condition of the environment is the most important issue of our
current age. What does it matter how much material wealth one has if
you can't drink the water or breathe the air. Outmoded, harmful
technologies that are preserved due to greedy corporations, lobbies
and political alliances endanger all living things. Humans are the
first species to have control of the existence of all other species.
We are doing a dismal job witnessed by rampant extinction rates.
Modern society seems to have a bigger and
bigger disconnect with the natural world. This is a disturbing and
perverse aspect of human nature. People go to supermarkets and have
no clue as to what's involved producing what they're eating. Factory
farm operations swallow up smaller more ethical farms and cut
corners for the bottom line. The fact that creationism is being
taught over Darwin at some schools is frightening. People seem to
have forgotten that we too are animals. The highest form of primate;
but animals nonetheless. Go to the monkey house in any zoo and you
will see hundreds of similarities in looks and behaviors.
try to give the animals I paint a noble, heroic quality. I want to
depict them as intelligent and feeling without anthropomorphizing.
They are individuals and are deserving and entitled to an
opportunity to survive. A world full of humans and domesticated
animals is a scary, dangerous prospect.
I've painted animals we depict as evil, for
example sharks and wolves. Now we've practically wiped out both
species. Who's the evil entity here? Initially, "The Misunderstood"
looks like a straight ahead realist painting. The wolves are out on
pack ice and the sharks in arctic waters. Places they'd never be.
They (as many other species) are being driven to the corners of the
earth by encroaching humanity. Environmental changes are further
indicated by the red mountain range (eg. nuclear activity and global
warming). In New York City I've painted the "native" wildlife:
cockroaches, rats, mice, and pigeons.
far as cattle paintings go; I would paint these doomed creatures in
stanchions, auctions and stockyards. I used to feel the bucolic,
pastoral paintings were a sellout (an unrealistic depiction of the
cattle industry). So few of the cattle I saw were able to graze
freely. Most dairy cattle are chained to stanchions and forced to
eat cheap corn or sometimes worse forms of feed (mainly ground up
animal by-products). This makes them sick. 75% of the antibiotics
made in this country go to cattle. We get meat and milk from animals
raised this way.
Cattle are ruminants; They are meant to eat grass. When they do they
are healthier and we get a food product untainted by antibiotics and
hormones. Cattle that eat grasses have fat that contain omega-3
fatty acid, instead of the inferior omega-6 variety. Milk from
grass-eating cows contains a natural source of conjugated linoleic
acid which fights obesity and tumor production. 3rd world countries
wouldn't dream of giving corn to cattle. That's for human
consumption, cows eat grass. They also have a fraction of the
rampant breast, prostate and other forms of cancer we have in the
US. Cattle out in the pasture is
an artistic tradition going back to bison and prehistoric man. It is
where all cattle should be. This benefits all involved.