Well the saying goes 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. But then again, to paraphrase John McCarthy, a thousand-and-one words is worth more than a picture. I've now shared a couple of hundred or so pictures here, each with far less than a thousand words of commentary, so I guess I could say a few words again.
The message. Well ... my art does have a message ... or at least I'd like it to have. I am not nearly as good an artist as I'd like to be. But still ... I am trying with my wildlife art to convey the beauty and wonder found in nature. I want to convey how much it inspires me and adds value to my life. In every painting I'm trying to show what it is in each particular kind of animal that I find beautiful. The question 'what is beauty?' I cannot answer, but I can answer that we will be poorer without it.
Similarly I can say that we will be poorer without the incredible biodiversity that is on our planet Earth. We are poorer for every forest we destroy, for every species we lose. These are things that cannot be quickly and easily replaced, if at all; their worth cannot be measured in money. I am struck by the activity of 'modern man' ... a newcomer on the planetary scene who acts as if he owns the place. Well the place has been here for millions of years before him and will be here for millions of years after. We need some humility. We need to see ourselves as a part of something bigger ... we need to see our emergence out of this living web as having been made possible by everything else and we need to feel some gratitude and most of all we must see that we are still a part of that. We are just one species among many. We are part of the living world; everything in it is also reflected in us, and everything in us comes from it, but it seems many of us don't understand or appreciate that.
I'm trying to do something about that. We need to know more about the non-human living world ... I am absolutely convinced that if we knew more we would care more. I am absolutely convinced that when we feel grounded in the natural world, when we can relate to it in some intimate way, we become better rounded people, we become more broadminded and openminded, we become more peaceful, we become happier. We also feel more secure. If we really take such good care to do no harm to the other living species, not to destroy entire ecosystems, not to wreck the global ecology ... is that not a wonderful way to make us feel more secure? More at home on this planet? If we cherish the system that has been here for millions of years ... if we treat it so that it could still survive for millions of years more ... would we not be less threatened, less fearful ourselves? Would we not then treat each other better as well?
All right, I cannot actually say exactly that with any specific work of art, so I'm saying it here ... but still, I would like my art to contribute towards that ... to reinforce that message. We should appreciate our fellow beings on this planet, see that they are beautiful, wonderful, weird, precious and irreplaceable. We should see us in them and them in us ... because we *are* all part of the same, incredible living system. We should behave towards them, ourselves, each other, with kindness and appreciation. That is the way forward, that is the way out of many messes of our own creation.