Matilda Essig grew up in the eastern woodland of Pennsylvania, in a world full of art and agriculture. She received her BA from Reed College, and was trained in classical painting and drawing at the Art Students League of New York. After 10 years working in Natural Science Illustration in the Sonoran Desert, she returned to fine art with the tools of the future, and began to use digital imaging technology to explore the subtle diversity of open space in the American West. Inspired both by the beauty of grasslands, and by her perceptual experiences in traditional illustration, she now portays her subjects with a fidelity that transcends her own hand. Her work is in private and corporate collections, national parks, and wildlife refuges throughout the southwest. Her clientele has included Dr. Jane Goodall, National Geographic, the US Department of the Interior, and Oxford University Press, among others. She lives on five acres of grasslands that she restored in the Apache Highlands of southeast Arizona. She keeps a traditional painting studio too.