Tuesday, August 13, 2013
THROUGH AN ARTIST'S EYES
Because I'm an artist, I work hard at seeing the wonders of the world around me, sometimes things that most "normal" (ha,ha!) people don't notice. Yes, those eyes are mine, albeit, in a photo taken a very long time ago. That was all there was to the photo - just the eyes. I've always rather liked it, because being an artist, I'm an observer. The world comes to me through my eyes. And I've learned that not everyone sees things the same way.
I used to attempt to place my art in shows put on by NATURE people, and was always turned away, not because the art didn't hold up to that of the other artists, but because my subjects were horses, dogs, and cats. They said that my subjects were not part of the natural world. It didn't matter that I had backgrounds of fields and forest, lake and stream. I was not considered a Nature artist because I didn't have a wild animal in the painting, and because I wasn't a Naturalist -I never went out on Field Trips to swamps or the deep woods. OK, I admit it, hiking through the bush, camping out, is just not me - my idea of roughing it is unchilled champagne! I never wanted to study a dead animal if I came across one - I wanted to give it a respectful burial. But that doesn't mean that I don't see and cherish the natural world.
I discovered nature from the back of a horse. I'd never have been in the woods, the open fields, and even some watery areas if not for my horse. I'd never have traveled through the magic of a Trillium Wood in Spring and heard the spring creatures singing their joy in the season, or seen the sea of Trilliums waving around us, or experienced the magical green-lit hush of the deep forest.
I'd never have ridden beside late autumn corn fields with Canada Geese coming in to land for the night, or had the fun of a gorgeous fox inviting me to play follow the leader - FOX of course, led the game and vanished in a heartbeat when he grew tired of it. I learned to look at and appreciate the woods and pastures, but I did it in my own way, and expressed my love of these things in Equine Art.
The garden here at home opened my eyes to nature as well. So many bugs, bees, birds and little critters (I'm talking mostly about little things with fur!) to enjoy and watch. The dogs get me out in the garden every day, even if there is no garden work to be done, and they often point out something of interest. If I didn't watch what my curious dogs were doing, I may never have seen this handsome little guy.
So I have just never understood why a love and appreciation of the Natural World is, in some circles, considered invalid simply because it's seen from the back of a horse or while larking about with a dog . They were the instrument to get me out there to discover and enjoy all the wonders.
This isn't a rant about the Wild Life Art people - I love the paintings in their shows, and they are good people trying to awaken us to the wonderful world around us. So I enjoy that type of show, real time or on line, and then go back to my own path, recording in my paintings, the world the way I see it, knowing they will be enjoyed by folks who appreciate nature the same, gentler way I do.
Keep looking around you . .. you never know what you'll see!