Art in Nature/Nature in Art

by Melody Morrow

There are so many artists who have created wonderful works on their own special canvas using nature as their subject. Below are some world-renowned masters who continue to inspire countless millions of people with their vision and talent which captured the finest the earth has to offer.

Ansel Adams (1902-1984)

  • Ansel Adams is a legend in nature photography and wilderness preservation. He is seen as an environmental champion and a symbol of the American West, especially Yosemite National Park.  His commitment to conservation and to the Sierra Club is astounding. His signature photographs showcase his love for natural beauty and his dedication to the Earth’s most precious jewels. His photos in black and white make what he saw through his camera lens even more dramatic and rich.

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” – Ansel Adams

John James Audubon (1785-1851)

  • John James Audubon is probably the most acclaimed wildlife artist in the United States. His work can be seen in both art and natural history museums. The National Museum of Wildlife Art states that his “first publication, The Birds of America, was a 12-year enterprise that exponentially increased the knowledge of American ornithological and natural history upon its publication in 1838.” The book was a color plate documenting all types of birds in the natural environment with very detailed descriptions for each. Adubon’s book was the world’s most expensive selling at auction at Sotheby’s for 10 million dollars to an anonymous donor. Audubon was a FrenchAmerican ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. During his work on the book he identified 25 new species of birds. Although he had no role in founding the Audubon Society it was his inspiration that it was started with a mission to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.

“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.” – John James Audubon

Georgia O’Keefe (1887-1986)

  • Georgia O’Keefe had an illustrious career as a painter, which spanned seven decades. Her work can be seen today at the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico and they pride themselves on the ideal that it is the only American museum in the world dedicated to an internationally known woman artist. Born in a farmhouse in Wisconsin, she would later come to be known as a major figure in the art world for her vivid landscapes, flowers, and bones. The images she used were drawn from her life experience and related to places where she lived.

“I found I could say things with colors that I couldn’t say in any other way — things that I had no words for.” -Georgia O’Keefe

Claude Monet: (1840-1926)

  • A famous French painter and one of the founders of the Impressionism movement along with others like his friends Renoir, Sisley, Pizarro and Bazille. Monet observed variations of color and light caused by daily and seasonal changes, unlike the more traditional painters. “The Metropolitan Museum of Art describes him as leading the way to twentieth-century modernism by developing a unique style that strove to capture on canvas the very act of perceiving nature.” His Water Lillies, Sunflowers and Argentuil (red boats) are transformational if you are fortunate enough to see one up close in a gallery or museum. The best part is he got his inspiration from his vivid and colorful images in nature.

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” – Claude Monet

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