Friday, February 02, 2007

Illustration Friday: Sprout...of hope for the earth



I saw a photograph of a young African woman in a recent issue of National Geographic and something about her face really moved me. She was living in a dark room with no plumbing, no electricity, no clean water, no medicine and no schools. She lives in one of the "wealthiest" oil regions of the world, but instead of the promise of riches and a good life, the very source they'd hoped would make their lives more abundant had them living below poverty. Pollution from the oil refineries are killing the fish that used to sustain them, and crime is at an all time high. The future is very bleak. I'd like to think this young woman will be one of many who won't stand for the destruction of our earth. I found this quote that I imagine her chanting, over and over and over again. And like the seedling in her tiny window, it became a sprout which will eventually become a tree to help heal the earth.


"I have come to terms with the future. From this day onward I will walk easy on the earth. Plant trees. Kill no living things. Live in harmony with all creatures. I will restore the earth where I am. Use no more of its resources than I need. And listen, listen to what it is telling me. "- M. J. Slim Hooey
Acrylic and colored pencil on scrapbooking paper....click to enlarge image

42 comments:

  1. Beautiful illustration, touching story!

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  2. love the light coming in through the window!

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  3. this is a beautiful and thoughtful post!

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  4. This is a wonderful piecce and post! You've captured that feeling in her eyes so well. I need to copy this quote as well. It's good to know people like you are around, and making art and making intelligent, positive choices in life. Hope you have an excellent weekend.

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  5. Laurel,

    How do you create such beautiful, meaningful paintings so fast? Just yesterday you were showing me her picture in the magazine, and sharing your thoughts on how you would paint her. She truly inspired you!

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  6. aaahhh if we could all hold that quote in our hearts each day! Beautiful in every way!!!

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  7. You captured her very plaintive look perfectly! Great job with so much meaning.

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  8. Your colors are incredible. This is such a beautiful piece both in image and in sentiment.

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  9. Ohhh... I love her sweet and deep expression. Beautiful illo and entry, Laurel.

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  10. This portrait is AMAZING Laurel! So powerful and beautiful.

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  11. beautiful, inspiring piece. sad, yet full of hope. wonderful painting!

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  12. That is great work. It is very moody.
    I like her look and pose. Life could be tougher. I am glad I was not born into her situation.

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  13. This is beautiful, it almost made me cry... keep up the good work!

    greetings from the north!

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  14. So wonderful painting! Love the light and the expression in her face.

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  15. It's a great painting, you've made. Both the technical way with shadows, colors etc, but also with all that this can tell us, who luckily not is born at her place. I think you're showing both her desperation and her hope, her choose, that she will hope. And here the sprout is a great symbol of hope.

    Thankyou very much for letting us see and hear her story.

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  16. sadly beautiful
    looking in her eyes is like going through black hole of sorrow... great painting!

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  17. This is very good WoW! said Zach!

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  18. Great illo, and a story that needs to be told.

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  19. Hi Laurel - haven't been blogging much but wanted to stop in and see what you've been up to. My you have been busy and this latest piece is so moving and beautiful. It's nice to always see how much thought and caring (global & otherwise) goes into your work.

    btw i ♥ your new wallflower ladies - wonderful! will try to check back for updates.

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  20. Beautiful image.. and even greater message.

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  21. great stuff here: michael dailey

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  22. Her facial expression along with the body language are beautifully rendered. thanks for sharing the quote, beautiful!

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  23. Laurel, I honor you for honoring this woman and her story. So much expression and care in this piece. You impress and move me once again. Great work on many levels. Peace~Michelle

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  24. Oh, honey, this is beautiful and very touching. I love what was said!! I've got chills. The colors you used really captured her dignity. Hmmm. (thanks for the comment on my blog! so appreciate it). :)

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  25. This is such a strong image...the light coming from the window, and her face right up front for us to see. Both the painting and you post are powerful.

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  26. Thanks, everyone of you for always giving me such touching comments. I'm glad this piece resonated with most of you because the moment I saw her face I knew I had to know her story. I wanted to use acrid greens to allow us to feel and smell the toxins in her township. Still, a little sunshine peeks through to give her hope.
    Maybe next post the word will lend itself to warm and fuzzy animals (which I also love to do!)
    Thanks again...you make my day!

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  27. What a beautiful portrait, great work.

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and posting such nice words for my very first post. It meant a lot to me. :-)

    It's great to be part of IF now...

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  28. What an absolutely moving piece! And the writing was great too!

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  29. This post inspired mine for this weeks theme. I posted a link back to you with mine. I hope you don't mind.

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  30. Very nice...really has a 'children's illustration' feel to it and reminds me of something I might have seen in elementary school...I would give you two thumbs up but that is what I use to type with...

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  31. beautiful illo

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  32. Very meaningful illustration for this weeks topic. A beautiful and somber portrait of the harm that the North American lifestyle creates in the world.

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  33. I really like this piece of art. I would love to hang this in my house. Great job!

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  34. I really like this piece! it´s very touching and beautifully done. Great work! :)

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  35. Wow, I really like your choice of color and the mood that you created with this illustration. Nice job, as usual.

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  36. i couldn't read the words, in this purpley colour..wanted toso much, but just couldn't see them..oh shite my eyes!did you paint her? she is fantastic.

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