Monday, March 6, 2017

Plein Air Painters - To Paint the Land is to Save the Land

Save the land. Courthouse Butte trail maker, showing the way to one of the Sedona Art Hike locations.
Courthouse Butte trail maker, showing the way to one of the Sedona Art Hike locations.
I originally wrote this article for my Sedona Art Hikes website blog. I think it is also appropriate for my art notes. As an artist concerned about the safety and well being of our environment, I think that by standing on the land in appreciation enough to put paint to canvas in celebration of that land is to save the land. Read on for more of my thoughts on this subject.

To Paint the Land is to Save the Land.

To stand on the land, our glorious, magnificent natural wondrous land in appreciation, is to save the land in that moment in time. As artists who paint it, we do what we can to preserve it on our canvas. While standing in nature while painting, something happens deep within us. The beauty captures something inside, our eyes take note with visual memory. I have to believe that a symbiotic relationship develops between us and the land. Could we move that experience forward? Could we acknowledge that we must, at that moment, take full responsibility for its protection, to save the land?
To paint something from life, we look deeper into it. We find something that moves us, pulls us forward into fuller appreciation. It is this full appreciation that has the power of possibility to heal both the artist and the land. Sure, the land is fine without us. The land will remain the land, if we can just leave her alone. Can we stop the destructive tendencies that some humans seem to be bent on doing in the name of expansion and growth to their corporation? Can we find something in the land that is more important than profits?
Sedona Art Hikes logo
Sedona Art Hikes logo
At Sedona Art Hikes, it is our mission to do our small part in land conservation as a part of doing business. As we bring clients out onto the land, more and more people become aware of the intrinsic nature to nurture. It is our wish that each client who visits the Sedona landscape will honor the land upon which they stand. By painting what they are seeing and / or feeling, they are moving us forward to greater and greater awareness of the treasure that we must protect. We must protect the sacred, our natural resources. If we fail to do this, our very nature will cease to exist. We and nature help each other. What would a world be like if there were no more natural land to stand upon, only manmade structures? I shudder to think of such a horrid possibility.

“For those of us who paint [the landscape]… there is a visual memory quite different than those who snap a quick pic on their phones and hike on. We stand, in the moments, recording that space and time in a much deeper and more meaningful way. There is a part of our souls that opens up and spills out while simultaneously drinking in the world around us. We become partners with the land, and when we leave a piece of it remains inside of us.” – Lori Putnam

Joan Carra, a private painting client, is having fun with paint.
Joan Carra, a private painting client, is having fun with paint, honoring the land as she paints.
Each client who paints during our art hikes takes home a piece of divinity in the creation that they have made while here. Most of our clients are tourists who have come to experience the grandeur of our landscape. I imagine that their experience in painting on the U. S. Forest Service trails here in Sedona will impact them when they return. I hope it opens up a channel within them that when they return home, they will honor the land in which they live in new ways. And just perhaps, they will become new stewards with a newfound sense of a mission to save the land around them.

Links to mentions in this article:
About the Author

Mary Rae Rush (Mary Gravelle) is an artist, author, and creativity catalyst and consultant. She resides in Sedona, Arizona with her loving and efficient assistant, Sir Kitty. Her other services are Sedona Art Hikes and Wisdom Painting.

Contact her today with painting commissions, requests for creative work, consultations, or one on one coaching sessions. She is happy to paint something just for you. Or she can help you delve into your creativity and come out with your own unique expression.


Inquiries can be made through the contact page.

And, as always, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below. 

Until Next Week
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