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Hannah Heaton

Oil Painter

“The land is the real teacher. All we need as students is mindfulness.” – Robin Wall Kimmerer

Through the practice of painting I become more aware of the greater ecosystem, of which I am a vital part. The wavelengths of light which bounce off the terrain before transform into the kinetic energy of brushstrokes on the canvas. My process typically involves plein air painting outside and as symbols arise from the elements from my surrounding, a conversation unfolds between my subconscious and the soul of my environment.

Somewhere along our evolutionary path, perhaps when agriculture was invented and the need to control the land surpassed our ability to be in balanced reciprocity with it, we created an illusion of separateness from each other and from the land. Adapting ideas from great thinkers such as David Abram, Erich Fromm and Daniel Quinn, self-destructive behaviors arise from a longing to return to our natural place within the ecosystem, rather than the unrestricted domination so common to modern practices. To numb the pain of separation we might ingest drugs, alcohol, and food, or shelter in unexamined biases. For me, the answer has been to paint.

I paint to find myself in unity with my surroundings and through the finished work I hope to aid others in rediscovering our long-lost connection. With the utilization of alluring imagery, I draw the viewer in, invoking them to question their own relationship to their surroundings and inspiring them to explore the mysteries of their own existence.


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