Earth Day 2020

 

I heard that a song is a short story. I think the same is true for a painting. Most of my paintings come fairly easy to me, but if I have to struggle, I walk away from them. It’s about the only thing I can quit without hurting feelings, missing a deadline or letting myself down. I let myself off the hook if it’s not working.

Living in and loving the physical world of land, sea and sky gives me the greatest pleasure I have ever known. Being in my studio or outside capturing the essence of a moment in time feels like breathing deeply. It’s something I never take for granted.

Over the past few months, I‘ve been able to immerse myself in creating art. But because I haven’t been able to travel, I am literally drawing upon the places where I feel most at home—the mountains, desert, ocean or in wide open places with endless skies.

In 1923, Robert Henri wrote The Art Spirit, treaties on meditation and creativity, when I was in college in Durango, Colorado. I still consider myself a student of art and found myself reflecting to this quote from the book. Keep in mind this was written in 1923, before the age of gender neutral language:

"Every student should put down in some form or other his findings. All any man can hope to do is to add his fragment to the whole. No man can be final, but he can record his progress, and whatever he records is so much done in the thrashing out of the whole thing…”

I present fragments of my experience in an attempt to evoke some kind of emotion and hopefully recognition that our planet is filled with beauty. 

But it is at great risk. Today, we celebrate 50 years of Earth Day—and sadly efforts Fifty years later, those efforts are at risk of being rendered null. Individually and as a village, it will take a global approach to change direction.

After all, the earth is what we all have in common. It does not belong to us, we belong to it.


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