The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web. -Pablo Picasso
We have, for possibly our entire existence, had a need for nature based art. Even before we knew what art was. We needed and still need a connection with our World, whenever and wherever possible.
From the beginning of human history, nature has played a vital role in our creative expression. The lands and waters we rely on for daily survival shape how we view and interpret the world around us. And in turn, the art we create from nature’s inspiration becomes part of our personal and cultural identity.
In the United States, many people have rafted down the Mississippi River with Huck Finn or proudly sang of America’s “purple mountain majesties”, a reference to Pike’s Peak in Colorado.
In China, since the earliest dynasties, artists have glorified mountains as being the manifestation of nature’s vital power “qi,” attracting rain clouds that water crops and providing medicinal herbs that cure the sick. And in France, cave paintings have been found of horses, deer, and bulls dating back more than 17,000 years.
Nature’s beauty and power are ingrained in our lives, our history, and our culture. By conserving nature, we are helping nurture our artistic spirit and ensuring that future generations will continue to find inspiration in the natural world around us.
Nature inspired art and creative nature photography is not merely taking pictures of pretty things outside. It is a creative venture into what inspires life and why it does so. The importance of a moment that leaves lifelong impressions and helps to form a bond between oneself and the natural world. The photographs I create are not an attempt to document a place or time, though they may play such a role. They are, and become, a personal expression of my interpretation of a land, place, and time.
I attempt to create more than what most experience in ways that may not be fully understood. To ponder a sunrise or sunset, to understand what makes the grasses glow when backlit by the sun. To understand that these natural things happen regardless if one is there to witness them or not. To be thankful for the opportunity to do so whenever possible.
Gentle Contour | ©Brad Mangas