Artist Nicole Jakaby has loved two things for as long as she can remember: animals and nature.
Jakaby used to volunteer as a dog socializer at Humane Society Silicon Valley, but when the physical demand of the job became too much, she found another way to help out – through her art. She plans to donate all of the profits from her exhibition of animal and nature paintings displayed this month at Los Altos’ Gallery 9 to Humane Society Silicon Valley.
“I thought, ‘Wow, you know, this would be a great way to give back to them without being a volunteer,’” the Los Gatos resident said.
The idea came to Jakaby after she witnessed a fellow artist do a similar benefit for another organization.
“And so I started thinking about that and I thought, ‘You know, I’d love to do something like that,’” she said.
Jakaby’s exhibition, “Nature’s Perfections,” is scheduled to run through June 30 at Gallery 9, 143 Main St. The show features 25 of her oil paintings of various sizes; prices range from $110 to approximately $1,800.
The paintings are of birds, flowers and even a leopard.
“I look for things that really stick out in nature when I’m traveling or hiking or whenever I see something gorgeous,” she said. “Perfections of nature is part of it, but it’s also because I really like detail.”
Along with her paintings, Jakaby is selling small note cards and has placed a donation container at the gallery for those who want to contribute to the cause without buying her work.
“Not everybody can afford artwork, and I don’t want them to come in and want to help and be kind of frustrated that they can’t,” she said.
Jakaby said her love for art came from visiting art galleries with her father, an antiques appraiser, as a teenager. Ever since, the memories of the lifelike paintings have stuck with her.
“I remember seeing paintings of animals that were just – I felt like I could touch the fur on that dog or whatever it was. I didn’t realize that I could ever do that,” she said.
Jakaby didn’t start painting until she was in her 50s, prompted by a friend who suggested that she take an oil-painting class.
“I did other kinds of things like stained glass or jewelry. I’ve always done some other kind of art, but I just had never tried oil painting. I thought, ‘I’m not going to be any good,’” she said.
Now, she’s able to do some good with her talent by raising funds for the Humane Society and other causes.
“When I used to sell jewelry, I tried to do that, but I think that I didn’t publicize it well enough,” she said. “Now that I’m doing this, I’m getting pretty excited about it. I’m getting lots of positive feedback. I’d really like to get other people to join in. Whatever I can do, I’ll be happy with.”
For more information, call 941-7969 or visit gallery9losaltos.com.