A lot of my art in 2021 is going to be centered around conservation and bringing attention to the plight of our planet, and to the endangerment of species around the world. I’ve always had a love for nature and animals as far back as I can remember, and seeing what is currently happening with climate change, human impact, and so many living species going extinct (estimates conclude that species go extinct every day) I want to use my art as a voice to help in any way I can.
I’ve been painting these color study style paintings starting last year, and love creating them, but wanted to make them more than just a simple abstract, and one day while riding my bike, it hit me, why not add in a little animal icon to make more of an impact?! This is my first go at it, and I decided to add in a sweet little Koala as they have been in the news a lot lately due to the devastating Australian wildfires of 2020, where so many of these little creatures lost their homes, habitats and lives. Even though Koalas are currently not considered endangered, they are vulnerable, which is one step before endangerment status. Knowing this, we have the opportunity to help prevent them ever reaching endangered status…why wait until it’s too late.
The main threat to the existence of Koalas is:
Loss of Habitat:
Clearing of the land for expansion of human settlement, for example, for agriculture, housing, mining, forestry, shops, factories and roads. While humans need these modern conveniences, we should be trying to put them in places where Koalas and other wildlife are not already living, and to think of other solutions to the problems of modern life, such as improving public transport. Click here for more information on Koala habitat.
Clearing of the eucalypt forests means that all wildlife, including Koalas, will suffer from:
Finding ways to help prevent the loss of habitat, and in turn, the extinction of Koalas in the wild, not only will save the species, but can help us to study ways to help other species before they ever get close to being endangered or going extinct. There is hope for Koalas as people and organizations work towards preserving land for their continued existence. As wards of this planet, it is our duty to protect it, and all living creatures, big and small. We are the sentient, intelligent beings here, we need to preserve that which provides us life…our planet. Even though I don't live in Australia, I can still do my part by discussing the issue, the need for assistance and change, and by donating to worthy causes that work towards saving our planet and it's inhabitants.
15% of the sale of this painting "World on Fire" will be donated to the Global Wildlife Conservation, an organization I have collaborated with, and contributed to in the past, to help “conserve the diversity of life on Earth”.
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I am notorious for killing all plants, even bamboo and cacti But THIS one, this beautiful orchid, I somehow have managed to keep alive for over four years, so maybe there is hope for my black thumb after all! My daughter gifted it to me on Mothers Day four years ago, so I wanted to do my best to keep it alive. When I got divorced 3 and a half years ago, it was one of the few things I took with me, for some reason it just felt important, and even more so to not give up on it when it didn't bloom for the past 3 years.
And finally I have blooms! I repotted it and started giving it more plant food frequently and it has transformed and is thriving. Moral of this story, don't give up on anything, or anyone (including yourself) that you see potential in, that has meaning and value to you, it's worth the wait to see the potential realized.
For years I would create a new calendar comprised from my Circle of Life collection of bright, colorful landscape paintings. But, I've been slacking, I will admit it, and haven't created one for a few years, but I'm back at it and just released the 2021 calendar with all new designs!
The great thing about these calendars is you don't have to dispose of them once the year is over, you can continue to display the calendar as art, or even remove the art pages from the calendar and frame them to enjoy for years to come. Knowing this I'm going to make a point of creating each new calendar with never before used art so you have the option to use the art in different ways for displaying in your home or office.
For those who may not know, my Circle of Life collection is one of my post popular series I have ever created. The paintings are always super colorful, using rich, vibrant shades of every color imaginable, and always feature the black silhouette of a tree, surrounded by floating circles in various sizes and colors. My inspiration for this colorful and whimsical series comes from living life to it’s fullest and repeatedly seeing how the good and bad in life always come full circle. Gustav Klimt is another inspiring force behind my use of circles and other shapes in my paintings. His ability to take unrelated shapes and interpose them to create a painting of beauty and mastery is enthralling and inspirational.
“The nature of God is a circle of which the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere.” ~ Empedocles
I've had lots of different versions of my art tattooed onto fans and collectors alike, and it is always such a great honor to me. For someone to want to permanently place a piece of my art on their body is the best compliment as an artist I can ever receive, nothing can top that! So, when I found out that my daughter and a group of her friends all decided to tattoo my symbol "Embrace the Chaos" all at the same time I was completely blown away! And to know that a celebrity of Marc Anthonys level of fame also received the tattoo at this "tattoo party" was such a thrill! Unknowingly hundreds of thousands of his fans have seen the tattoo, but I know, and am so amazed that he wanted to add this symbol to his collection of tattoos. And incidentally his tattoo artist friend, Rafael Valdez, was there creating the tattoos, and got one as well :)
The "Embrace the Chaos" symbol is part of my enlightenment series where I have created a new set of symbols that empower us to find inspiration in everything around us. MAD symbols are each designed with the intention to inspire and empower. Enso, the familiar circle of enlightenment, was the main source of inspiration for all of the circle symbols, and of course I added in my own special MAD touch. The "Embrace the Chaos" symbol is about accepting what we cannot control, and instead controlling how we react. Things are going to happen in all of our lives that create chaos and uncertainty, but we cannot let it control us, or let it bring us down. We have to rise above and embrace it and know that it will be short lived; the chaos does not define us, we do.
Here are some other sources of inspiration and what they mean and how they are applied to my custom symbol designs below:
ZIBU | Means "listen within" from the zibu angelic language of symbols. Zibu angelic symbols were created by Debbie Zylstra Almstedt during a Reiki session in 2002. She claimed to have experienced a communication from a group of Angelic Guides. Each Zibu Angelic Symbol is an interpretation of a message from Angelic Guides. A seemingly sub category of Celtic symbolism.
CELTIC | For centuries, Celtic symbols and signs held incredible power for the ancient Celts in every way of life. The word "Celtic" refers to people who lived in Britain and Western Europe from 500 BC and 400 AD. Celts were of the Iron Age and lived in small villages which were led by warrior chiefs.
The written records remaining from the Celts of Europe are scant, therefore signs and symbols can be hard to determine and trace. Many facts come by way of the Romans, who conquered the Celtic lands during the rise of the Roman Empire.
REIKI | Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's "life force energy" is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
If you would ever like to use any of these symbols as a tattoo please let me know and I would be happy to give permission, and would love to see the finished work!