My artistic path has been shaped by my curiosity, a basic understanding of science, and a belief in the power of inherent good that was passed down to me through my ancestors. In my practice as a process-based painter and my observations as a naturalist, I explore pattern, connection, and balance in the natural world.
Like many of us, I'm not feeling a whole lot of balance or connection in the human part of the world these days. Here's a fact as we shatter records for high temperature, and with a body politic that's, mildly put, deathly ill: a world that includes humans cannot tolerate this volume of narrow-mindedness, hostility, procrastination, greed, and narcissism. We're the unique species that delivers an excess of all these things into the world we share with many beings. We create our reality every time we put those things into the world whether it's in the form of speech, though, or deed. It's bad energy, people! What are we doing?! Strengthening and rebuilding frayed connections with the natural world and with each other is not an option, but a glaring necessity.
I know a lot of people believe we've passed the point of no return, that our future of doom and gloom has been signed and sealed by our own complacency and greed. Well that doomy attitude is getting us nowhere and is building a culture of helplessness that's possibly worse than being a denier. Being a doomer supports fossil fuel's vested interests and political hacks by default. It shuts us down while myriad solutions are at hand begging to be implemented. We have the capacity to create a brighter future. Whether we do is up to all of us. Focused introspection, choices, and actions can move us all toward presence and love and balance. Is that really so hokey?
Leaders need to lead, governments need to act, and individuals must lean in hard to support necessary change. The flip-side, doom and gloom, gets us nowhere. It's not about coups or revolutions or right or left. It's about working together toward a new common good in a diverse and changing world. Keep going, every day, one step, then the next. Remember to breathe.
And since this is a blog that's supposed to be about my art stuff, yes, I'm an optimist. I'm curious. I'm a doer. I'm a believer in inherent good. I'm basically a nice, invisible older woman with a strong mind and a healthy positive attitude who's grateful to be able to use what she's got. My artworks are a declaration of these convictions and a record of my mercurial adventure.
The mixed media abstract miniseries on this page considers the enduring strength of the natural world and our faltering connection to it. Color, forms, texture, and line reveal possibilities of love, life, absence, presence, and longing. With or without us, nature reigns and endures. Balance.
The work in this series was created with quality materials left over from other projects, on natural wood, and cotton canvas. Process focused, I created them without plans or sketches, instead rendering them in the moment from an open mind. They serve to remind you of your own strength, endurance, and connection. They invite you to amplify your inherent goodness.
After I'd finished this blog, my friend, Amy, sent me this article by Rebecca Solnit, "We can't afford to be climate doomers." She's one of my faves. I just read the article and it's fantastic. You can read it here. She's such a good writer!
See more of my work / shop here.
Artist and naturalist Michelle Louis has a vigorous curiosity about the natural world. Her energetic, investment-quality paintings bring balance and harmony
©2023 Michelle Louis All rights reserved. Content and images are property of the artist.