Posted by: bluelanternstudio | May 17, 2012

How I became an environmental artist

Unsurprisingy, my art practice is an extension of who I am: my values, my way of looking at the world, my hopes and disappointments. Making art has always been a way for me to grapple with what’s bothering me and to revel in what’s good.

“The Secret”, postage stamp collage

Making art takes time. When I’m reading a really great novel, I’m aware both of the time it takes me to read (not much since I’m a fast reader) and the amount of time it took the author to write it (likely months, if not years).  The time the author spends on writing is what produces deep thinking, rich characters, seamless plots and action.

Leo Dreaming, acrylic on canvas

With art, I’m the creator. I live and breathe my paintings from the beginnings of a blank canvas through to the colours, textures and images. Because of the time that takes, a lot of thinking and contemplation goes into them, sometimes long before I even choose a surface or pick up a brush. It’s no wonder that I end up painting about the things I’m thinking about. For the past decade, that’s centered around human perceptions of the natural world and our place in it. Are we part of it, or separate? What happens when we think of ourselves as apart from, or better than, nature? What is “wilderness”? What do “wild” places look like and how do we experience them without altering them? Is that important? What drives humans to be on a path of destruction? What is greed and can we slow it down or stop it? Is there another, better way of living that’s more in tune with natural ecosystems? Where is the hope for the future? What do I want the future to look like?

Big-eyed Lantern fish, acrylic on canvas

On Sunday, I’m going to be giving a talk at my studio about my art practice, hosted by the Eastside Culture Crawl Society.  I’ve been asked to talk about how my practice has developed over time, my influences, and the processes and materials I use. I’ll be pulling out work from various periods of my art practice to show how I’ve grappled with these questions, and to talk about what I’m working on now, and next. I hope you’ll join me.

Click here for more information about the studio visit and to register.

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