Sunday, March 7, 2010

Nature Inspires Art

 

I’ve always been inspired in my art with my garden and the natural world. Taking hikes into the forests, walking along the rugged coastline or wandering amongst tall redwood trees close to where I lived were always inspiring to me. My artwork reflects this reverence to this world and the things I observe closely.

 

I love using wood panels as a canvas because the grains show the organic and beautiful patterns and complementing the burning effects (wood burned outlines and detail work). I follow up with acrylics and oil pastels to give the colors more vibrancy and individuality in the details.  Birds and animals come and visit my work and create whimsy in the composition.

 

Here are some samples of some pieces I keep in my home to remind me of these places I love and events that happen and things that inspire at the moment.

 

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This last panel is a tribute to an artist, Frederick William Frohawk who did an amazing series of illustrations of Hawaiian Flora and Fauna in the 1890’s and was instrumental in documenting many of the extinct birds or birds that are close to extinction in Hawaii during that time frame.

I’ve always been attracted to these posterized illustrations and this is an homage to that type of composition. These are Iiwi birds  or Hawaiian Honey Creepers (Vestiaria Coccinea ) in the rain forests of Volcano National Park. The Iiwi are a major part of Hawaiian myth and folklore. Their feathers were used primarily as the main portion of the cloaks of the ancient Hawaiian chiefs and priests. They are still alive and feeding off the Ohia Lehua trees and other flowering trees in the native rain forests of Hawaii.

 

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16 comments:

Edith Hope said...

Greetings Noel, I had no idea until now that you are an accomplished artist as well as a plantsman and a photographer. I am sure that these talents of yours are only the tip of a much larger iceberg.

Your paintings on wood, and the explanations you give, are of much interest and allow the onlooker to understand more easily what the work is about, and why. I have enjoyed this posting very much indeed.

Carol said...

Fabulous painting Noel! I especially love the last one. You are quite the talent!

jeansgarden said...

Noel, You are so talented. Wow! Thanks for sharing your painting with us. -Jean

Amy said...

Those are wonderful and I love the use of the wood panels that show the detail. Enjoyed your beautiful post!

debsgarden said...

These are beautiful! I enjoyed seeing your artwork. You are obviously an extremely creative person, and we bloggers are blessed to have you share your talents with us.

Jennifer said...

lovely - and I agree that the natural wood grain is the right choice for them. Beautiful!

Liza said...

You are so talented, Noel! Lovely paintings, and I love the wood canvases.

Kate said...

These are quite lovely. You have a great gift. I spend a lot of time in nature contemplating colors for my own garden...

Kimberly said...

Noel, your talent doesn't seem to have an end, which is a wonderful thing for the rest of us!! Beautiful paintings!

The Rainforest Gardener said...

I'm really impressed! They remind me of victorian botanical engravings but in a more eastern style, as if done on rice paper. Believe it or not, wood is my favorite material to work with as well and I've done a lot of nudes in oil pastel on boards of plywood. The tooth is very accepting of the oil pastel, which is applied in a thick and buttery consistency and the wood is also very forgiving of mistakes where paper usually starts to fall apart. From what it looked like I would practically beat the crap out of the boards but end up with an almost pointillist effect. You have to give it a try sometime, though I think that your current technique is much more inventive, especially with the woodburning. Excellent work! What a great idea for nature illustration.

leavesnbloom said...

Noel you really do be inspired by nature. Did you find that when you first started painting and taking your photographs that you saw the world with a new set of eyes. Such beauty in simple things that others would overlook.

Your last painting in stunning - I really love it. My mum is an artist and its something that one day I would like to take up also. Its quite unique for me to see such a lovely background to your paintings.

Joseph said...

thanks for sharing your art! the wood panels do add texture and depth to the burnings.

hands down, being outdoors and one with nature is the best source of inspiration i know. as a kid, i would spend all daylight hours turning over rocks, wading streams, climbing fences and exploring forests. still today, my idea of a relaxing vacation is primitive camping in the back country with little else than a pack, a few rations, water and, of course, a pen and notebook. you never know when inspiration will come, but you can almost bet it will when you take time to inhale the beautiful, natural world around you.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

One word - wonderful!

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

that lotus is fantastic! love it!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

I love these, Noel. I can't draw or paint, so I deeply admire those who can capture nature in paint or pencil and paper. These are soothing and wonderful.

Helen at summerhouse said...

These paintings are wonderful! so delicate too. You say the outlines are burned, what do you use? The birds are so well done and yes, you are right they do create whimsy.

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