It's easy to be facile about the interconnectedness of things, perhaps because it represents our supreme hope. Yet it may also be our greatest fear: that we are not greater than but the same as all else. I have a BS in Soil & Water Science from the University of California, Davis, and an MS in Natural Resources from Humboldt State University. Of course nothing we learn ever goes unused, and my interest in the natural world has continued, but in a less rigid structure. In my work I mingle science and emotionalism. People place themselves at the center of their world, and fail to recognize the systematic importance or the “soul” (essence, dignity, nobility) of plants and other animals. Without plants and photosynthesis in particular, there would be no mechanism for energy input into the living world. Viewers may experience my work as strongly aesthetic because I portray natural elements carefully rendered in settings either richly worked or ethereal. However, I see my work as strongly emotional and political. Just the act of placing these objects at the center, enlarged and dominating, challenges our notion of a world centered about ourselves. My animals are caught in a moment of some stress, i.e. living. My plant subjects are not flowers but less conspicuous parts. Observed reality is prismed by my own sense of wonder, creating an unsentimental but empathetic view. It is an aesthetic of challenged beauty, with loss and tenacity and possibility as common themes. I am inspired by the same subjects as always: stalking denizens of the fields and air in order to picture them back to us. Their portraits invite us to remember them, to be discomforted, and to meditate on our relationship with them: our place among them, and within them looking back at us. I paint in oils, on wood.   

Amy Granfield