I’m happy to announce that I was recently invited to participate in an upcoming exhibit at the Amelia Center Gallery at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Florida. The exhibition is titled “Menagerie” and it focuses on animals, covering a wide range of topics from environmental concerns, to societal constructs, to self-examination, to the pure celebration of nature. It will run from Feb. 3- March 3rd, 2017.
Well, this is it. This is the last time Mother Nature will be on view to the public. It is currently on exhibit in the “Animus” exhibit in London, and afterwards will have its permanent home in London. This painting has been an important piece for me since it is the only painting I’ve done directly dealing with dairy:
Our use of animals and the environment has led to practices that could be considered a bizarre perversion of nature. From our everyday use to the most complex scientific discoveries, we have created a new world far removed from that of our original planet. Our food is no longer something we grow or find ourselves, but prepackaged, processed, and mass-produced. ‘Natural’ has become unnatural. We consider it eccentric or bohemian. We, as adults, drink what is essentially breast milk from an entirely different species, yet scoff at the idea of a woman breastfeeding her infant in public. In Mother Nature a calf is seen nursing from a human breast, calling to question our double standards- if this is bizarre, then why is it not when the roles are reversed?
I’m a vegan artist living in “Sportsman’s Paradise.” For those that don’t know, that would be Louisiana. Not exactly a pleasant state nickname if you are a vegan. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to live a vegan lifestyle here and have even made a niche for myself as an artist. And I actually like living here… though I could do without the humidity. So how is this possible, you may ask.
For starters, being a vegan, environmental artist is no harder than any other artist. Art is supposed to make a statement, and it’s not going to be something everyone necessarily agrees with. So the fact that my work is influenced by my personal beliefs, is not any different than any other artist creating work about what matters most to them. And galleries are choosy about what they show regardless, so again, it doesn’t matter if you’re a vegan artist or not.
Louisiana is known for it’s food, unfortunately none of that involves tofu. Yet. So, yes, that is bothersome for me, but it doesn’t stop me from living here. If anything, it just gives me more reason to keep doing what I do. Add to that the BP oil spill, hurricanes, and wetland loss, I have even more reason to be here and speak up for our animals and our environment.
I have met some resistance, but I don’t know any vegan that hasn’t, so I wouldn’t say that’s exclusive to Louisiana. Usually it comes from older family members that have no filter. A lot of people seem to be coming around, while others tolerate it but don’t understand it. I’ve been a vegan for 17 years now and have seen a definite shift in the mindset of the general population. For starters, most people now know how to correctly pronounce vegan and might know someone that is. A lot are open to at least trying vegan recipes. (Everyone loves my dinner parties!) And some are starting to become aware of the huge environmental impact that factory farming has on our planet.
Overall, I’ve had a very positive response to my art, both in and outside of Louisiana, which is promising for many reasons. I would love to see more vegans here, but I’m sure a lot of people would say the same about where they live, too. In the meantime, I’m going to keep doing what I do. With every painting, I have another opportunity to reach out to the world, and inspire them to do more for animals and the planet. And on that note, it’s time to get back to the studio.
I recently had the honor of being interviewed for Vegan Life Magazine out of the UK. In addition to featuring several of my paintings, the interview discusses my art, my process, and the link to veganism and animal welfare. The magazine is available now on newsstands and through their app: http://veganlifemag.co.uk/preview/.
I’ve (finally!) finished my latest painting in the In Our Veins series. The painting is titled Integral and is 20″ wide by 10″ high, acrylic on canvas. Integral explores the sometimes forgotten nature that we live in. The horses, though faceless, are still personable, a reminder of their importance. The landscape, tied to the horses, illustrates the connection between all life. View the painting online here: http://amyguidry.com/integral.html.
I’ve made a lot of progress on my latest painting in the In Our Veins series. You may recall seeing the very early stages of this painting from a previous post. The horses are now finished and I am currently building the layers of the landscape, adding fine detail work along the way. The size is 20″ wide by 10″ high, acrylic on canvas. I’ll post the finished painting as soon as it is complete, in the meantime, check out the series it comes from here: http://amyguidry.com/wild_west.html and here: http://amyguidry.com/wolfpack.html.
You may recall seeing my progress shots posted on here and now I can finally reveal the finished piece! Needless to say the background on this one was a bit demanding. This is the latest addition to my In Our Veins series titled Exposed. It is an acrylic on canvas, 8″ wide by 10″ high. View the painting online here: http://amyguidry.com/exposed.html.
I’ve been making a lot of new progress on my current painting in the In Our Veins series. The first rough layer of paint is done and I’ve been building color and adding detail to the background. It is an acrylic on canvas, 8″ wide by 10″ high. I’ll be featuring the finished piece in my next newsletter, which you can receive here: http://amyguidry.com/contact.html.
I have just recently finished a new addition to my In Our Veins series. This painting is titled Crutch and is 12″ wide by 6″ high, acrylic on canvas. You may recall seeing my photos of this painting in progress. To say the water was time-consuming is an understatement. This is one of only a handful of paintings in which I’ve painted water. View the painting online (and much larger) here: http://amyguidry.com/crutch.html.