So I am leaping into a deep issue on just my second post, but then I tend to plow forward full speed ahead on things!
Nature has been a constant in my life. I grew up roaming the woods and fields, delighting in the daily discoveries I made. My parents fortunately encouraged this, often driving me long distances to partake in classes at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the zoo. My fascination led me to pursue science and conservation as a career.
I also have what can only be called a soft heart. I wanted to rescue every injured and orphaned creature. It was not uncommon for me, and by default my parents, to be up nursing orphaned babies in the spring or driving to the closest wildlife rehabilitator with an unlucky victim of a collision we found on the side of the road. Once I reached high school, I volunteered at those same wildlife rehabilitation centers, learning valuable skills in wildlife care and handling.
I am now able to more objectively view the natural order of things. Some animals are prey, some predators. Some will suffer due to natural processes. However, I still believe in stepping in when the cause of suffering is man made. As more and more species face extinction at an increasingly rapid rate, I feel a need to try to make change happen in any way I can. I try to do this through environmental education, but also through my art.
As I write this, the news has been filled with the poaching of Cecil the lion. Some have been offended by the outrage, as there are so many other humanitarian issues. To me, human health and welfare is intrinsically linked with environmental health. We have a responsibility to future generations to conserve the natural resources of our beautiful Earth.
As such, I donate a portion of my art proceeds to wildlife conservation. I also try to celebrate the beauty of our natural resources in the subject matter I choose to paint. in the coming months I plan to revisit my undergraduate thesis. I looked into the effect of visual art on endangered species awareness and completed a series of large scale inks of endangered species. You can see some of these big guys below. It is my hope that my art in some small way can make change happen. So look for some new pieces in the coming months!