Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fight the Oil Spill with Art

What a month this has been! The news about the oil spill was jaw dropping and day by day it seems to get worse. Some days, I didn't know if I could bear to watch the news or not, and others kept my eyes glued to the tube. It's hard for me to believe that the lack of oversight and actions by a few could cause such a catastrophe but they did. I shouldn't be surprised should I? Minute by minute my emotions change from anger, to deep sadness, to WTH and I am sure most of my friends and family feel the same way. 

Yesterday, oil made it's way to Dauphin Island and Gulf Shores. Those are two places I hold near and dear. As a child, my grandfather and uncles worked tirelessly to build a cabin off of Fort Morgan and our entire family spent the summers there. If I close my eyes I can recall walking in the blistering hot sand as we unpacked the car. No one could play until that car was unloaded. The dunes stood almost higher than our houses and we had tons of fun rolling down them. In the evening, the big guys would take a net out and pull it in and we were able to pick through the bounty the Gulf provided. Those were the days, some of my most precious moments as a child. 

Dauphin Island is also precious to me. When I first started dating Bill almost 14 years ago our second date was at Bright Waters. He had a beach house on the West End that faced the Gulf and I can remember like it was yesterday when I pulled up and saw Brandon picking oyster shells in the driveway and little Katie running around like a water fairy. Most of our weekends were spent there when it wasn't rented and it was a magical place, for family, for taking in the beauty of the island, and I miss it terribly. Sadly, Hurricane Ivan took the house, and before we could rebuild, Hurricane Katrina took the lot, so our time at Dauphin Island ended, which left a deep hole in our hearts. 

As we watched the oil spill, the enormous plumes gushing out of the pipe, and took in the new, "oil forecast", we quickly realized that life along the coast was going to change for a long time. Friends from up north seemed concerned, but until you have visited the Gulf I fear one just can't comprehend the beauty of it, and the loss of it. As an artist, it is difficult to sit by feeling helpless, in fact, I can't stand that. So, many artist are coming together to do what we do best, PAINT!

Several auctions will be hosted between here and Pensacola in the coming weeks. The first one I am participating in will be at the Mobile Arts Council here in Mobile. "The Green Room" is an auction celebrating the mission of The Mobile Baykeepers. That organization works so hard in keeping our coast, bay, and watershed clean and the animals protected. Proceeds will be split between them, Mobile Arts Council and the artist, but I just may donate my share as well. 



Here is the painting I am donating for it, "Mermaid Angel Prayer." I love mermaids, and I thought turning one into an angel for the animals would be swell. There is a poem around the edge, it goes like this:

Mermaid Angel sent from Heaven, 
listen to her prayer, 
a prayer for all the creatures, 
in the ocean, land, and air. 

Protect them from the harm
that is around them everywhere,
from human greed and actions
causing harm with needless care.

Protect them one, 
Protect them all, 
these creatures great and small. 


It's a simple poem but one that I feel has a powerful message between the lines. My heart is breaking. I am holding close to my faith during these times, praying for a miracle, but it seems that the actions of man are too damaging to reverse and I can only imagine God's heart is breaking as well. I will encourage all of you to find some way for your gifts to help the cause of protecting our coast. It sure is better than sitting by and waiting for the sky to fall, or shall I say, the black wave to roll in!
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