The road to creativity:
An eco-artist heads home
Watch an environmental painter clean up the world with art
For Mariah Reading, art is more than just a creative pursuit — it’s a way to live out a higher cause.
A classically-trained landscape painter from Bangor, Maine, Reading paints litter she finds in nature to blend into the surrounding environment, focusing on using her art to promote sustainability. She’s been living on the road as an artist for more than a year, making her way across the country to Alaska, but she’s finally ready to come home.
After returning to the east coast, Reading travels to a local point of interest for a creative jumpstart: Mount Desert Island, where she seeks renewed inspiration from the serene winter setting around her.
She navigates a 2020 Subaru Outback through snowy off-road terrain on a mission to find debris she can use as new surfaces for painting, including one large piece that turns out to be her biggest project yet. Back in her studio, Reading gathers her collected canvasses and sets to work, transforming each into a landscape infused with the real-world beauty of Maine in the winter.
At her journey’s end, Reading reflects on her year spent traveling and how moving it was to bring her art — and her passion for environmental awareness — back home.