Last night I put the finishing touches on my most recent painting (pictured to the left). Inspiration for this painting struck as I was in the process of searching for a few art supply odds and ends. As I was walking through one of the aisles, I came upon some small round pieces of birch. In a flash, I had an idea for a painting! Inspiration can come just that fast.
Those small cuts of wood were in an aisle that was stocked full of various pieces of wood in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Who knows how long some of those pieces of wood had been sitting there, waiting to be used?
As an art teacher and artist, recycling is not only an important part of my life, it is IMPERATIVE. Every day, I watch as hundreds upon THOUSANDS of pieces of paper are thrown away. This is particularly an issue in art classrooms and studios. I'm constantly fighting to save the lives of pieces of paper that are on the verge of being thrown out because of one mark that was considered to be a "mistake." Despite my best efforts, my recycling bin (HUGE) is usually filled to the brim within a week of school--and the only reason it takes that long is because at least 50%-75% of the paper being tossed out doesn't make it to the recycling bin. Paper towels, paper plates, magazines, book pages, letters, printed papers, among other tree byproducts are thrown out on a daily basis...and, as a collage artist, I am most definitely a guilty contributor to this waste. The worst part is, I am usually totally oblivious to it!
You may have already figured this out, but at the heart of most of my paintings are environmental issues of some sort. This most recent piece is no different. The character of the lumberjack resonates with the happily oblivious side of human nature. Sadly, many of our actions as human beings, are done with little-to-no thought of consequences. The lumberjack in this story is happily chopping down trees--so focused on his job, that he is paying to heed to the amount of lumber he has been scattering everywhere. The little beaver stands on the remains of the most recently fallen tree, staring up at the lumberjack. His emotions are meant to be misinterpreted (seen as the lumberjack might be interpreting them). The oblivious lumberjack smiles down at the beaver, thinking that he has made this incredible connection with a like-minded creature--nature's "lumberjack" of sorts.
This interaction speaks to a frequent misinterpretation that often occurs between humans and the natural world. Speaking from my own experiences, I am quick to smile at the adorable little chipmunks and rabbits scurrying around, looking nervously at me; Gasp in amazement as an elk leaps across the interstate, over a barbed wire fence, and disappears into private ranch lands; whistle happily in response to a bird's warning call. While I do believe that many human interactions with the natural world are peaceful, friendly, and inspiring, many of these interactions can be also romanticized misinterpretations.
Now, while there exists this misinterpretation between the lumberjack and beaver in this painting, there is also a feeling of peace between the two--which I think that everyone can experience when in nature, if they are willing to take the time to stop, observe, and listen.
May you have a most peaceful and relaxing weekend!
Welcome to the whimsical world of Tara Pappas' mixed media art! Thank you for stopping by to view samples of my work and read a little about my adventures as an artist. I am always looking for new ways to connect and grow as an artist, so would love to hear from you if you have any questions or interests in a particular piece. I hope that my work brings you inspiration and joy!
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