36″x36″ Acrylic on Canvas, 2022
There’s a lot going on in this painting – there are textures upon textures and colors merging into other colors. That’s what our world is like – a complex ecosystem with many layers and it’s even more true in an environment like the Amazon rainforest.
Greens and blues are the dominant colors in much of the painting – the richness of the plant life in the rainforest and the blue of the Amazon River and a hint of blue sky above. Four of the more iconic animals living in the rainforest are featured – an Amazon parrot, jaguar, caiman and a poison dart frog. There are plants and hints of plants in the painting as well.
Another section of the painting features earthy reds and browns – this references the always-growing areas of jungle that have been stripped and destroyed for cattle ranching, logging, unsustainable agriculture, strip mining, etc. (See https://www.rainforestconcern.org/forest-facts/why-are-rainforests-being-destroyed.)
Of the four animals, three are not “solid” but rather fade into the background, referencing the many animal species which are going extinct and fading away from our world. The little poison dart frog is solid, but notice the flames coming towards him, emanating from a raging fire directly beneath the jaguar.
The white lines that crisscross the canvas are symbolic of how humans have been portioning and carving up the Amazon into plots for plantations, ranches, mining enterprises, roads and pipelines – all built through once-untouched forests.
There has been horrible destruction, yet there is still beauty that I hope I have conveyed, especially through the eyes of the animals in this artwork and the rich colors. This is the first installment in an “Eco-Abstract” series of paintings that I’m doing.