Expanding awareness

January 10, 2021

Expanding awareness

Expansion Series

It’s a new year, a new beginning and a time for renewed appreciation of the natural world.

This latest series of paintings celebrate the biodiversity of nature with holistic greens, soulful blues and glittering gold highlights within abstract landscapes layered with foliage, oceans, big skies and critters.  

Partly influenced by Sir David Attenboroughs film, A Life on Our Planet, the sentiment behind the series runs a little deeper as I explored the concept of the delicate balance of life on earth and the ways of reversing climate change by putting nature at the heart of our decisions. I encourage you to read the accompanying written descriptions of the paintings which share some important environmental issues in the hope that by raising awareness of the topic through my art, we can shape a better future together.

With this virtual launch, I invite you to pop on this Spotify playlist and step into the cocooning secret world of the rainforest chirping with insects, thick with humidity and dense with foliage.

View Expansion Series now!

But let's rewind to the beginning...

Whilst I find painting within the circular confines of moons very therapeutic, I started the collection as a way of stepping outside this comfort zone to expand my approach to painting … hence the name for the series ‘Expansion’.

I wanted the collection to be intuitive, free flowing and abstract so that the final pieces were not preconceived in any way. I chose a calming colour palette mixing holistic green hues with uplifting pops of citrus and deep soulful blues which I knew I would feel comfortable exploring new territory with.

Artist blog rainforest painting abstract beginnings

As I painted I listened to the The Durrells on Netflix (half watched) and got immersed in the slower pace of life in these lighthearted stories which centred around  Gerry’s fascination of all creatures from a zoological, conservation point .

 I listened to the slightly nostalgic jungle tones of Ethio-Jazz artist Mulatu Astake and Malian kora musicians Toumani & Sidiki.

Then some geography home schooling about rainforests coincided with the release of Sir David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet film and the collection spun off in an unexpected direction.  

As I painted I immersed myself in my own rainforest dreamworld, wandering amongst the trees imagining sunlight filtering through the canopy and the gentle hum of insects & birds calling. The feeling of rain mist on my skin with soft undergrowth underfoot in a place that teemed with the magic of life and colour. 

Inspired by my wonder of the forest, my love of nature, with my music playing in the background amplifying that sense of magic and mystery, I started adding abstract leaves and the series became a celebration of natural beauty on earth and the biodiversity we seek to protect. 

It became a visual expression of manifesting healing and clarity through our connection with the natural world.

I found the process profoundly peaceful. 

Charlotte Keating Rainforest painting progress

Walking to school and back through the forest, I thought deeply about the themes presented in A life on Our Planet which address the urgency to protect the planet for future generations. 

Through simple lifestyle changes & a change in global laws, we are encouraged to get back in balance with nature, by putting nature at the heart of our decisions.

The film stressed our disappearing landscape and the importance to act now.

I thought about my own affinity with the natural world and the calming effect it has on the soul. As someone who lives in a place of natural beauty with its rushing streams, meandering forest paths and a plethora of fauna and flora, it’s hard to see beyond my home & imagine places without this bounty or a future where there are not huge swathes of landscape like this.

Rather than become despondent over the seemingly large task of reversing climate change, I chose to expand my knowledge on the subject and express my love of nature through painting.

rainforest painting details

Layers upon layers reveal depths within the undergrowth, inviting you to step into a secret forest gently pushing past the foliage and peeping through the canopy at the moon. Soft cloudy layers and holistic greens bring a sense of calm to the paintings whilst marks and etchings capture that sense of excitement from exploring hidden landscapes.

30 Paintings are available from this series and one will be entered into the WWF Just Imagine Art Competition which aims to raise awareness of the urgency of reversing climate change through art.

I hope you like the sentiment behind this collection as much as the paintings themselves and I encourage you to read through the descriptions and follow through on the links to discover how we can collectively make changes to support life on earth for the longterm. View Expansion Series now!

As the eco warrior in me inspired a whole collection of paintings I thought I should share some of those essential environmental facts with you here

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