Environmental Landscapes

A Solo Show

By Tom Stevens

For the past eight years I have been working on a new series of ecological landscapes; sadly drawing inspiration from images on the Web, Google Earth, Landsat, NASA and various other sources to describe my growing concern for our very fragile planet.  For this series of paintings, when appropriate, I requested permission, as you will note. Mostly I have drawn inspiration from images that are in the public domain if not in our awareness.

SPRATLY & HUGHS

Mixed Media Painting on Archival Gesso Board in a Black Metal Floater Frame. 

China is claiming 90% of the South China Sea, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, saying it is historically Chinese maritime territory.

The Spratly Islands archipelago lies in the South China Sea off the coasts of Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. There are no indigenous inhabitants. The archipelago has important fishing grounds and oil and natural gas reserves. The Spratlys are important to the claimant nations in their attempts to establish international boundaries. Some of the islands have civilian settlements. All contain structures that are occupied by the military forces from Brunei, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.

These military groups have engaged in environmentally questionable activities such as island building. Coral habitats are threatened by sand dredging. The dredging boats release sand particles that are too fine to be used which increases water turbidity.

 

BISON FOG

Usually, art reflects the society from which it originates.  If one hunted Mammoth, then one probably painted Mammoth.  Lately I have been painting Colorado Bison...  It is so good to still have them around!

In the 1800's the American bison was almost wiped out in the effort to starve the native American people into submission. Less than 1,000 buffalo remained before they were protected by federal law. Because the population of protected bison has been separated into non-contiguous herds their genetic diversity has been even further reduced. Some studies suggest they will become extinct within the next 200 years due to inbreeding.

WIPP

Mixed Media Painting on Archival Gesso Board in a Black Metal Floater Frame. 

During the Cold War, the U.S. Federal Government contracted with numerous companies to mine uranium on tribal lands in the Southwest of the United States.  

After years of illness and death among the Navajo people due to radiation poisoning from the tailings of these mines, the government decided to begin a concerted effort to clean up these problem areas. Many of the mining companies have either closed or run out of money. The government knew about the dangers for decades. 
 

FRACKING WYOMING

Mixed Media Bas-relief Painting on Archival Gesso Board in a Black Metal Floater Frame. 

I would like to thank EcoFlight (www.ecoflight.org) for granting permission to use their photographic image as the basis for this painting. My painting is a one-off copyrighted interpretation of their original photograph to which they hold all rights.

The EPA discovered chemical compounds in Pavillion, Wyoming ground water in 2011, which matched the profile of fracking contamination. The EPA stated that there were risks but not anything that would constitute a problem.
The vicinity was first drilled in 1960. Starting at about the same time, citizens complained of physical ailments and that their drinking water “turned black and tasted of chemicals.” Forty-four unlined pits were used before 1995 for disposal of diesel and chemical fluids.

 

CARIOCA FISHBONE

Brazilian Landscape
Acrylic on Archival Gesso Board in a Black Metal Floater Frame. 

Rondonia, Brazil is a state inside the Amazonian area in which rural improvement efforts have resulted in the creation of orthogonal street networks. Deforestation along the increasing network of highways and nearby roads has created a unique fishbone pattern.

Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil soared 85 percent in 2019, compared with the previous year, official data showed Tuesday. The 9,166 square kilometers cleared was the highest number in at least five years, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research. In 2018, the deforested area was 4,946 square kilometers. It comes after fires ravaged swaths of the Amazon basin last year, igniting a global outcry. The number of fires in the rainforest rose 30 percent to 89,178 in 2019, compared with the previous year, the latest official data show.

SEE THE REST OF THE WORKS IN THIS SERIES AND READ MORE ABOUT THESE IMAGES HERE.