“Mother Nature Loves Alaska” • Oil • 60hx36w
“Mother Nature Loves Alaska” is about Alaska’s abundant wildlife and natural resources. March 24th will mark 26 years since the Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound. Please look up the facts of the spill and what condition Prince William Sound is in today. Good sources are National Geographic and NOAA. Both have articles posted for the 25th anniversary.
Mother Nature rings her bell to remind you.
Symbolism + Flora+ Fauna
All plants and animals depicted are natives of Alaska. Draped around the neck of the figure is the alpine forget-me-not. In creating the composition, I thought of forget-me-nots, and looked to see if they grew in the state. I was surprised to discover that this is the official state flower of Alaska.
At the bottom of the composition are the wolves, weasels, loons, and the snake in the grass. Used in language, the names of these species are unflattering terms for people. They symbolize those that would exploit Mother Nature’s natural resources.
Mother Nature and Time
This painting evolved over time. Originally, I had created a drawing of Mother Nature and her creatures many years ago. I liked the sketch and hung onto it.
Years later, I participated in a figure drawing group and this model posed for us. She reminded me of the drawing I had done. Knowing when a window of opportunity is opening, I went back to the old drawing and thought about creating a painting. I hired the model to pose in my studio.
Note: I changed Mother Nature to resemble a native Alaskan. I decided she would look like the people of the land.
History and Me
Why didn’t I just create a Mother Nature painting?
My figure paintings have a relevance to things happening in my lifetime. When the Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred I was working on a publication for the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. (My graphic design days.) I sorted through so many beautiful photographs of Alaska. Later, I saw the Exxon Valdez in the Port of San Diego where it was undergoing repairs. There was a very large hole on the front of the boat. It was so sad to see the destruction of the environment and animals via the news. The spill was a disaster with long-term consequences. I wanted to ask, what is the legacy we leave future generations?