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Vickie Henderson Biography

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Born and raised in Nashville, TN, I have loved drawing, writing and nature for as long as I can remember.  Most of all, Iíve always loved the animals and birds I meet in my everyday wanderings.  They make me laugh, surprise me and show me tiny portraits of their lives and personalities.   Growing up on a farm as a child, I often snuck into the corn crib to catch the mice at play, inching around the corner to silently watch them until some twitch of movement revealed my presence and sent them scattering.  Other times it was the swallows that brought me delight, chattering and darting in and out of the barn over my head as the sun peeped over the horizon and the cows waited patiently for their turn to be milked. 

But it was not until after raising a family and working many years in private practice in the mental health field that I fully reconnected with my passion for nature and for art.  This happened on a cold February morning in 1999 when I was introduced to thousands of sandhill cranes calling and feeding in the corn fields at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge near Dayton, TN.  Since that captivating moment I have felt driven to experience more of natureís wildness and to share what I see and feel in my art. 

My art media include watercolor, ink and watercolor and wood-burning combined with multi-media pigments and pine needle coiling on hard shell gourds.  Each of these media gives me a different kind of pleasure and satisfaction.  With watercolor, I love the translucence, the brilliance and the dance that makes this medium so alive with movement.  With ink, I feel the freedom to color outside the lines and it often stirs a more playful side of me.  With gourd art I feel a kind of nourishment, a connection with the earth, with history and with the mysteries of life.  With all these creative expressions, I feel a deeper and richer connection with myself and with the world around me. 

You will find whooping cranes in my earliest art, a beautiful and elegant North American wetland bird that stands five feet tall with a seven foot wing span.  This reclusive bird captured my heart with its grace and ecology, especially when I learned that only 15 of these birds remained in the world in the 1940ís.  At the same time I launched my journey into art and writing, I was introduced to the whooping crane reintroduction project in the east, a project that teaches young whooping cranes the migration route from Wisconsin to Florida by imprinting them on ultralight aircraft for their first migration journey.  Since Tennessee is the midway point for this migration, I have had the good fortune of meeting many of the dedicated people involved in this project, exhibited along side them at wildlife festivals, and found many ways to contribute with volunteer efforts.    

It is this passion for nature and my desire to share this joy and hope with others that drives my artistic journey.

Contact information

Visit my Whooping Crane Activity Book, a volunteer project in partnership with Operation Migration.


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