Protecting Our Oceans: The Gulf of Maine Project
April 15 – June 18
Artist Reception: May 7, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Protecting Our Oceans presents the work of four artists who each have a deep and personal connection to the Gulf of Maine. Their work is generated by their love for the ocean, paired with their concern for its increasing degradation by pollution and climate change. The painting and photography on display intrigues because it is so visually pleasing, but the underlying message the artists hope to convey is that we must heed the warnings of ocean scientists and take action before we lose the world’s greatest resource.
I have always been inspired and drawn to the sea. I have always lived near to the sea and spent many days combing its beaches if not for treasures than to rid it of the trash floating in it or left behind on it. I have collected much plastic debris on my many walks along the shores of Parson’s Beach Maine.
This body of work was motived by my concern for our oceans and seas. I have over the years watched as more and more debris has collected along the shores of beaches all over the world. We are all connected by our oceans and we all need to be responsible and respectful of their waters and marine life below the surface and above the surface. I have decided to use my voice as an artist to bring awareness to the plight of our oceans. In this body of work I hope the viewer will see not only the magnificent beauty of the seas but also the importance of keeping our oceans healthy and vibrant not only for ourselves but for the inhabitants under the waters that perhaps sometimes we are not aware of. If ultimately we don’t have healthy waters we also will not have healthy lives.
Whenever I stand by the ocean’s edge, I am in awe of the beauty that surrounds me. The wondrous sunrises and sunsets reflect palettes of color onto the sea’s surface which in turn reveal a whole world below that is just brimming with life. I am seduced by this visual experience, and am compelled to mix up the colors before my eyes and then infuse them into my painting. I often paint by the seas with my feet in the water, working just ahead of the incoming tide. The wind, the sun, the mist, the constant sound and rhythm of the waves – all get mixed up in the orchestration of the paint’s quickened movement. The ocean cradles and protects, provides shelter and sustenance for all of us on this Earth and we must work together to return this grand gesture with our deepest respect. The act of painting keeps me in touch with this mission.
As an artist, I feel a great responsibility to convey the message that we, as human beings in the 21st century, must sustain our environment. Our marine life and seabirds are threatened in their habitat in response to climate change. How are they responding to the changes? What can we learn from the adaptations they are making? How can we sustain our food sources? Success at slowing global warming will depend on actions by governments and our personal choices. These paintings are studies of threatened marine animals, fish, mollusks, shell fish, and birds in their habitat, created to educate and promote thought and action to preserve the habitat of the Gulf of Maine.
Growing up near the ocean I gained an affinity for the crashing waves, rocky shores and the smell of salt in the air early in my life. My photography is a surreal reflection of the emotions that the sea inspires in me. It breaks my heart when I see trash washing up on the beaches or hear another animal that has gone extinct. I want to preserve this beautiful landscape for future generations and hope that my work can highlight the mental and physical benefits of a close relationship with our oceans. It’s not too late to save them.