Hello Everyone! Madeline Lynch here from the United States. I am a 30 year old artist, adventurist, and graduate student at Teacher's College, Columbia University, located here in New York City. In my masters program I am currently studying the bridge between psychology and spirituality from a Western perspective. I believe in primary scource & direct experience learning as education. I have a strong interest in nature and love her for her beauty and great teachings. I believe the natural wold holds the keys for spirituality/consciousness, and understand what it means to be human.
As an artist, acrylic paint, industrial water colors, and store bought oil paint has been the main medium that I work with, particularly due to the fact that that is what is available to me and taught to me as art making materials from my culture and era.
Its like now a days when you ask a kid where milk comes from? and he says "The Grocery Store".....
As a kid and young adult, though I recognized that paint and color had to come from some where, I never really gave it a second thought until a little later in life when I was trigered by building my medicine bundle and I was asked where my stones came from. Through this new questioning, I also became more aware of the signatures that my materials carry... Signatures meaning: what is the product or material made out of? how the product was processed and made? how far it took to get to me? the molecular structure of it? the structure and collective conscious symbolic signature of it?
Traveling outside of the USA opened my eyes and ears to sense materials and products differently. I saw people build beautiful woven jungle roofs from sticks and palm branches, or homes and stoves made from mud and hay. I also saw many things being creativity and innovatively repurposed... like big leaf for an umbrella, lawn motor engine for a boat engine, or plastic bottles stuffed with plastic wrappers to build walls.. all kinds of stuff.
I also would travel a lot by bus. When I was taking long bus rides across the South American landscape I would see hundreds and hundreds of acers of land that I was told once was a thriving forest now turned into rows and rows of a mono-crops to process palm oil or bananas....
One of my goals of my travel was to visit the sacred places in nature. I wanted build my medcine bundle myself, and collect these signatures. So, I visited the great forests of the amazon of Peru or the high mountains of the Andies...the deserts, glaciers, waterfalls.... and I got to know nature on a personal level....
However, as an artist, I would also bring my own acrylic paints on my journeys... and I realized after awhile, even pouring out the cups to wash them was harming the beautiful environment that I was living in and getting to know. I was using acrylic paint which is basically chemically dyed liquid plastic..... I realized I was part of the problem. And to me, as a visitor I would maybe never see the long term effects on the environment but to the natives who survived off the land, this was not the case. Living there, and getting to know how the life works there, I easily and fully understood that the health of their land is the vitality of their own survival.
In the experiences with the communities, we talked about how it is so backwards for humans to poop in water... They would say: "Why would you want to poop in your water? and contaminate your drinking source of life?" "Pooping on the Earth is one of the most sacred and important things you can do... it returns nutrients and material to the land to be fertilized..." -Kogi
... what could I say? The Kogi Mamo had a point....
However, ... in other communities they are like I was, unaware. Because some of these industrial materials are new to them, they do not know the harm they cause when these plastic materials are treated the same way they use to treat organic wastes.... In the not too long past, people would wrap their lunch in a banana leaf and throw it on the ground. There, it decomposes with no harm. Now, plastic has become the new sandwich wrap - the new banana leaf, and when treated the same way, thrown on the ground, it will not just disappear back into the Earth. In small villages in Ecuador Ive smelled and seen people burning plastic and using weed killing poisons like Round Up because it is cheep and they do not know how harmful it is to their health.
Anyway: So both of these factors has more than sparked my interest in discovering more about natural and sustainable art making processes. I know, or at least hope we can do better.
On top of all this: I want to become a teacher. I want to learn how to be a better educator and to present art making as a tool for expression and healthy emotional living as it has been for me all my life.
1) I am interested in created deeply meaningful and powerful artwork that holds energetic signatures.
I feel that by learning the process to make paint and inks from different plants and stones I can develop a more intimate relationship with my paintings by understanding where the materials come from and the beauty of nature itself. I feel the artwork that is made from organic and found materials still hold the story and frequency of the life it has lived and seen, and I find this fascinating.
2) I am interested in harming less of the Earth.
I want to be more authentic with my relationship with the Earth & Natural environment and still continue to keep myself healthy by expressing through visual arts.
For this course this summer, I will be organizing small classes and workshops a few different locations throughout the weeks, including at an artist studio in SoHo, an herbal elixir lounge / community space in Brooklyn, and at a library in Puntey, Vermont. I plan to be working with an adult population of students pulled from friends, and friends of friends who are also interested in sustainable art making practices. I do not know exactly how these workshops and classes will benefit this population yet, however I hope that it stimulates an interest for sustainable art practices and makes these methods more accessible to more people and communities.
Ps. If you are interested in seeing my artwork you can check it out here: