Art and Nature

Beauty and the Natural World

Nature as Art and Artist

Does art need to be made by humans to be considered art? Is nature art? Can natural processes create art?

Nature as Art and Artist

Many artists bring their artistic vision to life with the help of the natural world. Artists work with nature by using art supplies that are often made from the natural world. For example, paint pigments often come from minerals in the earth, dyes can come from plants and minerals, and sculptures are often made from rocks, wood, or clay from the earth.

Some artists go a step further in their partnership with the natural world and use nature and natural processes to help create their art. There are several different kinds of artwork created by working with natural processes. Explore a few artworks:


Bring It Together: Create Artwork with Nature

Once you have explored artworks that have been created in partnership with nature, consider the following activities:

  • Design a garden or an outdoor gallery space to showcase some of the artworks you’ve explored.

  • Develop a care plan for one of these artworks. What does it need? How are its needs different than a painting’s needs? How are they similar to a painting’s needs?

  • Write labels for the artworks with our label writing activity for younger audiences and older audiences.

  • Create a 3-D model of one of the artworks you viewed.