Why has our species drawn images from nature for 7 million years?

The passion to live has driven artists to work tirelessly; specifically, with a focused concentration observing and utilizing nature as a guide. The artists studies and gathers visual information in order to render images, through a consciously trained eye.  A deep thinker, the artist reaches into the self to access their internal life force, and to bring it forth with refinement and purity.

The very first prehistoric paintings, made 50,000 years ago, Cro-Magnon  faced a journey of dangerous altitudes, temperature, and darkness to bring forth  exquisitely rendered animal images from observational memory. By binding earth pigments such as ground limonite and hematite, red ochre, yellow ochre and umber, with animal fat produced a paste that applied seeped into the pores of the flint cave surfaces.  Iron oxide was a particularly useful medium as it was dug from the earth and did not fade with the changing environment. Humans traveled to maintain a steady supply of the ochre pigments, lending to the impetus of mining activities.  Images, and mining for media, then, became a means of survival, conveying the patterns of prey.  Art was driven by the need to survive. As it continues today, En Plein Air painters, French for “in open air, ” paint in nature rather than studios, in order to ‘be at one with their environment’.  Plein Air painters record the changing of time and space by following the cycles of sunlight.   Similar to Plein Air painting, the late Arne Naess, founder of the Deep Ecology movement illuminates that our species is driven to captivate aesthetic value by developing a deeper understanding of nature, and  asking deeper questions though observation.

Mary Giammarino

Red Shutters

oil on canvas
11x 14

Zachary Tucker

Square Stars
acrylic on canvas board
11 x 14