As artists, we are able to record the details of our generation for all posterity.
To prove my point, I will mention two names: George Washington and Jesus Christ. Upon reading those names, it's without question that a "visual" popped into your head, correct?
The reason is that you have a reference to these two individuals because of artists' interpretations through the centuries. There are countless examples such as these and I simply picked these two because they are so well-known. Christ has been portrayed through imagination (no one really knows what he looked like) by thousands of artists and Washington posed several times for portraitist Gilbert Stuart, among others.
Anything that is in threat of becoming obsolete or extinct can be captured by the artist as a record or reminder to future generations.
Although photography wasn't in existence back in the day and art was the sole means of documentation, we can still use our skills to this end today.
I am an animal lover and activist for their rights and I often consider the dwindling species on this planet, which may well become extinct, never to be seen again. I recently felt compelled to render this polar bear, because their habitat is diminishing. It will be a major shame should we lose these magnificent creatures.
I challenge you to paint something that may not last forever. Just do it while you still can!
Whether it's a rustic old barn, a crumbling lighthouse or an endangered animal species.
Your portrayal today can serve as a reminder for the world tomorrow.