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  • Writer's picturePaul Cotter

Nature's Artwork

An abstract display of leaves on tree bark, seen on a forest floor.

When I visit art museums, I occasionally scratch my head at some of the pieces on display. Certain works just don't appeal to me. When I step into a forest or walk along a beach, on the other hand, I’m never disappointed. Nature never fails to create artwork that I find inspirational and meaningful.

During our trip to Nova Scotia, we were hiking to a gorgeous waterfall when I noticed this little scene on the ground. It was an ordinary thing, easy to miss: just a few leaves fallen randomly on wet pieces of bark. Yet I found it captivating.

In this simple tableau, we can see all the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design that are the building blocks of visual arts study. Line, Shape, Form, Texture, Color, Balance, Pattern, The Rule of Thirds – all these things that I taught in my photography classes are put to use here.

But most importantly, this humble arrangement caught my eye and made me feel something, which is what great art is all about.

Nicely done, Mother Nature. Nicely done indeed.

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