The Intersection of Art and Nature

If you were to draw a Venn diagram of Art, nature, and exploration, the intersection of the three is exactly where I like to be. The exploration doesn’t have to be dramatic—and in my case it rarely is—but I love going out and seeing what’s happening outside and trying to capture it in my sketchbook with watercolor and a few words. I’m not looking for grand vistas as much as simple, everyday subjects that mark the changing seasons and comings and goings of creatures that exist in a world of their own. These small things not only ground me, but also make the world larger and more grand. This page illustrates some of my favorite tools of the trade at the intersection of Art and nature.

Tips and Techniques– Painting art supplies or common household objects is valuable practice for capturing different types of textures. This painting presented the challenge of painting plastic, metal, and wood, as well as the texture of the nest and markings on the eggs. In this case, I found that a few simple strokes worked better than lot of fussing. Paying attention to the edges of your subjects is also important. A clean edge is key to the object taking shape.

14 Comments on “The Intersection of Art and Nature

  1. Oh, Jean, the nest turned out lovely. I’d love to snuggle right in. I also like the precision of your pens and brushes. You definitely hit it! I will miss the current class but look forward to these inspiring ideas in your blog. Thank you.
    Judy Brook

    • Hi Judy- From the tangle I created last week to a definitive nest! I have another I found that is next in line. I enjoyed seeing what you created this week, too. (comments in the group). Glad we can stay connected here after the class ends.

    • Thanks Bernadette. In contrast to many of my pages, I planned this layout carefully, rather than letting the page evolve. I like both ways, but used this to demonstrate some techniques in my online class, so planning was necessary.

  2. You are the master of what you do. I look forward to your blog each week, and hope to one day take a class of yours

  3. It’s always fun for me to see one of your sketches or paintings that includes everyday “things.” The pens, brushes and paints are wonderfully depicted. The shiny metal on the caps of the pens and on the brushes looks really great! Not being an artist, it fascinates me how you use color in the creation. How about that crinkly tube of paint? Gee whiz, I am totally ignoring that nest and the paint splatters! HA! very fun.
    Can’t wait to see the new book.

    • Thanks Dawn! I like the challenge of painting everyday “things.” Different from nature “stuff”– they always expand and test my skills. Thanks, too, for your enthusiasm for the book!

  4. You described my approach too, in your clearly put narrative. Those three – art, nature, exploration – exactly. And it doesn’t have to be a grand exploration, as you said. Some of my tools are different but some, like color, light, line, form – are the same. 🙂
    (And ahh, I have tools like I see above – that ruler, the Micron pens, brushes, tubes, pans. I still struggle with guilt at letting them sit unused. They are wonderful vehicles).

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