Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Natural Beauty

I went to the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio this weekend with my children and was absolutely stunned by the beauty found in this 3,500 acre park. Butterfly gardens, wildflower gardens, pond gardens, themed gardens, and gorgeous, beautiful trees. I was so inspired by the natural beaty that I instantly went looking for some original art featuring nature as its subject. The artwork of artist Kris Shanks, in particular these three depictions of trees, is so beautiful. The Walnut Tree, featured above, is a woodcut print with monoprint, printed by hand on archival hand-made Japanese paper. The stark contrast of the tree against the blue sky reminds me of summer picnics with my dad as a child. Lovely, yet nostaglic and somewhat sad at the same time. I also love these two original oil paintings pictured below. Kris says the next one, the Lichen Shrouded Oak, was painted in the winter, and I can imagine exactly what she must have been seeing as she painted this landscape...foggy, with strands of lichen decorating the tree. Finally, the promise of spring, new life, in the last oil painting Row of Plums, depicting those first bursts of color from vivid plum trees as winter fades away. That is what I love about art...it evokes feelings and thoughts like nothing else. This picture brings about that feeling of happiness, knowing that winter is ending and spring is just about to bloom. See more of Kris Shanks original works HERE.

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