Observing and sketching birds was a passion for Allan Brooks, and Vernon's Allan Brooks Nature Centre provides a special place to do just that. Brooks complained about the hot climate when he first arrived in the Okanagan, but that didn’t keep him from compiling a field guide on B.C. birds by the age of nineteen. Brooks supplied National Geographic Magazine with several bird illustrations in the early 1930's, and he took his family on a round the world bird watching and sketching tour in 1934. Bird paintings by this man who packed a binoculars like others do a laptop are coveted works of art. The Vernon Museum and Archives built a special gallery to house its collection of original paintings by Allan Brooks.
Although a late bloomer, Sveva Caetani’s artistic career blossomed as vibrantly as the gardens at Vernon’s Caetani Cultural Centre. Years of isolation shaped her, interest in math provided creative guidance and a passion for watercolours helped tell her life story. Sveva called her series of 56 large abstract watercolour paintings ‘Recapitulation’, and works such as ‘The Caterpillar’ and ‘Heaven’ remain at the Vernon Public Art Gallery. Sveva died in 1994 and left her house and grounds to the City of Vernon for residents to use in pursing their own artistic passions.