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The Many Shades of Green

I grew up in Detroit. My surroundings included concrete sidewalks, telephone poles, railroad tracks, asphalt freeways, brick homes, and factories. Trees and parks were nearby but seldom noticed.

On a road trip with three college friends, I learned a new language. We travelled from East Lansing, Michigan, to Goshen, Indiana, home to a large Amish community. As we neared our destination, we shared a 2-lane road with a couple of horse-drawn carriages. Slowed down to Amish time, 15 mph, we took in the sights. One of us suggested an activity: name the different shades of green we saw along the way.

I did not possess a vocabulary to describe nature. ‘Shades of green’ was an all-encompassing adjective. Green was the word I used to describe Midwest gardens, fields, forests, and farmlands.

We pulled over and wandered through the lush landscape. My friend pointed out maple, oak, spruce, apple, and pine trees waving in a gentle breeze. Each tree came into focus when described. I observed a rich mosaic of grasses, shrubs, and trees. A riot of colors and underlying geometries gleamed in the filtered sunlight. With some guidance, my awareness grew to associate the colors jade, teal, pear, basil, laurel, emerald, moss, pine, shamrock, and sage with flora in the surrounding landscape.

Making sense of nature requires being present. We often look without seeing.

This awareness provides an opportunity to give ourselves to something bigger than ourselves. It’s a spilling open to beauty, to all that is alive around us.

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Marlene Sinicki
Marlene Sinickihttps://lilomar.com/
Marlene Sinicki is an Artist, Designer, and Visual Storyteller. She brings ideas to life for people that care about the greater good. Connecting meaning-making and the arts and design that sparks change are her passions. Marlene’s visual storytelling experience spans multiple disciplines, including painting, illustration, graphic design, photography, presentations, and writing. She has worked as an Art Director and Project Manager for dozens of strategic design projects that provided voice and vision to the collective stories of companies and organizations. Marlene draws on aesthetics and optimism, the ideals of beauty, as a strategy to create hope and a positively imagined future. Her fine arts studio practice fuels her commercial projects. The wisdom of nature and global sustainability opportunities permeate her abstract and representational paintings and drawings. Flowing lines, vibrant colors, and organic forms emphasize the subject’s aliveness. While culture prizes technology and piles of data, Marlene creates visual haikus to reconnect sensuality with ecology. She encourages a respect for our earthly mother and a socially responsible and generative approach to saving her. The art is a glimpse of intimate encounters with the ephemeral. Marlene wants the familiar to feel new again, to make the invisible visible, in order to telegraph the light within.

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