Vicki Mountz Loves the Natural World
Growing up in northeastern Ohio, Anderson Artists Guild member Vicki Mountz loved the outdoors. She has many fond memories of fishing with her dad, as well as hunting, hiking, canoeing and kayaking. That passion has driven her ever since.
At the University of Akron, she majored in criminal justice. Her first job after graduation was as a watercraft officer for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. For four years, she had fun running patrol boats across the state for safety checks and enforcement during the summer and educating people about boat safety when it was too cold to be on the water.
Then she worked as a fish and charter guide on Lake Erie before moving into publishing. She wrote fishing and hunting articles, then served as the managing editor for Great Lakes Sportsman and Ohio Fisherman, as well as writing gardening articles for other publications. When the magazines were bought out, she returned to the Department of Natural Resources, where she managed communications and edited the state publication Wild Ohio. “I loved that job,” she said. “It couldn’t have been more fun.” In addition to presenting a cooking fish and game segment on the TV show Wild Ohio, she traveled the state, rode along with law enforcement officers during hunting season, made presentations to sportsman clubs, and dealt with the media. One experience that left a deep impression was conducting an eagle survey from a helicopter. Her statistics were part of an effort that greatly increased the number of eagles in the state. “In 1969, there were only four nesting pairs,” she said. “Now they’re in every county in Ohio.”
She and her husband retired to Anderson in 2015, drawn by the milder weather and to be near family members who had also settled here. Mountz’s sister-in-law is AAG member Beckey Miller.
A master gardener, Mountz loves to grow edibles like vegetables, as well as to feed butterflies and birds. She also likes big bursts of flowers.
And she’s learning to paint with watercolor. One of her teachers has been AAG member Mary McAlister. Mountz likes the free form of watercolor and describes her style as somewhat realistic. She’s painted flowers and landscapes, including from pictures she’s taken of sunsets on the lake. “I would love to paint birds, but I’m not that good yet,” she said.