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What is it about land? Whether your perspective is Southern, Northern, Western, Eastern, and no matter where we live on this tiny sphere, the landscape holds a certain fascination for all of us. The archeology, land formations, flora and fauna, the architectural distinctions, history, and agricultural traditions all give flavor, nuance, and ultimately a sense of place. They give us ethereal glimpses of misty mountains and the sparkling sands and shorelines of the Gulf Coast. They can pay homage to crumbling barns, Southern kudzu, abandoned farms left as a reminder of a time gone by, or grand cities. The pristine beauty of the creeks, rivers and canyons, and the arresting views of the Southwest, Yellow Stone Park or the Blue Ridge Mountains are inspirational. They give us images of moss laden trees, red clay, sea oats on the dunes, evergreen and hardwood forests, rock outcroppings, and water that has cut so deep into the earth that it seems to be seeking the inner core.
At least as far back as the ancient Greeks, perhaps even into pre-history, scientifically, philosophically, psychologically, and artistically our natural curiosity and wonder is aroused whenever we look around and contemplate our natural environment. The Greeks and Romans created wall paintings of landscapes and gardenscapes, and artists of the Renaissance did so, because of their growing interest in the natural world. Today we include concepts like urban landscapes, cultural landscapes, industrial landscapes, natural landscapes, landscapes of the mind and landscape architecture. Whether our attitude turns toward the beauty of the land, the impact of humans through increased industrialization (global destruction, ecological disasters, conservation concerns,) or the cycle of the creation and destruction that is naturally a part of nature, the landscape continues to be a subject we turn to when contemplating the ways we relate to the places where we live and the impact we as humans have on the land. ■
NAVARRE BEACH: pastel on paper, 16″x 20″
NORTHERN NEW MEXICO, APPROACHING CHACO CANYON: pastel on paper, 16″x 20″
PINE MOUNTAIN GEORGIA: pastel on paper, 16″x 20″