The homogenizing of nature

Wildlife and Words

Homogenization means to make something ‘uniform or similar’, it is a concept with connotations of blandness and repetitiveness. It could easily be applied to Britain’s high-streets, which are increasingly becoming rows of identical big-name franchises – every town in the country is now guaranteed to contain a Costa. It is one of my greatest fears for the future that this very thing will happen to the natural world as well.

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Why Attenborough’s Planet Earth II Matters

The Champagne Epicurean

Ps put this on while reading:

“Metaphysics must flourish. He who understand baboon would do more towards metaphysics than Locke.” Charles Darwin

The seemingly irreverent, joking quote of Darwin rang incessantly through my mind as I watched the whole of BBC’s Planet Earth II series from beginning until last Sunday’s Desert episode. It’s a phrase of surprising importance, depth and profundity from the founder of modern biology. It speaks of something few people understand. Neither the lay people that think that an interest in nature is a hippie, far-out discipline. Nor do the nature-loving hippies, those ragged political animals themselves seem to understand.

It’s a fact I am constantly reminded of whenever I hear Sir David Attenborough’s soothing, intellectual voice: the study of nature is the most profound and noble pursuit available to a thinking man. From it stem all the other great achievements of our species. And when you…

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Paintings Selected in ‘Animals’ International Art Exhibition

 “Mandril” and “Fleeting” have been accepted for inclusion in the November 2016 art exhibition and show, “Animals” at Colors of Humanity Gallery in the USA.

 

Polar Bear Arctic Oil Painting
Fleeting, Oils on Canvas, 70 x 70cm, available for €400/$420 to the first person asking nicely!
mandrill-oil-painting
Mandril, Oils on Canvas, 100 x 50cm, available for €500/$550

Multiple accepted entries came from 22 different states in the USA and 12 other countries: Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Italy, Malta, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.  A variety of styles and mediums were entered including, acrylic, aerographics, charcoal, collage, digital, ink, mixed media, mosaic, oil, pastel, pen, pencil/graphite/colored, photography, spray paint, tempera, and watercolor. The judging criterion was originality, interpretation, quality, demonstration of ability, and usage of medium. Other factors, such as the clarity of the images provided and their ability to be viewed online, as well as relating to the theme, also contributed to our decision.

We were very happy to donate 10% of all the entry fees from this show to the Humane Society. Colors of Humanity Art Gallery, LLC is not affiliated with any Humane Societies. It is our hope that this small act of kindness will blossom and grow to help someone else.

GUEST DOODLEWASH: A Life In Natural Colour

Doodlewash

My name is Chloe Jayne Waterfield and I’m from England, but have been living in Malta for the past 13 years (follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and visit my website!). Digging into the source of passion is a fruitless task. Some questions don’t deserve an answer; why questions like why does the universe exist, why was I born a woman, not a man – and, more personally, and equally un-answerable: why do I paint? It’s just not a question I can ever answer, nor have I ever sought to.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Chloe Jayne Waterfield - abstract- #doodlewash

There are many questions that deserve an attempt at answering, and indeed, most of my passion for art originates from my curiosity. My aesthetic wanderlust which works from the outside in. I expose myself to the world around me, its incomprehensible beauty, and I am driven to present it, to myself and others, in a more human, relatable…

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Why Your Pets Matter

“If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it.”
– Peter Singer,  ethicist and Animal Rights activist.

Even if we shut off the media that surrounds us, we’re haunted by images of suffering, and we feel an instinctual drive to help. From reducing our waste, to donating money, to giving up everything and travelling to a war-torn city;  the human drive for empathy and giving is hard to resist.

Beyond our own species there are millions of sharks killed for their fins every year, pangolins hunted to near extinction in Asia, and, closer to home, dogs living in under-funded shelters or being thrown out into the street. Rampant abandonment and abuse. None of us, when we choose to look, can ever look away. Suffering elicits the better angels of our natures.

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Of course, not all of us are designed to be conservationists, fund-raisers, or doctors without borders – more’s the pity! But that’s fine; charity, like politics, is more honest, more sincere at the grass-roots level. We don’t all have to be Oxfams or Medecins Sans Frontiers. We can, however, be foot soldiers for empathy. Using our own unique gifts, powers, even destinies.

I want to do this in my own way. The endometriosis that hounds me makes it unlikely for me to be on the active, physical front line. But fortunately, I have my art. It’s all I have and, I’d like to think, it’s more than worthwhile! And I want to use it collaboratively; I want to include you in my small, meaningful battle.

I am open for commissions, of watercolours, oils, pencils; I’m open for a variety of pet, wildlife and abstract commissions – I want to see and get to know your pet, its story, your own, your passion, your curiosities. From these I commit to donate 25% of the fees to a charity or organisation of your choosing. Where do you want to take your battle, what are the causes dear to you – malaria, poverty, hunger, species conservation or simply your local animal shelter or rescue home. Incidentally, follow this link for a list of worthwhile, trustworthy and transparent charities – www.thelifeyoucansave.org/Top-Charities

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Let’s marry aesthetics and empathy and give life – and our pets – just that little bit more meaning.

Visit Website

It’s a Girl! Rare Sumatran Rhino Gives Birth At Indonesian Sanctuary

Where there’s new life, there is always hope…

The International Rhino Foundation Blog

PHOTO 2 Ratu+calf resting_SBelcher_watermarked medium resLAMPUNG, Indonesia — The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) is pleased to announce the birth of a femalerhino calf born to Ratu, a 14-year-old Sumatran rhino living at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Indonesia’s Way Kambas National Park. The calf was born on May 12 at 4:42 a.m. with no complications, attended by SRS veterinarians, keepers and a handful of international advisors.

Sumatran rhinos are critically endangered, and there are fewer than 100 left in the world. This is the second birth of a Sumatran rhino in an Indonesian facility in more than 128 years. Ratu made history in when she gave birth to her first calf, a male named Andatu, in 2012.

The International Rhino Foundation established the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in 1997, and this second birth shows that the expertise exists in Indonesia to contribute to the Sumatran rhino population’s growth. The Sanctuary’s dedicated staff are top-notch…

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My Own Little Art History

A brilliant piece of advice I came across recently is that you need to learn about your own art history, not just that of the Great Masters and contemporary artists, and that’s what I’m going to talk about today.

I often work within specific themes or phases, but most recently these have been troubling me somewhat, and I’m trying to take a few steps back before I find the next big theme or style, but I can feel it stirring! So, now is as good a time as ever to talk about where my art came from.

It was in 2008 – 2009 when I first painted on canvas, and whilst early attempts were nothing to write home about it terms of technique, I love them for their rawness, their touches of surrealism and their honesty. I was painting what I felt like, with pretty much a disregard for rules.

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Synesthesia, 2008

This painting, Synesthesia, explores the difficult and complex ties between our senses, and I believe was inspired by either a poem I wrote, or a conversation I had with a friend. Just as senses become blurred and intertwined, so is the specific memory of this piece. In execution it’s fairly poor, but I’d love to explore this theme again taking on what I’ve gathered over the last 8 years.

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Dogs are Palaeolithic, 2010
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The Spectrum, 2010

Moving on then, and it’s easy to see from experiments in surrealism where my next source of inspiration came from. Around this time I was fascinated by Palaeolithic cave art, and understanding where art and techniques came from as well as the significance of nature and animals in art. The piece above shows greater confidence with colour, handling of the paint and composition. In fact this was my first piece to sell at an exhibition.

I even started using natural materials such as shells, sand, stones and feathers on my paintings (though unfortunately not much photo evidence survives).

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I’d say it took me four years to get properly into my stride; then there was this:

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The Solutrean Expression, 2012

This piece put in to practice the influence that the cave painters and Franz Marc had somehow blended together in my brain. A combination of bold colour and line with simple structural elements to create a sense of the animal, the subject of the piece. Inspired by Lascaux’s Panel of the Chinese Horse and Red Cow, this is where art truly began its astonishing journey, and I guess in a way where mine started too.

This was a painting style that stuck.

Then became softer, more brushy and using colour to evoke mood…and this was all in the same year!

Then the works became even more textured, but with more colour control.

In 2014, I turned to painting people, and decided to highlight some of the endangered peoples and cultures all over the world, and once again the painting style changed drastically, becoming freer, and adapting to the different needs of the subject.

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Spiritual Cosmos, 2014

In 2015, things became a little weirder. A series of events, preoccupations and responsibilities took  over for a while, and I think that reflects in my art. There were less concrete themes and styles, less experimenting and perhaps a little bit more fantastic indulging.

 

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Axolotl

As for 2016, for now I’m going to leave this chapter in my little art history unpublished. It’s  too early to tell…

To find out more about commissioning a painting or to enquire about specific paintings for sale send me a message through my Facebook Page or take a look through at my website: cjwaterfieldart.com