Saturday, May 2, 2009

Earth Art by Amanda

Although I have shared photos, I have been remiss in sharing my paintings with you here at the old blog. Apart from the painting at the top of the page, I don't think I have posted any, so I'm going to sprinkle them into this post while I tell you about my latest adventures. The past few weeks have been crazy, now that I have actual paid writing assignments with the expected and dreaded deadlines, plus I continue to run a small pet sitting service, plus I took on a new part-time job helping someone else open a specialty pet shop in town (more on that once we are open for business). On top of all this, I am finally in the process of completing my application to graduate school.

The Zinnia Patch, 2008

College was wasted on me when I was young. I could not wait to get out into the real world, so I gave up a free ride to finish my BS at the age of twenty and took a zoo job in Dallas as quickly as I could. Now after years in the real world, I find I might want to stay in school for the remainder of my adult life. But seriously, I always regretted the decision to quit after only getting my associates, and so several years ago I made the difficult decision to leave my long-term zoo career and return to school. I completed my B.A. in 2008 in the midst of a huge controversy because the woman's college I chose to attend opted to go co-ed and did so with little grace and horrible communications with their student body, faculty, and staff. I ended up smack in the middle of sit-ins and demonstrations and everything college in the sixties seemed to be. Needless to say, I needed a break once I got the heck out of there, so I took a year off. But,the goal has always been to go all the way. I always wanted to be a doctor of something, although never one of the medical variety.

Emerald Boa, 2007

The biggest problem I ran across during my years as an undergraduate was this notion that we should choose one thing to specialize in, choose a major that would become our area of expertise. I've always been an eclectic sort with passions in a number of areas which generally all relate back either to the environment or to the arts or both. But, choosing one of these things over the others seemed impossible as each one compliments the other in the fragrant soup dish that is my life. I got around the notion of choosing a major by doubling up my work load and majoring both in English creative writing and studio art. My final senior project with both departments combined my love of writing, painting, photography, and the environment. My professors passed me, but I'm not sure they really believed I would continue to pursue all of these passions into my professional life. They often encouraged me to pay closer attention to one interest and decide how to pursue this one interest in my graduate work. The very idea made me crabby.

Crabbing, 2007

As usual, I rebelled against the voices of authority. In today's global and rapidly changing world, it seems people are not as interested in things that conform to strict guidelines of genre. Most consumers today are used to multi-tasking in multi-media, and they seem more interested in rapidly changing things that stimulate all their senses, hence the popularity of the computer, where blogging, gaming, and social media continue to grow. Already, with very little experience as a writer or an artist, I have been selling articles to magazines along with my own photography, and even one of the literary journals that will soon publish my poetry will also publish one of my photos to go along with one of the poems. Editors seem increasingly excited by someone who can produce both written and visual work. So, it seems to me that my graduate work should still incorporate both the visual arts and the written word. I want to continue to search out new combined ways to show the concept of deep ecology, the interconnectedness and equal importance of all things on our planet, through my work.

Mercy, 2007

After researching programs all over the country, I was starting to think there was no hope for these eclectic dreams. I thought I might have to conform to the academic world's old school methods, and I was not happy about it. Then, a friend pointed out Goddard College. This low residency graduate program offers an MFA in interdisciplinary arts and/or an MA with an independant study which can include a concentration in environmental studies. It's like they came up with this whole school just for me. So, I am once again wading in the waters of the paperwork swamp, while I also gear up to swim the crashing waves of financial aide tsunamis. Cross your fingers that I make it out alive. When and if my acceptance letter arrives, I'll surely be crowing about it.

As the Crow Cries, 2008

One more quick thing before I go. For those who were interested in the results of Disney's tree planting initiative which coincided with the opening of the movie Earth, go here to read the press release.


sushil yadav said...
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Zooleft said...

Thank you for your comments and your link to this article. Perhaps you might also remember that people have to remain part of the equation. There is a truth in what you say about consumerism, but to truly believe and participate in the concept of "deep ecology," we must also remember humans to be an important part of the ecosystem of earth. You are correct that consumerism unchecked is destructive and often wasteful and we must be vigilant about looking at ways to balance our overuse with the needs of the natural world. However, just one society is not at fault here as it feels your post is saying. Destroying any one society or any one species does not take the practice of deep ecology into account, where there is the underlying belief that all living things including all people of all nationalities are equally important on earth.