Great Blue Herons of the LA River

This artwork is an ink-and-watercolor drawing of the LA River, with the Fletcher Street Bridge in the background. It is a portrait of one of the River's most noticeable inhabitants, the Great Blue Heron. It seeks to capture the unearthly beauty of a fall morning on the River and the wildlife that make a home there, while not ignoring the human influence of trash and invasive species.


Margaret Gallagher is an artist, illustrator, and curator based in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. Her detailed ink-and-watercolor illustrations highlight the intimate beauty of Southern California's native ecosystems. Long, quiet walks in LA's often-overlooked wild spaces - Griffith Park, the LA River, the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains - provide inspiration for her drawings, which depict the hidden worlds of plants, animals, fungi, and invertebrates that subtly teem in the spaces around us. Scientifically accurate yet full of whimsy, the drawings are full of details that invite the viewer to linger, studying the creatures inhabiting each drawing. Margaret’s artwork invites fellow city-dwellers to recognize themselves as part of these interconnected webs of being.