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This is embarrassing to admit to: but recently a friend said she thought I wasn't being upfront enough. That I was keeping something unsaid. And after thinking about it more, I guess that was true.

Almost to the Peak grey and white painting

She said that with my Summer 2017 Collection, 'Nature, Muted' I never really said specifically what was bothering me. Although I reiterated that I was concerned over environmental issues, I never claimed what those issues were in detail.

Okay, fair enough. 

What I will say is that much of it is a general uneasiness and feeling of helplessness when I see the continuing news reports about congressmen and government leaders refuting scientific claims and denying climate change. Like I want to do something more in some way, but I'm not necessarily sure what that is. 

Likewise, I'm getting a sense that people in general don't really want to hear about it or don't believe there's anything wrong with carving up/cutting down/fracking/and generally not trying to preserve nature for future generations. 

But why haven't I gotten more specific? To be honest, I think there's a bit of fear of alienating some people or offending someone with my opinions. It's a bit safer to stay on the surface of something right?

So here are two very specific things that occurred while I was in the process of creating this collection that had a direct effect on my mindset and work:

1. The March for Science ~ On Earth Day (April 22), there was a major march on Washington (and elsewhere around the globe) in support of science, scientists and scientific evidence. With proposed budget cuts looming, the non-partisan rally was intended to show lawmakers that scientific facts should play a key role in policy making. As my mom said: "Who would've ever thought we'd see the day where we have to speak up to defend scientists?" Right? Scientific method is how the laws of nature and the world are discovered; it's hard to wrap your head around the fact that someone wouldn't agree. Read More about the March

2. Strawberries - Okay, this one is super scary, especially as a pregnant person. There is a chemical, chlorpyrifos, which has been shown to "inhibit kids' brain development" (especially through exposure in utero). It has been banned in use in household products since 2000 but has still be used as a pesticide in farming (particularly on nuts and strawberries....two things I've been eating a ton of recently :/ ). In 2015, the EPA finally said that the risks were too high to continue using this chemical in farming, but they never went so far as to ban it. Recently, the courts said that the EPA had to make a decision. That decision was made in March 2017, when the EPA announced that they would not be banning the chemical and that it was fine to use. Well. The EPA cited disagreement with the methodology used in the studies that found that chlorpyrifos was too harmful. EPA Press Release and Other Commentary. There's gotta be a better way; this gets me really anxious.

Hopefully I haven't offended anyone too badly. I'm obviously not an expert in these matters, but my gut reactions are of fear and anger and wanting to do more. And that's basically it, in an organic nutshell.

xo

Tags: environment. environmental art. inspiration. Muted. Nature. NYC artist. NYC painter. painting. Summer 2017 Collection.

comment(7 comments)

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    Hannah

    July 19, 2017 at 09:30

    Thank you all for the kind words and support! I agree with each of you about voicing our concerns in whatever manner we can gather to do so!! xoxo

    Reply
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    Cynthia Shapiro

    July 19, 2017 at 07:53

    I loved the blog and glad you wrote it and while it is considerate to not want to offend anyone aren’t we all offended by what’s happening in today’s environment? Especially under the current administration. So I say write on and write often. You are lovely, kind and intelligent. You said this with grace. ?

    Reply
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    Luba

    June 29, 2017 at 00:13

    Great post, appreciate that you have voiced your opinion on environmental issues. I think it’s important to talk about things we care about and things that are bigger than us individually, even if there are people out there who may disagree with you. I ’ll be buying organic strawberries for my kids. Love having your painting, I know it came from a place of honesty and creativity.

    Reply
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    Madhur Bansal

    June 28, 2017 at 17:49

    I don’t think you should worry about offending people—I think women are often expected to back down or temper their beliefs so I think it’s admirable how strong your convictions are! Also, no coincidence that the head of Dow Chemicals (the manufacturer of that chemical) met with Scott Pruitt just a few weeks before the EPA approved the chemical. They need to be held accountable for the damage to human health that this could cause.

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    Karen Lowe

    June 28, 2017 at 12:22

    Hannah so very many of us are feeling uneasy, anxious, and helpless. Sometimes specifics need not our cannot be spelled out. You are among the lucky ones in having a means of expressing your feelings. Keep painting.

    Reply

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