Creating something for a purpose other than expression and contentment will take you to a whole new level. I firmly believe that by changing our way of thinking, we can increase our abilities tenfold.
When you decide to give back to a cause, things will begin to line up one after the other. It’s as if a path gets cleared and creativity flows like a river downstream. All you have to do is get on board.
Painting, among other things, is an outlet of self expression and contentment, there are no limits as to what you can do. Painting with purpose, however, will exponentially make you better.
There are over 10,000 species of birds on our planet but, some of them are at the brink of extinction. I’ve decided to use my abilities to help the world know more about these endangered birds. That is my way as a painter. That is part of my purpose.
Here are some of the paintings that encapsulates my way as a painter:
First, let’s take a look at the Piping Plovers.
This painting serves as a preliminary study to get ready for a series of paintings featuring the Wasaga Beach Piping Plovers.
Piping Plovers are round and stocky little plovers that frequently stand in a horizontal position. They also have round heads and large dark eyes that give them a big-eyed look. The bill is short and stubby. They are sandy grayish brown birds with white underparts and a narrow, often broken collar. They have yellowish orange legs in all seasons.
When I see a bird in the wild doing something deliberate—like protecting their young—I’m in awe. To me that instinctive act of kindness is proof of intelligence.
When I decided to do a The Series of Paintings of Endangered Species, my intention was to help in some way.
I quickly fell in love with the Piping Plover and began conversations with organizations involving Stewardship Programs in Canada.
To my delight, I found myself in Wasaga Beach near Toronto volunteering as a Plover Guardian—recoding the hatchings of two nests
Next, we’ll take a look at Whopping Cranes.
In China and Japan, cranes carry the symbolism of longevity, immortality, and prosperity. This seemed contradictory to the status of the species.
The International Crane Foundation in Baraboo Wisconsin hosts all fifteen species of cranes. The story of the Whooping Crane is remarkable: from almost completely extinct—reduced to only twenty cranes left—to now over seven hundred cranes in the wild. With the effort of many scientists and individuals, this species has come back from the brink of extinction.
I was captivated by their graceful movements and serene disposition. Standing five feet tall, they commanded my presence and it dawned on my why they became endangered in the first place. Their prominence and the declining habitat must have made them easy targets for hunters.
Here’s a little story:
One beautiful sunny morning, I was able to observe a pair of endangered Whooping Cranes grooming, feeding, and interaction with each other. They were well aware of my presence but continued with their daily routine.
I connected to them even more while painting—knowing their importance in culture and ancient symbolism. Then I placed a white butterfly for fun and as an additional kick of symbolism of protection and purity of the soul.
I tried to show the compelling beauty of this amazing creature by using light. There were many shades of purples, blues, and warm glows of yellow within the feathers—which made the Whooping Crane a wonderful subject to paint.
Every creative outlet, especially painting, requires a minimum amount of skill that enables the artist to begin. Painting with purpose, however, doesn’t have that skill prerequisite.
When you have a purpose and you follow it all the way through, you’ll find your abilities improve along the way—exponentially.
When you’re in the pursuit of finding your way and in the attempt of being the change you need in this world, you’ll find that you won’t really care about your skill. What you truly care about is what you can give.