Friday, February 7, 2014

How do you connect with nature?

How do we connect with nature? For me it is as simple as going outdoors and reveling in it's beauty, letting my senses become alert to the sounds, the smells, the sight of the light, the colors around me.  And because I am an artist,  trying to capture some of that energy to take home.  My inspiration comes from that first moment of awe, when I see something that strikes me as beautiful.  And then I need to paint it. 

Well, perhaps not that simple, because in order to appreciate nature, we have to really be in it, not just outdoors with all the voices in our head; the lists of things to do, revisiting conversations with people where we second guess our words.   Focused internally on our worries, we can be out in nature and notice nothing. 

I am going to share a new painting and how my connecting with nature inspires my works of art. I welcome your thoughts on this subject.   
"Autumn View from Mohonk Mt. House Carriageway"
16x20 watercolor

I caught sight of this breathtaking vista while walking on a Carriage Road at the Mohonk Mountain House resort in New Paltz, N.Y. I immediately was drawn to paint it.  I loved the bright yellow tree and the flaming reds that the Blueberry leaves turn in the Fall.  I wanted to capture the white rocks, contrasting with the dark green Pines and the sense of being on top of the world looking way out into the distance.   I was on a hike with a friend that day, so had to settle for taking photos instead of painting on location.  It is that first glance at something striking, that catching of my breath that is the impetus for me to paint.  To capture a piece of this in a painting is like taking home a part of nature, an attempt to recreate that moment of joy.  

This painting derived from that moment; the memory of it preserved with the photos taken that day.   For one reason or another, it did not get painted in the Fall.  Instead, the drawing has been on my watercolor block for months awaiting the next stage.  Last week I finally picked it up and started it, which is is how I found myself today reliving fall in the dead of winter.  I hope you enjoyed  "Autumn View from Mohonk Carriageway".  

To see more of my paintings or purchase originals, prints or cards, visit my website at

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