The Garden Muse: Nature and Art
Published 8:05 am Saturday, April 1, 2023
There has been a lot of discussion lately regarding nature and art. Art exists everywhere in nature, all one needs to do is simply observe the natural world around them and an infinite number of artistic examples will become apparent.
A lot of people assume art consists of simply the Fine Art world of painting, usually in oil. But the world of Art consists of so much more. In addition to the Visual Arts which would include painting, drawing, and sculpting we are so fortunate to have Graphic Arts (design), Musical Arts (vocal & instrumental), Culinary Arts (food) and Literary Arts (writing of poetry, drama, story) and many subgroups to these categories.
And so the question that has vexed many over time…Are artists naturally born with talent and creativity or are both a learned skill? Begs to be asked. I have seen much debate on the topic of late. Pablo Picasso believed that every child is born an artist and that the problem for all is how to remain one once we grow up. Others in the world of academia believe that art is merely a skill that when exercised develops to different levels in each person.
I believe that we are all born with a natural inherent creative ability. The natural world around us and the environment that one is subject to as a child and throughout young adulthood significantly determines how ‘artistic’ a person will or will not be.
There are so many different cultural and societal factors that shape a person in this world. Creativity and artistic traits in general are not considered essential life skills to be developed and focused on while growing up in many cultures. Fortunate are those individuals that are allowed to grow into their own person and follow a path of their own choosing, with the blessing of their family. Often these people are found to be extremely creative and intuitively deep thinkers.
That being said I also believe that once a person has found their artistic calling so to speak, often times their creative abilities are strengthened or improved by continual practice and education in the specific art field of choice.
Cezanne, Homer, Monet, Van Gogh, and Bierstadt are just a few great artists that all had a deep connection with nature; it is very apparent in many of their works of art. There are many more who were equally inspired by the natural world around them. Nature has a way of awakening latent creativity and the often unexpected ability to recognize subjects of true art in a person. Maybe because when we are out in nature our inhibitions are lowered and we are more relaxed and able to connect with our true selves.
Dawn Conrad is a Retired Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener, Herbalist, Writer and Artist. She can be contacted at email@example.com.