“The aspect of Nature is devout. Like the figure of Jesus, she stands with bended head, and hands folded. The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship.” (Emerson)
Today’s Timeout for Art addresses nature, and my artist’s statement from a show in the year 2000 stated, “I am at my best when alone with nature.”
Last week a friend sent an email to say she was on a road trip from the east coast of the USA to New Orleans. They had reached Alabama and were about to resume driving. I hurriedly wrote back and said, “Hey! If you pass through Ocean Springs Mississippi, stop by the Walter Anderson Museum – if there is anything left after Katrina.” I babbled on:”Walter Anderson was a brilliant tormented artist whose story rivals Van Gogh’s. His art is equally unique. When I read about parts of his personality, I sometime see myself, especially his love for the birds…He would row his little boat to one of the barrier islands and live there for weeks – studying nature and living like a castaway…”
An email arrived that afternoon with the subject, “Thanks.” Opening her email, I found a lone image that confirmed they had indeed found the Walter Anderson Museum! The image showed a plaque with this quote, which touched me profoundly:
“All movement is to visible music
although few people hear it
It comes from the sun and the wind
and the movement of water and
a running rabbit and a crowing
All together it is part of a great symphony.
The longer we listen
and the quieter we are
the more we hear;
and when we do hear,
we are part of the music
an unwelcome interruption.”
Walter Inglis Anderson
She wrote that night, “His story and art touched us all three. I LOVE his work. At first I thought you may have been him incarnated but then checked the date. ”
Here in the cloudforest of Mindo, nature abounds! Thoreau said, “There can be no very black melancholy to him who lives in the midst of Nature and has his senses still.“
The monarch study was inspired by a dead butterfly I found along the road; the petite swallowtail kamikazied onto my drawing table late one night. Inverting a drinking glass over the butterfly, I quickly switched my attention from the ginger study to the butterfly!
Hopefully you will find inspiration in the outdoors this week, whether it’s drawing, painting or just snipping a few wildflowers and tucking them into a nosegay in the kitchen window!
More on Walter Anderson HERE.