I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be an artist lately. As I expressed in my last post, the election has been a lot for me to process in relation to my art. Focusing on endangered species especially relative to climate change, I have been trying to spread awareness around the need for compassion, advocacy, and consciousness around our lifestyle choices that impact the lives of endangered and threatened species. Knowing that this is such a critical time relating to mass extinction, where our actions and energy use and choices impact life on such a dramatic scale, has made what is happening in the US, hard to digest.
So I am thinking on certain levels that the message changes, perhaps it becomes a eulogy to what we are losing, as well as a call to action. In a time where malevolent forces seek to exploit human weakness, exploit people's fears and distort truth, we are called to be brave and stand up and speak out for the rights of the weak, the vulnerable, the earth. At the same time I am comforted in the knowledge that whatever happens, the earth will still be here, and it will seek homeostasis and healing as it always has, with or without human beings. .
For now I am painting for self consolation, large mountain vistas, imaginary landscapes, skies that reflect an infinite universe. I need big picture views, big ideas, and I keep seeking them out. I do Buddhist practice. I looked up the percentage of world population yesterday of the US, and we just make up 5% of the entire population of the earth. That comforts me. I find consolation in the courage and beauty of people around me, every day people, generous in heart and service and working conscientiously for other people and good causes. I am comforted by decency, and feel the dwindling power of consumerism and the corporate world, next to love, and what we will face from nature. When my heart feels broken by the greed and moral failings of politicians, social injustice, war, poverty and human cruelty, I feel ever more love for the goodness of people who work despite this, to give whatever they can. I take refuge in hope, truth, justice, love, creativity, and nature.