The past 6 months has given me tremendous food for thought. I have pondered the direction of my art, my life and focus. On this blog, I guess I’ve always pondered those things. Yet, something is different now.
As long as I can remember, I’ve had deep interests in nature and art. I was a big-city kid who loved hugging trees, picking dandelion bouquets and playing with earthworms. I also loved learning new crafting skills at school or with my mom. I majored in art in high school and earned college and graduate degrees in environmental and wildlife biology.
When I shared my artwork in the Paper*Canvas*Cloth exhibit at the the local Arts Council galleries this past November, I realized that my art reflected my education. I knew I had found my voice. Many of my pieces silently speak of lost natural habitats.
In February, I happened to be at the right place, at the right time, and was granted the gift to take a short walk through Muir Woods in Northern California. The giant and ancient sequoias seemed to speak to me. I felt I was in a magical place.
Then this past week, I took a once-in-a-life-time anniversary trip with my husband. We planned a visit to Las Vegas to see family. The majority of the trip was intentionally designed to explore the local desert landscapes (not the casinos). The last time I took a trip similar to this was in my youth with my family. To say that I was overwhelmed by the beauty of last week’s journey is underselling the emotional impact it had on me.
Simultaneously to these events, I was also observing other things that impacted me, my art and my focus. It also happened in November; the election. As with any new presidency, there is curiosity about the what will happen with a change in administration. The past few months, I’ve been watching as new history unfolds and have become concerned with the actions that effect my core beliefs. I’m seeing an assault on scientific fact and aggressive actions that would impact the natural landscapes of this great country (and possibly the world).
I grew up in a big city, I know what that’s like. But, I also grew up with a strong love and appreciation of nature. Before the election, my artwork was already giving account to the lost and endangered habitats. My mission hasn’t changed. What has changed is the level of caution I’m choosing to embrace in speaking out about it. I’ve decided that, from this point forward, my blog will not only serve as a forum for my journey with art, but also address my concerns about habitat destruction and preservation. I can’t stand quietly anymore, its too important. I hope you stay with me, because it affects all of us.