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March 15, 2021
By Chelsea Reed
Outdoors and artwork...they make a great couple, don’t they? From the first days of cave paintings, it seemed only natural (ahem, pardon the pun,) for the two to stay together. And it’s no wonder. From idyllic walks through the woods to sunrises on the beach, to epic hikes in the mountains, nature not only inspires us, it’s healthy for us...inside, and out. Why, the great outdoors has even inspired great art movements through the ages. Just look at Impressionism, Naturalism, and Art Nouveau for starters. Many of these famous pieces which now rest in museums began as ideas conceived in the fresh air and lively greenery.
Such ideas are worth noting in the history of art. Let’s take a look at why this dynamic relationship works so well, and how it will fare for them in the future.
Mattamuskeet Tapestry by Lee Mims, oil painting.
From Land to Sea
The outdoors inspires so much more besides the typical landscape genre. Whether the subject is an animal, a person, or even a building, an outdoor backdrop sets the tone quite nicely. It can tell the viewer a lot of things about what the art is portraying. Does the environment give a hint on the subject’s native culture or habitat? Are they traveling, and if so, why? How is the subject interacting with their environment? Is there any outdoor element symbolism?
Nautical artwork tells an important story in maritime history and the dramatic legacy of man and the water. At times the sea is a cruel tempest, damaging many ships and structures since historical times. But then it calms again and becomes a safe haven for wildlife, and a sanctuary for the human body and soul. Such is the tale of the sea, and timeless nautical art captures it beautifully.
Three Amigos by Lee Mims, oil painting
Caring for Our Earth
As society around the world increased in industrialization, so too did the realization of protecting our natural environment. Thus, groups of artists have gained momentum over the years to increase awareness about precious parks and wildlife through the tender emotion of art. Some artists have even created their pieces with natural resources such as branches or recycled scrap metal. Others partner with wildlife organizations or donate a portion of their art sales to them to make a difference.
Perhaps these grassroots movements have inspired today’s generation to become more conscious about the environment in our daily lives. Green energy, organic foods, and the rising popularity of thrift stores are some apparent examples of this phenomenon. These trends provide some evidence that preserving our precious Earth is a hopeful reality. Because of that inspiration, the relationship between art and the outdoors will last for an even greater time to come.
On Golden Pond, by Lee Mims, oil painting
Looking for More Outdoor Art?
Seaside Art Gallery has tons of gorgeous art that is inspired by nature. Take a look online now, or visit the Gallery’s showrooms in person. Seaside Art Gallery has the largest private art collection in the Southeast and caters to a wide range of art genres for varying tastes. Will you respond to the call of the outdoors? You just might find a piece that speaks to you.
Chelsea Reed is a copywriter who writes online content, articles, blogs, and websites from her base in North Carolina
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