As an artist who primarily depicts animals, I often get caught up in an internal debate about the relevancy of my spending time being in the studio depicting animals versus physically going into the world to act on behalf of animals on an individual level.
The debate settles back down when I remind myself that art is a means to communicate to many, it is an opportunity to relay a message (whatever it may be), beyond a single act or conversation or individual and beyond a single timeline. It is actually very important in our digital age to use visual art as a means to initiate a thought process in others. Given my dedication to communicating about animals and the environment in my work, I am accomplishing my goal even if I am not ‘out in the field’.
My artwork is currently focused on animals experiencing change and transition. The concept came from some of my 2017 humpback whale pieces, where I had them passing through portals. In these depictions the part of the whale that had gone through the change (portal) was depicted in a different colour, indicating an evolution as a result of the experience. This concept has guided my work ever since, as I feel that the evolution (or ‘degrees of enlightenment’ as I have come to refer to it) is something we can all identify with in our daily lives and it also accurately translates the status of our environment, which of course the animals are extensions of.