Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fine Art and Nature - Developing Your Artist Eye

Cape Conran is in the far North East corner of Victoria, Australia. This place is remarkable for its remoteness (no mobile phone coverage there- great for some people, frustrating for others, particularly teenagers. I found it great and liberating to be away from all the electronic "stuff"). Remarkable also for its rugged natural beauty; coastal flowering trees, gums and tea trees, miles of pristine, untouched ocean beaches, quiet lagoons and unusual rocks jutting vertically out of the sand; some dark, fossilised wood, others: pink, sensuous, monolithic boulders.

What was surprising, and insightful in a creative way, about the seascape, was how much it reminded me of my painting process; there were the large areas of colour and tones of the sea, sand and sky, swept in as in large pastel strokes. The dark tones and highlights in the waves had subtle changes of colour from aqua to ultramarine and deep violet. The sand provided a pleasing, warm, golden complementary to the seas cool blues. And then, the shoreline strewn with millions of pebbles that, at first glance looked the same size, shape and somewhat similar colours, but, on close inspection, were all different.

Some were rounded, grey and speckled like a bird's egg, others were flat discs of deep crimson, yet others were asymmetrical shapes of semi transparent grey and white quartz, while others still were ochre, oblong pebbles. Some were spotted, some were plain, some were stripped and others were unusual swirls of light and dark. Even if you tried you wouldn't be able to find two pebbles the same out of those millions on the beach creativity is endless. The pebbles were the fine details in this natural art piece. They looked randomly placed but added to the overall harmony of the whole scene- I felt like I was inside a perfect painting. It was a magical experience that has left me energised and inspired.

A change of scenery and routine, a quiet, reflective space is wonderful to rekindle or awaken creativity.

    Take a camera along or a sketch pad. It is amazing how your world will open up and show you the intricacies and wonders that surround us when you take the time to really focus and record what you are seeing.
    When you sketch or photograph, jot down what you are seeing and feeling.
    Write what is surprising or different to you.
    Also note what really attracts you about what you are recording in your drawings and photographs.

This will help you to develop your 'artist eye', which will help you to create artworks whether they are simple sketches of a few lines an original photo. The sketches, photos and writings may even inspire you to create fully realised paintings.

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