Nature as Artistic Inspiration
How are artists inspired by nature? How do artists combine observation and imagination to create artwork?
Artwork Inspired by Nature
Artists often find inspiration in the natural world. This means they interact with nature using multiple senses (including sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste) and create works of art that incorporate what they observe. These artworks can be in any medium and can be abstract or realistic. Each artist experiences nature differently, and these unique experiences are reflected in their artwork.
Explore a few nature-inspired artworks. How do you think these artists were inspired by nature? How did they use their imaginations? How did they use their observations?
"The body of the dancers, or phantoms, become sources of knowledge, and their gaze holds the viewer accountable, something that is too often missing from history and art; holding space in historically white spaces in ways that they have never been inhabited before.” -Carolina Caycedo, artist
Bring It Together: Work with the Art
Once you have explored the nature-inspired artworks above, consider the following activities:
Imagine you are curating an exhibition featuring one of the above artworks. Choose other works from The Huntington’s online museum or online library to put in the exhibit. What is your exhibition about? What is its theme? How does your exhibition connect to nature? How did you select your final exhibit choices?
Write an artistic critique of one of the artworks.
Choreograph a dance inspired by one of the artworks. How might the artwork appear in motion, as if it came to life? How can you represent this artwork’s themes through movement?
Compose a piece of music inspired by one of the artworks. How might the artwork sound? How can you represent the artwork’s themes through sound?
The Huntington has millions of objects and a limited amount of gallery space. Most of the objects are in storage and only a few are on display for visitors to see. Which of these artworks do you think The Huntington should put in the galleries? Why? Write us a letter sharing your thoughts or share on social media with the hashtag #LearnAtTheH! You can send your letters to: Huntington Education, 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino, CA 91108