Summer Travels and Four Paintings
My recent travels transported me from the shores of California to the beaches of New England; from the seaside in France, Malta, Sardinia, and Italy to the blue waters in Greece. Along the way I took many photographs, some of which I am hoping will eventually be incorporated into my artwork. As I went from place to place, I kept my eyes wide open to see and experience what culture surrounded me.
Even though I was fortunate enough to travel to intriguing and lovely environs, it was impossible for me to bury or eliminate a continuing troubling undercurrent about how human-centered activities are smothering our planet’s life. Ideally, I should not even have been creating more of a carbon footprint by getting on an airplane and flying to distant lands! This is a dilemma.
Since I have been doing art work for the past 18 months about the use, transporting, and mining of coal, upon returning to my studio I continued on this path by painting a four-paneled oil art piece. This work illustrates my view of the continuing environmental destruction caused by burning coal. The first panel shows a blue sky surrounding a large piece of coal. The last section depicts a black sky smothering the small remaining lump of coal. Scientists, geologists and others are very alarmed about the extremely rapid and destructive mining, and subsequent use, of minerals and deposits that have taken millions of years to form. Once these minerals and fossil fuel deposits are depleted, they will be gone forever.
I am also trying to help counter, in some small way, the depressing facts and statistics about the condition of our planet. I have been posting on the Internet numerous articles of the good work, inventions and products people are developing that might help in reducing man-made greenhouse gasses. I am also writing an environmental column for www.manhattanarts.com at the following site: www.healing-power-of-art.org. There you can read stories about artists who are devoting their talent and energies to raising awareness about various aspects of the downturn in our environment.
I am inspired by Dorothea Lange’s beautiful comment: “Art is a byproduct of an act of total attention” and certainly my art focus these days has been primarily on climate disruption.