant in the cultures and daily lives of Great Lakes Native Americans. 

Those illustrations will be used in museum exhibits as tools to show the importance of the natural resources of the River Raisin, Brant said. 

Usually, you’ll find Brant painting in his studio.

Brant Georgia stands in a shady area on the bank of River Raisin in front of an easel.
Brant Georgia stands in front of a work-in-progress on the bank of the River Raisin. (Photo courtesy of Brant Georgia)

“If the weather is ideal I like to paint outside near the River Raisin, where I may even see a glimpse of my subject,” Brant said. 

Brant is in his fifth and final year at MCMC. After he graduates, he plans to transfer to a four-year university to major in environmental science and minor in museum studies.

“My ideal career is working in nature interpretation in a natural history museum or nature center,” Brant said. 

To see more of Brant’s artwork, follow him on Instagram @brantgeo and follow his Facebook page at Brant Geo Nature Illustration.