Monday, July 28, 2008

Art in Nature

Art refers to a diverse range of human activities, creations, and expressions that are appealing or attractive to the senses or have some significance to the mind of an individual. The word "art" may be used to cover all or any of the arts, including music, literature and other forms. It is most often used to refer specifically to the visual arts, including media such as painting, sculpture, and printmaking. However, it can also be applied to forms of art that stimulate the other senses, such as music, an auditory art.

Aesthetics is the branch of philosophy which considers art. If a thing is produced by Nature and stimulates the visual senses, is it considered Art? A painting of a great Sunset is considered Art. Is the Sunset itself Art?

Is any form which stimulates the visual senses to be considered Art? Can the following photograph be considered Art? Or is the object itself the work of Art.


Transformation
© Martha Mullens 2008


Photographed by Martha at the Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens.

Qualities seen here that might stimulate the visual senses are form, texture, and color. An additional factor to consider is the placement in the dappled sunlight.

What do you like about this piece of Nature's art. Or is it just a piece of firewood. What do you see?

Photography by Martha
Post and Critique by Troy

For other interesting photography visit Katney's.

46 comments:

pinenut said...

A natural object, to me, can be beautiful but not art. Your photos, though, can and often are works of art. I think there needs to be some manipulation and/or aesthetic judgement involved to create art, while the beautiful can be "merely" found.

This question reminds me of a Leopold quote, ""Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty." I'm wondering if the wood in your photo weren't so "pretty," would we be be pondering whether or not it was art?

Your EG Tour Guide said...

It's beautiful, for sure. I have an artist friend (also an art tacher) who says if you think it's art, then it's art. ;-)

Denise said...

Yes, art! Wonderful. There are some trees in the village, similar to this though not as twosted. The horses in the field often lay by the tree trunks, gazing at them Wonder what they are thinking?

Aileni said...

Very good. We have fascinating root remains in the peat bogs called grags... I've got a picture of one somewhere I must scan in.

JC said...

I think they are both art... the photo and the subject. Looks like a resting unicorn to me.

I think nature produces some of the most awesome art around, if you can see it, every day :-)

John said...

An "art" is a skill or collection of skills, so a work of art is something produced by those skills. To me, that excludes things made solely by natural processes without design. That does not mean that natural phenomena are not beautiful (of course they are!), but human skill is not the only path to beauty. In this case, the trunk would not be art but the photo - which requires skills like composition, lighting, exposure, and possibly post-processing - would be art.

I will also add that beauty or aesthetics are A lot of art is either not beautiful or downright disturbing! (Think of Picasso's Guernia, for example.)

Rambling Woods said...

During our summers at the cabin as a kid, my mother would have us collect driftwood and clean it up, polish it with oil and use it as art. Thank you so much for bring back a lovely memory...Michelle

Daryl said...

Oh Martha .. I really like that .. its got so much happening ... the light, the shape, the smooth look that I want to touch, and the plant .. which I am sure I am wrong in thinking its a yucca, nevertheless makes such a perfect contrast ...

:-Daryl

AphotoAday said...

What I see in Martha's photo is beauty, and when I see beauty it usually turns out to be art...   Of course there is a lot of stuff calling itself art when it is, in fact, un-beautiful -- but in my book, if it's not beautiful, it's not art...

Lake Lady said...

What constitutes art is a timeless question with no right answer. But I definitely feel like I've seen art after viewing this photo and I believe I would feel the same seeing the actual piece. Nature and Time made this beautiful piece that I hope will never become firewood! Thanks for visiting mine and thanks for sharing this...I love it.

Luke said...

Interesting shot!

Anita said...

That is beautiful!
Mother nature is the most talented artist ever!

Kim said...

I think it is art. I love the curvy lines the tree creates.

Dragonstar said...

I love that - a beautiful object perfectly photographed.

I see a dragon's head - of course!

imac said...

I really love these photos of Natures Art

diane cook said...

Appears to be a lions open mouth to me~ Great collaboration!

The Texican said...

I think pinenut has hit the nail on the head. Nice use of light and shadow to highlight an asthetically pleasing piece formed by nature. Pappy

Daryl said...

I didnt enable to link for comments on the award post because - honestly - I feel weird enough proclaiming I got an award .. and then opening the post up to people prasing me for getting the award which I am thrilled to get but feel weird about ... and if I didnt like you so much, and get such a giggle out of your remark, I wouldnt even have come over to explain ...

Daryl

Golightly said...

A lot of interesting comments regarding this photo and art. I think the photo it's self is considered the art. If a person intent to create art took the wood and positioned it outside it's native environment, then it might become art in it's own right. Sometimes art is just relative.

Very interesting photo and log. Thanks for stopping by today!

willow said...

Hello! Thanks so much for stopping by Willow Manor and for your kind comments on my poem. What lovely photography you have here. I must visit again soon!

Willow

CrazyCath said...

Very natural - but also art. Nature's art.
Great shot.

david mcmahon said...

I see a moose. Great shot.

Travis said...

It is a great photo. I see an animal. Great post..there is something at my blog for you. You may use it if you like.

Travis said...

Great post..there is something at my blog for you. You may use it if you like.

Pansy said...

That is a great odd shot if I do say so myself. It is a pretty work of art or an odd work of art, created by nature.

B. Roan said...

Art or not, it is oddly beautiful!

diXymiss said...

Beautiful, interesting shot paired with thought-provoking commentary.

Cicero (Roman author, orator & politician: 106 BC - 43 BC) is quoted as saying, "Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature."

becky voyles said...

Too cool. It reminds me of a roaring lion.

Shellmo said...

I find beauty and rich history in this photo.

Anonymous said...

I see a unicorn, yes, and a moose.
Also a horse about to gobble a sago palm. And a sly fox as well as a beaver, a chicken leg complete with foot, a snake,a turtle head and a heron's eye.
Thank goodness I will remain anonymous. What a hodge-podge of animals. You might call this piece of driftwood Animal Ribald Theatrics-ART is the acronym.
Yes,art, And a darned nice photograph as well.
jm

Anna said...

Nature is art, this is excellent photo. Anna :)

fishing guy said...

Troy: Martha did a wondrful job on the photo, a hearty well done on this post.

Genie said...

I think what defines art is the viewer. If I look at something created or captured (photographed, painted, sculpted, frozen, dried, preserved in some way, etc.) and it stops me/catches me/makes me gasp/makes me think/touches me/moves me/makes some part of me ache or cool or warm or lighter or heavier, then what I am looking at must be artful in some way.

The subject of the photograph doesn't grab me (really hard to shoot wood like that, I keep trying and failing). I don't like the way it was shot. I am interested, however, in the play of light on the grass in the photo. THAT interests me--that grabs me and makes me want to look harder. It's what draws my eye, not the wood.

Because I am not personally caught by the subject of the photo doesn't mean that the photo isn't art. Just because I don't appreciate the part of the photo that the artist herself was trying to show me, doesn't mean it's not art. The artist saw a beauty in the wood/light/and lushness that she feels she captured. I don't think she captured it. But who am I? Just one of many viewers. The photo became art the moment Mullens looked at what she'd caught on her camera and gasped and then wanted to share what she'd snapped. That's all that matters.

It's art the moment someone sees it as such.

'JoAnn's-D-Eyes'NL said...

This is really great art work Martha!!! fantastic work! welldone really a master piece,

Greetings JoAnn
(now in France)

Question : could you please sign me in THIS coming Friday for SWF? I sheduled a post but I am not able to sign in myself ,
if so: My Name is "JoAnn D eyes"
my blogadress: http://www.joannwalraven.blogspot.com , Thank you!!

Bob Johnson said...

Very cool, love the shadows on it, looks like a monster mouth, Gods art, so much of it out there, like Sun/Moon rises/sets, so beautiful.

Lew said...

Beautiful find, expertly photographed! I really do like photos composed of subjects in their natural setting. This one is great.

It's Time to Live... said...

Art is seeing something in a different way and recording it. TO me it does not matter if it is paint, metal, dance, music or photography. Keep up the great work.

Stanley said...

Nice picture! I think its a combination of both Nature's Beautiful Work of Art =)

Marvin said...

I think of art as a process, a form of non-verbal communication between artist and viewer/listener. The object or performance is just the vehicle -- important certainly, but not actually "art" in itself. We focus so much attention on the object simply because we do not have the vocabulary necessary to adequately discuss the process.

As to whether a natural object can be a "work of art" ... That would depend upon one's beliefs concerning the existence of an artist, a subject even more weighty that your original "What is art?" , and one that is beyond the scope of this post, I think.

(I too detest word verification and greatly prefer moderation when blog owner control is necessary. Thank you.)

Michael Palmer said...

great post - great thoughts

Kathiesbirds said...

I see art both in the object and in the photograph. But, does art imply the touch of the human hand and the decisions of the human mind? Without that human interaction, is the piece of wood in the dappled light simply an object of beauty?

Jim said...

Hi Troy & Martha!

A very interest collection of comments.

I've replied to your post here and provided a back link directly to this post.

Jim

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

this is an amazing post - how long did it take you to0 take so many different photos of different butterflies?

kjpweb said...

Gorgeous! So many things in nature, even or especially those we might not pay attention to, suddenly pop out when the conditions are right (in this case the light) and we're in awe. Good topic and image to make the point!
Cheers, Klaus

Louis la Vache said...

Troy and Martha - "Louis" is late getting around. He doesn't mean to ignore you; he's busier than ever with the work project he's been involved in....

Louise said...

I like the shadows. The framing makes it a good picture, but the shadows make it great (in my humble opinion!).