I get it, I do. You are angry and frustrated. I am, too. You want to draw attention to a cause that feels like life or death. I agree.You want people to wake up to the urgency of the global environmental crisis we are facing. Bravo! You throw soup at famous works of art because you feel like it’s the only way to get the attention you think this cause deserves. This is where we part company.
I am an environmentalist and also an artist and gallery owner and I’m here to tell you this is not helping. At all.
Sure, you are getting attention, but is it the kind of attention that enlightens the mind and softens the heart of those who don’t care about the earth? Because that’s what is needed. No, the attention you are getting only hardens hearts against your cause and provides more fodder for people who are convinced that climate activists are elitist nut jobs that don’t understand the day-to-day problems of the average human. Don’t give them ammunition!
Think of your end goal, which is ostensibly to convince people/governments to take climate change seriously and act with urgency to address it. But as far as I can see what you are doing is only alienating people who you might have reached. And, I say this with love, your reckless actions only make you seem childish and irresponsible, not like the kind of person people take seriously and listen to.
Here’s a secret. If you want people to respect what YOU care about, then show some respect towards the things THEY care about. Don’t deface a Van Gogh painting, a beloved piece of work by a man who saw beauty in everything and has probably caused more people across time to care about the earth and sky than you or I ever will. Don’t throw mashed potatoes at a Monet. It’s nonsensical. How about you respect the beauty of the painting, and take that soup and potatoes and feed someone since you claim to care so much about world hunger? How about you glue yourself to an oil refinery or BP corporate headquarters. Direct your anger at those who deserve it.
Another secret: you can care about more than one thing. You can care deeply about protecting the earth and about protecting our cultural heritage. Instead of abusing art, make it your ally! Enlist artists to create art that supports your cause. Art moves people deeply and has always been at the forefront of any real social change.
Better yet, make some art yourself. Channel all that pain and frustration and release it onto a canvas of your own. That’s what art is all about. Make people feel what you feel by showing them. Because empathy is what will move them, not disgust. Don’t throw soup. It may make you famous, but it will not make you or your cause beloved. It will not make people care. It’s not helping.
This painting is an homage to a few of my favorite things:
There is an Alaska Native creation myth in which Raven (the Trickster) brings light to the world by stealing the sun from an old man who has it hidden in a box. There are a few variations of the story, but it always involves Raven being clever, magical, and of course, tricky. It’s my favorite Alaska native myth, mainly because ravens are fascinating birds and I love any stories associated with them.
Also, my very favorite artist is Vincent Van Gogh and my favorite of his paintings is Starry Night. I am not unique in this as it is one of the most universally beloved paintings from a man who was largely unappreciated in his time, but grew to be the very definition of expressionist with his bold colors and clear powerful brush strokes.
So, all that to say this painting is my homage- to Vincent, to ravens, and to Alaska Native mythology. I hope my love of all three shines through.
For some reason I find myself wanting to paint birds, lately. I’m not sure why, but it probably has to do with the shortening days and the dreary weather. I need a little brightness and colorful birds always bring some cheer.
This blue beauty will be available at Shearwater Gallery in Seward, Alaska. Drop by and have a look. Maybe it will bring you some cheer, too!
I’ve been painting a lot lately and have so many new pieces available. Here are a few:
And there are lots more! Check them all out by going to the main gallery page and then clicking on the buttons for the different specific galleries: Wildlife, Floral, Landscape, and Alaska Life and Miscellaneous other works.
And I hope to see you at my July 1 show at the Art Shop Gallery in Homer, Alaska, where you can see all of my new work in person. See you there!
I have good news! The following 6 pieces are now available as prints!
The proofs just came back from the photographer/printer and they look great! They will now be added to my growing collection of work available as high quality art prints on paper or metal! Get yourself some!
And don’t forget to check out all of the originals available as well on my gallery pages. I am painting every day and adding them to the website as I finish them, so new stuff all the time!
My husband and I have been traveling lately for his work.
Right now we are in Gustavus, Alaska, which is a tiny town near the entrance of Glacier Bay National Park. Its a lovely town with friendly people and we have been so warmly welcomed here. The beaches and mountains are gorgeous and let me tell you, the trees are out of this world beautiful.
While my husband is working, I’ve been keeping myself busy painting lots of new work for my July show.
Traveling is always great, but I’m looking forward to getting back home to the studio to finish preparing for the show, get some projects done around the homestead (re-chinking the logs and some bathroom and kitchen remodeling, etc )and then head out again for more travels.
I hope to see you at my show. I’ll be at The Art Shop Gallery in Homer, Alaska July 1 for the opening, and then the show will run for the whole month of July. Let me know if you are going to be in town!
One of the great things about living along Cook Inlet and Kachemak bay is the abundance of shorebirds that either migrate in each spring, or live here year round. We have a beautiful annual indicator that spring is here when we start to see our feathered friends arrive in their thousands.
(You can find this little group of shorebirds at the Art Shop Gallery in Homer.)
I just love watching them poke about in the sand and pebbles for food, always squabbling amongst themselves and filling the air with their squawks and cries. So entertaining!
I’ve been watching our resident magpies keeping themselves busy poking around in the snow for hidden treats, and am reminded once again how entertaining my dapper black-and-white friends can be. I think magpies are the most under-appreciated members of the corvid family, taking a backseat to their raven and crow cousins, and I’m not sure why. I think they are lovely with their long, glossy tails and bright white wing patches, and just as personable as any crow or raven I’ve encountered, though I love them all. For entertainment value you can’t beat a corvid.
Watching them now in the depth of winter has me dreaming of summer and a painting I did for my June show:
The painting has a dream-like quality that seems especially appropriate now that the warm summer air seems like a lifetime ago and a world away. I’m just glad my magpie friends have stuck around to bring a little cheer on a winter’s day.
Stay cheerful, folks. Summer will be here eventually.