From Political Cartoons to Watercolor Landscapes

Jennifer Rain Crosby’s Art Inspires Action and Celebrates a River

For the last six years, SYRCL has called on local artist Jennifer Rain Crosby to create the emblematic images we’ve needed to mobilize our members and local citizens to take action. From Stopping Centennial Dam to Saving Yuba Salmon, her illustrations have been the face of our advocacy campaigns to protect the Yuba watershed.

Jennifer’s most recent assignment for SYRCL required a different approach. She was tasked with creating a signature image that would honor and celebrate the South Yuba’s 20th anniversary as a Wild & Scenic River. 

Melinda Booth and Jennifer Rain

Rather than sketching political cartoon characters, like the vigilant dam watchdog, the papered Trojan Horse pulling along Centennial Dam, or baby bear with a petition, Jennifer had to depict a landscape, one that evoked the essence of a beloved stretch of river, a Wild and Scenic river.

She honed in on an idea from SYRCL Board Co-President Shana Maziarz, who pointed out that the 20th anniversary gemstone is emerald.

 “I had a very clear vision of where we should go. Emerald Pools is one of my favorite places on the Yuba, and I already knew what view I wanted to capture – it’s where you can see the two pine trees on the other side of the river. When I shared a small part of the black and white drawing on Facebook, people recognized it right away. It’s that iconic,” said Jennifer.

SYRCL released Jennifer’s image when ticket sales opened to Wild for the Yuba, a fundraiser to support the continued fight to protect the Yuba River watershed. Her Emerald Pools illustration, digitally colored by Kathy Dotson, is featured on the event posters, invitations and website.

“Kathy’s coloring has a reflective quality that works really well. It’s evocative and communicates to viewers instantly,” said Jennifer. Jennifer and Kathy are frequent collaborators. Their work is famously featured on Three Forks Brewing Company’s bottle labels.

However, Jennifer spent so much time on the Emerald Pool illustration, she was motivated to finish the piece with watercolors. She invested hours stippling the drawing to create the sense of movement in the river and used that pattern to guide the greens and teals to bring out the sky, the beach and the forest.

Jennifer Rain Crosby captures an iconic Yuba location through watercolor.

To give SYRCL’s fundraiser a boost, Jennifer is putting up her 18” x 18” watercolor for live auction at Wild for the Yuba. Minimum bid starts at $550, and potential buyers can see her piece displayed at the SYRCL office until the day of the event.

WILD for the YUBA
A Celebration of the South Yuba’s 20th Anniversary as a Wild & Scenic River
Friday, June 14, 2019 at 6pm
Pilot Peak Winery, 12888 Spenceville Rd, Penn Valley, CA 95946
Appetizers | Dinner | Auction | Music

Tickets: click here

About Jennifer Rain Crosby:
Jennifer was born to artist parents in 1970 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her family moved to the San Juan Ridge in the Sierra foothills of California in 1975. She was formed as an artist by that rural community of creative people, began selling her artwork at age 13, and had her first solo show at 18. Since then she has shown her work in cafes, centers and galleries throughout northern California. Today she primarily sells her art directly out of her studio. See


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *