Tuesday, September 23, 2014

a little turbulence

A year or so ago I posted some pencil sketches under the titles of storyboarding this and that. What I've been up to just recently has been a process of refining and actually turning some of those ideas into watercolor paintings. The funny thing is, other than a vague concept, I don't actually have much of a story to draw from. So what I'll do is paint the pictures and see where they lead. This is one.

Other than the fact these images are kind of compelling in themselves, the main reason I've decided to work on finishing some of them now is to allow myself to get comfortable with using full spectrum color again. Paintings done just well enough to provide something entertaining to look at before a blog post have made me lazy. Besides, some practice is essential before I begin work on that real story illustration project I mentioned earlier this month.

If you're in the mood to read something both interesting and relevant to the political, financial, and social turbulence we're currently exposed to every time we get out of bed - those of us who are lucky enough to have beds and roofs to cover them, that is - I highly recommend the recent articles on Golem XIV under the title, The Next Crisis. The articles are long but his points are valid for anyone who believes, or suspects, as I do, that partisan politics are simply another method used by the rich and powerful to divide and so conquer the rest of us. His premise is as follows:

1) The Over Class must retain and consolidate their control over the global system of debt.

2) The power to regulate must be taken from nations and effectively controlled by corporations.

3) Professionalize governance. Democracy can be and must be neutered, and an effective way of doing this is to insist that amateur, elected officials MUST take the advice of professional (read corporate) advisors. Expand current law to enforce this.

4) The financial system badly needs un-encumbered ‘assets’ to feed the debt issuing system. A new way must be found to prise sovereign assets from public ownership. Such a new way is suggested.

5) In order to facilitate the political changes necessary, the public mind-set must be changed. National Treasures such as the NHS in Britain must be re-branded as evil State Monopolies. Choose your own examples.

6) Effective ways must be found to convince people that democratic rule is no longer sufficient to protect them.

7) An alternative to Democracy must be introduced and praised. 

Okay, if you've read the above (or even have bookmarked the website for later), now it's time for the uplifting and entertaining part of the post - this time a short video piece about the great benefits of re-introducing carnivores to the US. In the past couple of weeks I read again two of Jack London's most famous stories: The Call of the Wild and White Fang. Who wouldn't prefer a real wolf to the one who wears a hand made suit and a $50k watch?

I hope you've excused George Monbiot for his somewhat overly excited presentation.


Should Fish More said...

Regarding the (again) great watercolor....Grace Darling might be an inspiration with the saving of shipwreck victims in the early 1800's off England's shore.

Wolves....a lot of the video was shot in Yellowstone, about 2 hours from here. Wish the tone was a popular one up here, but it's not. Ranchers and many hunters want them eradicated again. Personally I love living in a place where when I go into the woods I'm not at the top of the food chain.

marja-leena said...

Wonderful art work, Susan! You are an inspiration for me to get back to the studio now that it's fall.

The Next Crisis is excellent and timely while we've been talking about Pikeety's book. How can we bring about change... that is the challenge.

And I love the video - nature know best! Monbiot is not overly excited considering this importnat subject. Great find, Susan!

susan said...

I'm very happy my paintings inspire stories for you, Mike. I really couldn't ask for more.

Yes, we're well aware of the problems ranchers have with the very idea of wolves running around loose. A guy I worked with was very excited about the law being changed and inordinately pleased with the high powered rifles he'd soon be able to use on them. The ranchers have a lot of political clout.

susan said...

Thanks, Marja-Leena. I'm very pleased with this one too and I'm looking forward to working on more (there's another on my table now). The cooler weather really does inspire one to focus on the task at hand rather than having another paddle at the shore or tea in the garden. Of course, there's still time for those things too :)

I'm glad you read the article. It seems to me that while it's not directly up to us to fix this terrible mess, it is important that we clearly understand what's driving the process. Partisan politics (intense in the US) serve to confuse the real issues.

While I've read some very long articles about this and other projects involving the natural world, I loved the video because it described the heart of the matter in a few minutes - with beautiful pictures too! You're right Monbiot was fine, but his presentation reminded me of a wannabe David Attenborough. He didn't always sound that way.

Lisa Golden said...

I love that painting! I speaks to me.:-)

Did you feel me walking around the apartment yesterday trying out different spots for one of your pieces of art?

Rob-bear said...

Great art work — turbulence, indeed.

And now you know how "the one per cent" think. Corporate rule of everything. Great for shareholders.

Bears and Wolves can be friends. Which is good.

clairesgarden said...

i lovel the painting, looks like a rough sea..
I had to switch the video off promptly as all my cats jumped up suddenly at the howling !! i'll try again later.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan,
Your lovely picture is kind of compelling image for me of childhood innocence giving way to adulthood as she rows ahead in the midst of life’s story weather , looking back we see her gazing up to us in earnest. The wolf video was excellent, a breath of fresh air so to speak from the daily turbulence.
Best wishes

susan said...

I think the image must have been speaking to me too :)

I'm glad to know you're getting settled enough to be hanging pictures - and delighted some are mine. The funny thing is we've been here for four years now and the artwork is still sitting in its travel containers in a closet.

susan said...

Thanks, Rob!

Oh, I do know and so it seems do you. We must keep telling anyone who will listen where the real focus of their irritation lies.

I think the bear and wolf friendship is first a matter of mutual respect.

susan said...

Hi Claire. It was an enjoyable picture to paint too. Water in watercolor is tricky but fun.

I hope you did get the chance to watch the movie later. No, cats wouldn't like the sound of wolf howls.

susan said...

Hi Lindsay, That's a pretty cool interpretation of the painting. I'm very happy to know you like it.

Yes, I loved the video and the story it told of just how clear is the road to ecologic healing if we choose to take that path.

Best wishes

Ol'Buzzard said...

In a few places there are still light house keepers - a great picture for a children's story.
the Ol'Buzzard

Ol'Buzzard said...

In Alaska they kill the wolves to protect the moose and caribou... so hunters can kill more moose and caribou.
the Ol'Buzzard

Vanessa Morgan said...

The Ol'Buzzard sent me. I'll go and have a look at the video. Have a lovely day :)

susan said...

My husband wanted to be a lighthouse keeper, but the opportunity never came.
I married him anyway - just for the thought :)

susan said...

I had a friend who was a bush pilot in Alaska for many years. What happens next more often than not is they become trophies rather than meat..

susan said...

Hi Vanessa. It's always a delight to meet a new blog friend.
I'll have to thank OB :)

I hope you enjoyed the video - it's pretty cool.

Sean Jeating said...

Sometimes I wish I were an artist. What fine a painting. Lots of turbulences, hm? Here and there. As for the video: Had Monbiot asked someone else to take his part it would be even more impressing. Sometimes less (theatrics) is more. :)

susan said...

The funny thing about turbulence is that in the end it's still all just water.

I felt he was trying a little too hard to channel David Attenborough :)

Stephen said...

Hi Susan

I love the painting - resolve and humour. I like to get my clients to create a metaphor of where they are at and what they would prefer and this would be a good one.

Have you read "Never Cry Wolf" by Farley Mowat? I have a feeling you would enjoy it. They made a movie of the book.

susan said...

Hi Stephen,

What a surprise to see you here rather than there :) I'm glad you like the painting and, yes, I agree with you it works well as a metaphor on several levels.

Oh yes, 'Never Cry Wolf' was required reading here. It helped the cause of wolves a lot in Canada when he drew the conclusion they were being actively exterminated by white hunters.

Life As I Know It Now said...

Love the painting!

The story of the wolves is very uplifting. Nature knows how to manage herself and we need to get out of the way more times than not.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

"Effective ways must be found to convince people that democratic rule is no longer sufficient to protect them... An alternative to Democracy must be introduced and praised."

Hmm... Any suggestions? Sounds a bit like what some people have said to allow them to lead lands to disaster.

Nice painting (love the dog)

susan said...

Thanks, Lib :)

I think a big part of our problem is that too many of us don't include ourselves as part of nature.

susan said...

You've made the point the writer I quoted is concerned about - that the uber-wealthy class prefers a system where majority rule is overridden.

I like the dog too.

By the way, I did get a copy of Report From Sample 17 (from the UK's Book Depository). It's next on my reading list.

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Oh, Thanks for buying my book. Amazon later told me they don't stock it in Canada but expect people in Canada to just buy through the US site. They may regard Canada as just a stray part of the US sandwiched between most states and Alaska?!:)

susan said...

I'm looking forward to reading it through. Funny thing is they did have it and then didn't when I went to buy. Lady Lord is still there awaiting my next order.