Trompe L'Oeil Paintings by Michael James Riddet

Paintings 3

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Population Dynamics
Acrylic on Panel 20" x 24" This Painting is Available

"Mother Nature always bats last...and she's a tough out"      
This prophetic quote from Dr. Bassim (Sam) Shakhashiri, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison is a quaint reminder to us all that we are only one of almost two million species sharing the resources of our planet Earth. Within and between species, population dynamics are continually changing and are at the mercy of a myriad of natural factors and resources. Homo sapiens, the newcomer, a most unique species, seems to delight in destroying those very resources he depends upon as well as the ecosystems harboring all other species.  Thirty five years ago, I taught environmental education and warned of many of the problems facing our planet today. Only other choir members listened.  The exploitation and destruction continued at an unprecedented rate. The naysayers turned a deaf ear. Our spineless politicians gave their usual lip service. The global situation became worse. The simple truth is that the Earth needs a rest. Sustainable consumption on a global level can be attained but not overnight as the "nouveau green" would have us believe. Perhaps within one hundred years, but only through drastic management of human population growth either by personal choice or letting Mother Nature make it for us.
Now that we are finally addressing global climate change, something predicted by computer models in the 1980's, there are still many who dispute the facts. As Americans, we were led blindly for eight years by way of "Bush Science", an interesting amalgamation of politics, patronage, fundamentalism, greed, blatant ignorance, lies and apparent stupidity. American society, like a stubborn mule, keeps its blinders on and follows the mantra, "ignorance is bliss".  The most ignorant statement I hear is "How could the activities of man possibly have anything to do with harm to our planet, let alone climate change?" Live for the moment, reap what resources I can while they last and to hell with the planet. The blame is not confined to America. Emerging economies in India and China, not to mention so many smaller nations, mostly tropical, which are caught up in the false promises of globalization and its attached free trade agreements with the power brokers of the world are equally responsible. Free trade, in a nut shell, means cheap labor, cultural and environmental destruction and ultimate misery for the masses while those feeding at the top of the pig trough get fat and wealthy. Wake up folks! There is no such thing as "good" or "bad" in nature, just consequences.

Buffalo Wings
91/2" x 14" Acrylic SOLD

14" x 18" Acrylic Private Collection


Using period flyers or "broadsides" as references for this painting, "Under the Trees" represents a social commentary on the hypocrisy of the white Christian community during the period of slavery in America. An ice cream church social on Sunday, followed by a sale of human flesh the following day in a small community's gathering place  referred to as 'under the trees'.  Only three colors were needed for the painting. Black, white and blood red.

Acrylic 24" x 30" Private Collection

Acrylic on masonite 18" x 24" Original is available

"Houston, we Have a Problem" depicts a standard museum insect case. It happens to be from my own collection and contains a number of Tiger Moths. As is the case in all insect collections, a museum "pest" has gained access to the case and laid an egg or two on one of the moth specimens, resulting in the larval pest destroying the specimen. I added the collecting label from the Houston Museum of Natural History as a reference to the title as well as a little humor. 

Acrylic 14" x 18" Private Collection

A Fly Selection
Acrylic 8" x 10" Private Collection
Acrylic 9" x 11" Private Collection