“Deep ecology does not see the world as a collection of isolated objects but rather as a network of phenomena that are fundamentally interconnected and interdependent.”
~ Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics
“Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.”
In my website bio I state, “I create art out of a need to express the ideas I feel are most important. Ultimately, I think art is about some type of communication. My inspiration, very simply put, is nature. I’m fascinated by how the universe works – by the visible and invisible connections between all things.”
Forgotten Memory, mixed media collage on antique book cover, 11.25 x 17 inches
A Long Time Coming
This post has been a long time coming. I had taken some nice photos of the fall colors at our place in the country, and wanted to share them a bit more comprehensively than can be done on Instagram. It had been quite a while since I posted anything about our beautiful retreat on the Kinniconick, so I decided it was time to do that.
But the post kept getting pushed to the back burner as other things demanded my attention. I got very busy – we went to the Smoky Mountains, then came the holidays, and my giveaway…. well, you know how it is. And since I wanted to share some of my photos from the Smokies as well, it seemed like a good idea to combine them into one post. Better late than never, as they say.
While the trees at home just turned brown from the drought, the colors in Lewis County were especially vibrant.
More Than Meets the Eye
Many artists take their inspiration from nature. There’s no doubt that images of beautiful scenery have long been, and today remain one of the most popular subjects in art. While my artwork may not be a literal, direct portrayal of the wild places I love, the symbols and motifs that appear in it reflect that natural world. I use symbols to tell visual stories about the reality that underlies the world we can see with our eyes. And at the deeper level of this unseen world, scientists tell us, everything is connected to everything else.
Our pond, framed by trees and hills.
I don’t want to get too science-y, but if you think about this for a minute, I’m sure the importance of this idea won’t be lost on you. If everything is connected, it’s not possible to affect one thing without inadvertantly affecting myriads of others. This is why, for example, we can’t (or more properly, shouldn’t) indiscriminately pour chemical fertilizers on our fields without taking into account the effect it will have on nearby streams and their ecosystems.
Behind the pond, looking toward the field and driveway
Trees in the fall sun
Looking across the field toward the pond. Huge stump of a pine that came down in a storm.
“Quantum theory thus reveals a basic oneness of the universe. It shows that we cannot decompose the world into independently existing smallest units. As we penetrate into matter, nature does not show us any isolated “building blocks,” but rather appears as a complicated web of relations between the various parts of the whole.” ~ Fritjof Capra
Looking down the creek from our ‘beach’…
… and then up the other way…
Looking across the Kinniconick at the island and hills beyond…
Luna Lumina, monoprint with mixed media
Analogy IV, monoprint with mixed media
Smoky Mountain Inspiration
In November, we were lucky enough to be able to spend a few days in the Smoky Mountains. It was warm and sunny, making for some great hiking, as well as unusually clear views of the spectacular scenery.
“The environment is in us, not outside of us. The trees are our lungs, the rivers our bloodstream. We are all interconnected, and what you do to the environment ultimately you do to yourself.”
The first trail we hiked followed this gorgeous creek, flanked by rhododendrons. It then took us by a pioneer graveyard. Many of the headstones were just flat rocks with names scratched into the surface, worn away by weather and time. If you click on the photo above, you can see that Stella Ownby died in 1907 at the age of two, which was not at all uncommon.
Passage Between, monoprint with mixed media
Everywhere we found long sections of this stone fence, a silent testament to the brave people who tried to settle this land. At one point we saw the remnants of a cabin – a stone hearth and firplace, along with some pieces of rusted metal. I have to wonder how these people would have survived.
I couldn’t get a good angle for the photo, but two creeks join together here.
We also hiked up to Andrew’s Bald. A bald is a high elevation grassy meadow in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Because it’s so open, the panoramic view is absolutely unbelievable. My panoramic videos didn’t turn out so well, however, so I put together a slide show for you!
Andrew's Bald Slider
I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my most inspiring places. Whether you’re an artist or not, being in nature can always calm, heal, and inspire us. Never forget that we are not separate from it, but are as tightly woven into the fabric of the whole as any other thread.
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”