Friday, July 04, 2008

Art/Nature/Environment Thoughts

Celebrating our Nation's Independence

I've been thinking about what the arts to which we are attracted say about us as individuals. I was viewing a television program featuring paintings of Monet the French painter, who is among my favorites. I like the attention Monet gives to water, reflections, light on many of his canvases.

Then, I was reminded that another famous artist to whom I have long been attracted is Debussy. He, too, focuses on water in some of his work, but with music.

I long ago became aware that whenever I use visual imagery for relaxation, the scenes my mind often conjures are mental pictures of water. Often I'm sitting alone in a boat gracefully resting on the calm clear blue waters of a small lake that in turn is surrounded by a narrow sandy beach leading to green forests of tall majestic trees.

Since I started writing here and subsequently in a writing class, I have sometimes used metaphors to describe my feelings. I have noted the emergence of the language of water, including references to streams, creeks, rivers, lakes, oceans, waves, storms, rain and its variations.

Our natural environment and nature is such a part of life for so many of us. We value those park and wilderness areas around us. We attempt to bring some part of that nature to our homes. Some of us delight in carefully designed and planted garden areas -- a specific place for certain plants and flowers, all planned much as certain types of artists organize the color in their paintings.

Others prefer plants, flowers in random placement much as they would appear in nature. Some have a combination of both approaches. I have lived with the structured design that clearly conveys to me the desire, or need, to exercise control over one more aspect of life.

What I know is that I prefer and feel most comfortable in the setting where the randomness of nature prevails, where nature is permitted to exercise some freedom, too. Just as I do not want to overwhelm and impose myself upon nature, I do not want nature's plants, vegetation, flowers to do the same to me, and so we reach agreement with each other.


  1. Hi Joared
    I'm a water person too. I like your idea of reaching balance with nature.

  2. I, too, love both Monet's art and Debussy's music. Your comments here are excellent!!

  3. There seem to be a lot of us water people and I, too, love Monet. I've just recently become a blogger and the most fun is finding so many other people who enjoy the same things. You express things beautifully!

  4. I especially am drawn to the art of Matisse. His vibrant colors and childlike expressionism appeals to my inner child.

  5. I'm definitely a water person. I love my home by the water. And I swim almost every day.
    As I get older, nature becomes more and more important to me and artifice no longer delights me as much as it once did.
    But I remain eclectic in my artistic and musical tastes.

  6. I think we are all drawn to water, our original source and what makes up 98% of our bodies. It's only natural. I have never learned to swim, but love being or on water - Lake Superior is my favorite. It is in constant movement and continually throws treasures up on it's shores. And Debussy is also a favorite of mine. His tone poems (he hated that description of his music) always leave me feeling calm but invigorated trying to follow his musical thoughts. And some of his works were playful and fun. He led an interesting life and conveyed it to his music.

    I think the best thing in life is to strike a balance with nature. To try it any other way is futile - nature will always be quicker then us humans!

  7. I enjoyed my visit Joared. I moved to the mountains near a lake in October. It's fantastic, except for all the CA fire's smoke.

  8. Give me a Georgia O'Keefe or a nice Remington. I even like the abstract western weirdness of Marsden Hartley.

  9. You put me to shame, Jo Ann, with your writing ability. I do enjoy your posts and especially this one.

    I love Debussy and his Le Mer is beautiful. He also composed music to other things in nature such as Clare de Lune (the moon) which I play often to keep in practice.

    Monet's Water Lilies are favorite paintings also, but Renoir is my artist of choice.

  10. I love such a variety of ART and MUSIC...All I really know is, I couldn't live without either...and so much depends on the presentation of each....!
    A very interesting post, Joarad....!

    BTW: I posted a third installment about The Farm...a "then & now" post, with pictures...!

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