Fingerpaintings: Greenland 70

Greenland #70 (All images courtesy of Zaria Forman)

At first glance, the work of Brooklyn-based artist Zaria Forman looks remarkably like photography, but make no mistake — these are hyperrealistic pastel drawings that she creates with her fingertips.

As you flip through her portfolio, it doesn't take long to figure out that Forman is an artist who has no problem confronting the issue of climate change head-on in her work.

In 2012, she embarked on the "Chasing the Light" sailing expedition to Greenland in hopes of drawing inspiration from the ever-changing arctic landscape. The expedition, which traveled up the northwest coast of the massive country, traces the 1869 journey of William Bradford, an American artist known for his paintings of sailing ships and Arctic seascapes.

"My mother, Rena Bass Forman, had conceived the idea for the voyage, but did not live to see it through," Forman explains on her website. "During the months of her illness, her dedication to the expedition never wavered and I promised to carry out her final journey."

To Forman, the resulting body of work from Greenland represents the act of "saying goodbye" on both a global and personal scale.

Fingerpaintings: Greenland 62

Greenland #62

In keeping with her dedication to the subject of climate change, she found herself in the Maldives a year after her Greenland excursion.

As the lowest lying country in the world, the Maldives' 26 tropical atolls are in imminent danger of being swallowed up by the ocean waves as sea levels continue to rise. Forman explores this ecologically ominous yet sublime force in her Maldives series, which can be seen below:

Fingerpaintings: Maldives 1

Maldives #1

In addition to Greenland and the Maldives, Forman's work reflects the beauty found in destinations including Costa Rica, Israel and Svalbard. Continue below for a brief tour of her portfolio, and be sure to check out  her website, Facebook and Instagram to learn more.

Fingerpaintings: Nosara 2

Nosara #2

Fingerpaintings: Maldives 9

Maldives #9

Fingerpaintings: Greenland 71

Greenland #71

Fingerpaintings: Svalbard 30

Svalbard #30

Fingerpaintings: Nosara 1

Nosara #1

Fingerpaintings: Greenland 69

Greenland #69

Fingerpaintings: Israel

Israel #2

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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

Pastel drawings look like photographs of Earth's epic battle with climate change
Believe it or not, these are not photographs!