What is your art? How do you express your connection with nature through your art? These were the questions I asked readers to share. Fourteen readers contributed the unique expressions of their art. It is a great honor to share their perspectives.
Reader and contributor, Linda Hansen shared her thoughts on the subject:
Observing nature, as it intersects with humans, is truth-telling. And not the easiest to witness but maybe-hopefully, the gong-strike for change.
Basalt Mound – Michael Smith, Institute of Energy Arts
Certain types of stone, when sized, configured, and placed properly can emanate beneficial energy at a site. This mounded stone structure combines river rocks and basalt.
Michael Smith, Institute of Energy Arts, LLC www.instituteofenergyarts.com
Primitive Thinkers – Colleen Baillie
These primitive figures combine the history of humans and our co-dependence with nature throughout history. I used vegetation sprouting from the heads of the figures to represent the ways in which nature and its processes is rooted within all human beings, and also to illustrate the ways in which the human mind and nature grow and evolve over time. Colleen Baillie (To see more of this talented artist’s work go to: www.colleenbaillieart.com)
My heart shaped rock collection – Josefina Varas
Plover – Amy Simso Dean
I design and build stained glass birds – Bringing my love of birding into my home.
Amy Simso Dean
Car Scar – Linda Hansen
Car Scar is from a series of shots taken while flying over the outer metro area in my uncle’s light plane. It was amazing to see the patterns created front that vantage point; serpentine rivers, clusters of wooded areas and strings of roads connecting cities and dwellings. This shot, however, was an aerial view of someone’s dead car lot. I hope there is some redeeming value to this- recycling maybe, but I’m not sure the half life of metals and fuel/oil is a positive aspect as it leeches into the soil. There are too many cars in the world. Linda Hansen
Big Eye -Gyotaku
The fish was about 9 inches long. Since I still live by the ocean and I like to fish while birdwatching, adding fish printing made sense to me.
Gary Friedrichsen, Arcata, California.
Point Dume, Malibu, CA. – Carol Izad
These color pencil drawings remind me how grateful, peaceful and in touch I felt with the Creator when I drew them. They represent my praise. Carol Izad
Our home on Robinwood Lane in Minnetonka has a unique terraced rock garden that faces the street. I’m able to blend a variety of annuals and perennials into this space as a pallet of color with something in blossom throughout the growing season.
I enjoy bringing forth the beauty and wide range of colors the flowers offer to my friends, neighbors and those who happen to pass-by. My garden will help brighten their day and possibly invoke a feeling of the love for the Earth and Nature. – Dale Antonson
Elf Basket – made from Big Bluestem – Lawrence Wade
In creating these little baskets, I tested many different type of plants and roots to see what species would make excellent fibers for weaving. Nature was my teacher.
Often the weaving was a prolonged meditation for personal healing. One friend of mine had cancer and I remember stitching and praying for her healing from the start of the basket to finish. When my Father died, I wove some red willow into a oblong-shaped basket and all my family members wrote out a blessing or prayer for him. We put the prayers in the basket and said good-bye to him as the basket floated down Sespe Creek. Lawrence Wade
These paintings represent my impressions of two sacred sites I have visited as part of a spiritual journey I started in 1987.
The first series commemorates my trip in 2002 to an unusual mountain found on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. The Storr, also known as the “sentinel” or “old man” is illuminated by a huge crystal underneath which in turns serves as a beacon for spiritual travelers.
In addition to the esthetic appeal of the Storr, I believe I unconsciously chose this sacred site to paint first, because of personal reasons. The hike to this mountain was extremely difficult for me due to asthma. Consequently, I was not able to fully appreciate the power of this site at the time.
However, after connection to this site through paint, I experienced the intensity, brightness, and wisdom this sacred site offers. Moreover, the journey and understanding of this site corresponds to what I believe, is a personal awakening in my painting style.
The second series from the same trip in July of 2002 reflects my reactions to a circle of stones, called Callanish,(also known as Calanais), located on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland. This circle of monoliths is one of many including Stonehenge. It is thought that the site has many astrological alignments and may have been used as an advanced lunar observatory over 1500 years ago. Like the Storr, there is a huge crystal underneath the circle of stones. Also, like the Storr, the stones connect to other parts of the world and to the Universe.
Whereas the Storr calls out for brilliant color, Callanish seems gray and hazy to me. The atmosphere around the stones determines the mood. I sense the stones to be mysterious, multi-dimensional, subtle and somewhat anthropomorphic I have therefore attempted to convey their mysterious presence in a more monochromatic color scheme, and have used pastels to enhance some of the misty effects. Joan Ungar – joanungar.com
South African Trees – Jessica Blum
This 3 x 6 foot painting is of South African trees. I chose to paint them because they are resilient – they have a reputation for surviving high winds and elevations. Yet they still grow and thrive, which makes them most inspiring. I love the asymmetry of Nature, and all it’s beauty. Jessica Blum
Beaver Shield – Stefanie Schmid
I connect with nature on a spiritual level. I see the circle of life, and how all living things are important to exist for another’s survival.
A Native American Shaman gave me a beaver shield and told me to paint what comes to my mind, and return it to him, because he likes the collaboration between his art (the assembly of the beaver shield) in conjunction with my painting on the skin.
The beaver was found dead on the side of the road, and the Shaman was never to be found again, despite numerous attempts at reaching him. It was strange how he entered my life, sharing his”natural” artistic talent with me, while celebrating an animal that is considered to be a symbol of hardwork, wisdom, and good luck (different according to specific tribes), and then vanished.
This beaver has been brought back to life in a different form. It was re-birthed. Not as a living animal, but as a celebrated work of art. I am connected to nature by the circle of life, and the different interpretations it has upon diverse cultures.
Fairy Garden – Cheryl Mahin
I enjoyed buying the woodland props for my fairy hidden under the watering can and the two fairies in the swing in the back. I bought rocks and a bag of moss. My daughter suggested I could find those things around the yard. So the paths were created with rocks from the yard and moss from the cabin and the woods behind our house. Now the fairy garden feels like part of my home. Cheryl Mahin
Yogi Bear on the Deck – Susan O’Donnell
I love watching animals in their natural settings. This young bear was hungry, and he came right up on my deck. He found my humming bird feeder and drank the nectar from it. Susan O’Donnell