open studio: coral reef by kelly heaton

Coral Reef, 2016.  Digital photo collage.  Kelly Heaton

Protect our rich natural heritage.  Heaven isn't somewhere we go when we die; it's right here, right now, and we're all at risk of going to Hell if we don't take care of the environment.

open studio: wish you were here by kelly heaton

Wish You Were Here, 2016.  Digital photo collage.  Kelly Heaton

Vintage resistors hamming it up on a trashy beach.  The ocean is green due to toxic algal bloom, but never mind.  Electricity doesn't like water, anyway.

open studio: destination wedding by kelly heaton

Destination Wedding, 2016. Digital photo collage. Kelly Heaton

Coral reefs have it bad.  Coral is suffering from so many different problems, it's hard to be optimistic about the existence of reef ecology beyond this century.  Increased temperatures and UV radiation lead to bleaching; water pH (think acid rain) disintegrates coral; chemical-run off is poisonous; biological waste supports algal growth where it does not belong; fisherman actually detonate underwater explosives to "catch" fish; fishermen also douse coral with cyanide to paralyze fish for capture; boats gouge coral with propellors and anchors; sediment from erosion and dredging smothers coral; people collect coral; swimmers stand on reefs without realizing their fragility; and then there's trash.

Snorkeling is one of my favorite activities.  It's like entering another world, full of color, texture and sculptural form.  There are few experiences more amazing than exploring a living reef.  Unfortunately, it is ever-harder to find reefs that are healthy ... but there I go sinking into environmental depression.  I need to make more pretty and humorous images.  Vorwärts!

open studio: pretty bad by kelly heaton

Pretty Bad, 2016.  Digital photo collage (sketch).  Kelly Heaton

I'm old enough to remember when water was free.  Bottled water started appearing in the late 1970s as a gourmet fad (think Evian and Perrier).  I thought it was a ridiculous luxury product, even more absurd when they started to bottle plain water.  Tap water is safe and free.  I get why people drink bottled water in countries where sanitation is a concern, but here in the USA? Wikipedia says "The U.S. is the largest consumer market for bottled water in the world, followed by Mexico, China, and Brazil.  In 2008, U.S. bottled water sales topped 8.6 billion US gallons (33,000,000 m3) for 28.9% of the U.S. liquid beverage market, exceeding sales of all other beverages except carbonated soft drinks, they are followed by fruit juices, and sports drinks.  Americans drink 21 US gallons (79 L) of bottled water per capita per year."  Forget the waste of money, it's just plain bad behavior.  


open studio: apocalypse of the heart by kelly heaton

Apocalypse of the Heart, 2016.  Digital photo collage. Kelly Heaton

In case you're wondering why the flurry of blogging, I am once again bedridden - this time, with a bad cough and malaise.  I'm sketching ideas on my computer, so it's not all bad.  In case you're wondering why the cheesy apocalyptic image: I am obsessed with human impact on the planet and it makes me awfully depressed, but I am determined to cure myself with humor and beauty.  As a child of the 70's, there's nothing dearer to my heart than a technicolor view of life, especially where love and nature are concerned.  Admittedly, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is a product of the '80s, but the shoe fits.

open studio: climate turner by kelly heaton

Climate Turner, 2016.  Digital photocollage (sketch) using trash, smog, wires, electronic components and the composition of J. W. Turner's painting "Peace - Burial at Sea," from 1842.

open studio: a voice crying in the wilderness by kelly heaton

A voice crying in the wilderness.  Digital photo collage (sketch), 2016.  Kelly Heaton

Human population is skyrocketing along with our impact on planet earth: smog, loss of natural habitat, loss of diversity, global spread of invasive pests, deforestation, exploitation of natural resources, landfills, toxic waste, garbage in the ocean, death of coral reefs, pesticides everywhere, crowded cities, escalating competition for resources, drought, soil erosion, ... the list goes on. Because our numbers are so many, even small or unintended actions add up to a big problem: eating seafood or beef, burning wood or coal, drinking bottled water, disposable packaging, pissing medication into the water supply, driving a car, and so on.  A manmade solution to population growth is not obvious, which is to say, no ethical solution has materialized.  It appears that we are on a collision-course with nature's solution to excessive population: death by bottleneck.  Surely there is an alternative.  Surely we can all agree to be a little more reasonable, if that means to save our kind?  Or are our natural instincts to reproduce, and to compete for resources, so strong that we cannot save ourselves?