Eco Warrior in me...

January 11, 2021

Eco Warrior in me...

Every collection starts with a feeling and a colour palette which develops intuitively with marks and compositions.  Expansion Series was no exception.

I started 2020 and this series channeling the feelings of a fresh new beginning full of possibility and a zesty drive to extend my painting approach beyond my comfort zone... which essentially meant I needed to approach every painting with an open mind, trusting that the paintings would evolve beautifully and unexpectedly. My only parameters were colour and a desire to paint 'big'.

 Then we went into lockdown and the fledglings of this collection lay dormant in my studio until the Autumn whereupon I retrieved them (and my ideals) ready to pick up where I left off.  

By which point my year had taken a slightly different turn. It had indeed been a year of growth, expansion, for me but in terms of slowing down and becoming more grounded & mindful of nature flourishing around me. I  took time to absorb the natural beauty surrounding me and it's restorative effect during a time of great uncertainty. It fuelled two more collections before I returned to this one here. 

Rainforest save the planet

It's known that our connection with nature induces calm and clarity, providing positivity and healing and it's a message that resonates with us immediately and directly. In fact, in 2020,  we've heard the message loud and clear from government encouraging us to exercise outdoors to look after our physical and mental wellbeing during the pandemic.  From there we can consider how our actions impact nature. 

I developed a renewed conscious interest in the  importance of nature in the overall survival of earth. I explain more about the visual development of the collection here but the eco warrior in me also wanted to share some essential environmental facts with you here...

When you delve into the complex subject of protecting the environment, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the enormity of reversing climate change but activists are encouraging us to take small steps, putting nature at the heart of our decisions, to make an accumulative difference with daily, manageable choices. Now that’s a notion I can get behind without added anxiety. So whether that’s making some simple lifestyle choices as outlined by @wwf_uk or rewilding your garden with wildflowers or ponds as suggested by @chrisgpackham2 we can collectively make positive changes. 
 
Tropical forests make up 6% of the earth’s surface, produce 40% of oxygen, host around 80% of the world’s documented species, house plants used in modern medicine, trap large amounts of carbon dioxide and are intrinsic to human existence and the earths healthy climate. Protecting the rainforests and halting deforestation is vital for earth’s survival and the biodiversity it supports. You can read more from these wonderful charities and see how you can make small lifestyle changes to  protect the rainforests World Wildlife FundCool EarthRainforest Alliance  On the topic of making positive changes to reverse the effect of climate change, it's well worth watching A Life on Our Planet with Sir David Attenborough which is incredibly inspiring 
 


Another interesting short film called My Octopus Teacher brought to life a slippery world I had never previously given much thought to. Not only are they fascinating, they play an important role on our planet. According to The Wildlife Trusts, "Kelp forests play a hugely important role in the carbon cycle of our planet, capturing 75% of the net carbon fixed annually in the sea. They also reduce coastal erosion by serving as a buffer against strong waves. As climate change creates more severe weather, kelp forests are becoming more and more important." 
 
Imagine the ripple effect we could have if we combine our love of the oceans with spreading a deeper appreciation of the intrinsic part they play in absorbing the extra heat and COfrom our atmosphere to regulate the earth’s climate. Imagine yet that we find a way to harness wave energy without having a negative impact on the environment whilst doing so. Educating our children and raising them to care about their planet is a simple first step in making the right choices to reverse climate change. A Life on Our Planet illustrates the need for putting nature at the heart of our decisions to ensure survival of life on earth and is well worth a watch to expand your awareness on the topic.
 
Did you know that oceans absorb the extra heat and COfrom our atmosphere to regulate the earth’s climate? According to WWF "In the last 200 years, the oceans have absorbed a third of the CO2 produced by human activities and 90% of the extra heat trapped by the rising concentration of greenhouse gases." ... how amazingly resourceful is that? Unfortunately that also means the temperature, sea level and chemistry of the oceans is also on the rise which has a negative impact on marine life, ecosystems and the earth's climate as a whole. 
 
However the tides of awareness are changing and we are becoming more conscious of the things we can do to reverse the effects of climate change and support the huge part that the earth and it's oceans already play in sustaining life on our planet.
To find out more information on how the ocean and climate are inextricably linked and how we can affect positive changes, follow through on these links, expand your knowledge base and see how you can help World Wildlife FundIUCN The Ocean Foundation & Environmental Protection Agency 

View the collection here which  invites you to bring that sense of peace into your home through a celebration of the natural world.

 

Further reading on the benefits of connecting with Earth ways you can improve your well being

“Our affinity toward nature is genetic and deep-rooted in evolution”

Kind Earth  Greater Good Magazine  Tiny Buddha 

Disclaimer : I’m not affiliated with any of these groups in any way but found their articles interesting and thought you might too

bring the rainforest into your home for healing

 




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