We asked Sally to share her thoughts and process on being an environmental artist. Her connection to nature and the magic within is captivating. ~ Amber Lotus
Image from the Faerie Houses 2016 wall calendar. Click image to see more.
When meeting new people in social settings, the inevitable question arises: “And what do you do?”
When this is asked of me there is often a long pause. The question hangs in the air. The querist leans in expectantly, waiting for me to fill in the void between us. Always a quick calculation has to be made: be vague and simplistic – “I’m an artist” – or more specific – “I’m an environmental artist.” But if the moment is right for either a shock or a smile, I will say, “I build Faerie houses for a living!” and wait for that idea to settle in. Continue reading
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we tend to hibernate during the winter months. My neighbors and I joke around about not seeing each other for months. In mid-March we suddenly start to converge on the street for spontaneous, tiny block parties to catch up and celebrate spring. (We also joke around about our coffee and beer consumption during winters in Portland, but that’s another blog post for another time.)
Spring is such a magical time with plants unfurling and blooming in vivid colors and divine shapes. The pale landscape starts to light up with color and dance with texture. It’s no surprise that so many artists are inspired and deeply connected to nature. Two of our calendar titles, Environmental Art and Land Art, show an extraordinary array of styles with nature and natural elements playing the central role.
Spencer Byles, forest materials, France, 2012
Featured in the Environmental Art 2015 wall calendar:
Environmental art takes many forms. It can be a thought-provoking presentation of nature in an urban landscape or an illumination of beauty that draws our awareness to our earthly surroundings. It can also be sublimely emotional, as with “Three Portals,” created by Spencer Byles. Approaching the portals, looking through to the path beyond, evokes a primal mystery. The forest bears witness to a rite of passage that can symbolize whatever you wish. The surroundings are as much a part of a work of environmental art as what the artist contributes. Byles says, “When working in forests or mountains or by a river with natural materials, I might leave the work for a period of weeks or months to allow nature to weave its way back onto, around, and through the materials before I return to complete it. The sculptures look more grounded in their environment once this action takes place.” Continue reading
Land Art 2015 wall calendar by Sally J. Smith
The fifth day after the new moon of January (January 24 in 2015) marks the first day of spring in the Hindu holiday calendar and is celebrated in India and Nepal. Yellow is the auspicious color to wear: the color of happiness and the color of the mustard that is blooming at this time. (In my neighborhood in Seattle, witch hazel is already unfurling its yellow fragrant petals.) Continue reading