There is a long history of artists going out into the natural world to portray its beauty and learn its secrets. Among the most well known are artists like Claude Monet, who painted from his Giverny garden in France, depicting the shifting light and seasonal changes, and naturalists like James Audubon, who created detailed illustrations of American birds that are valued both as works of art and as scientific documents. Today, there is a revived en plein air trend among artists who make novel use of natural elements. Three artists working in this mode are Peter Matthews and the collaborative team formed by Paul Bartow and Richard Metzgar. By utilizing ocean water and the movement of trees, respectively, these artists relinquish control of their compositions to environmental processes, allowing nature to become not only the subject of their work but also the agent of its production.
Portraits of Land and Sea
October 1, 2012 Issue 04 Art