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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Art in Nature Or Nature in Art?

Spring has sprung here in South Africa and my garden is bursting back into life. On a beautiful sunny day I decided to meet my daughter in the Botanical Gardens for the most pleasant of days browsing through trees and plants from all over the world in the most glorious of surroundings. Daughter of mine, being of artistic bent travels with pencil and sketchpad and had a ball sketching away at the interesting plant life.

Then at the weekend as fate would have it there was a HUGE Spring Flower Show at the local mall. That was just delightful - the funniest was a dog made of chrysanthemums but the best for me was a huge balancing floral interpretation of "Bold and Distinctive."What must have been very difficult and was done in such a masterly fashion was to interpret a painting in flowers! I really enjoyed seeing how this was done as usually we artists interpret nature not the other way round...

All in all now is a great time to do a spot of botanical art work, painting or sketching and South Africa has an abundance of fascinating plant life to inspire anyone from the finest of artists to those who enjoy more chunky palette knife work there is something there for all tastes. Vincent van Gogh summed it up very well with this advice "It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to; the feeling for the things themselves - for reality - is more important than the feeling for pictures."


Victorian botanical collectors must have rejoiced when they went to South Africa for they certainly took large amounts of plant material back to Kew Gardens in London, England in the nineteenth century and much of this genetic stock from the flora kingdoms of South Africa has since been hybridized into many varietals to suit every climate around the world producing many of the common garden plants that you will probably see in your country today..

One of these plants, which is the international flower for August, is the Gladiolus, from the Latin word for a sword and part of the Iris family. Gladiolus vary from very small, fragrant spikes to spectacular giant flowers. The South African species were originally pollinated in by-gone eras by long-tongued bees, but nowadays sunbirds, moths and long-tongued flies do the business. The gladiolus also attracts butterflies so not only can an artist get the opportunity to paint a charming flower but also the flitting butterflies.

You too can enjoy a botanical drawing frenzy in South Africa
I was an infant teacher for 25 years. When I relocated to South Africa, I ventured into Internet marketing following my interest in art, and as I wanted to share my lovely new environment with artists around the world so that they might enjoy painting it's beauty. South African Painting Holidays was born and keeps me happily employed now.

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NYoMaN said...

or art in art or nature in nature, wa confusing =P

yaqon said...

art is totality....