After a grueling wait it seems the soul-warming pulse of green that that spreads like fire across the landscape has finally begun. It's spring! We are not the only ones who've been waiting. The sight of starving migratory birds has many, including me, scattering raisins, mealworms, suet, and seeds in yards and nearby parks. Whether it makes a difference we'll never know. We do it because we can. We hope and imagine it matters.
The intersection of nature's reality and human imagination is seductive. Our desire to matter, to make a difference, is at once beautiful and egocentric. Our minds believe in possibility, potential, and self-determination. Yet our behaviors, as those in all of nature, seem to follow predictable patterns. Discovering these patterns and how we, as part of nature, affect and interact with them is the life work of artists and musicians and scientists, nature lovers, engineers, and problem solvers of all kinds.
I believe the colors and marks that exit the end of my brush are a way of documenting Nature's complexity- data imbibed with the power of revelation. Is that hubris, or what? When it's going well, paint barely clings to brush. It enters a swirl of color, pattern and form that records experience, maybe even thought, in a way as real as the brush in my hand- someone just needs to untangle the patterns to discover the algorithm. Math and physics, physics and math. One day, who knows?
In the meantime, I'll keep feeding the birds until things green up a bit more. They've worked so hard to get here, it seems the least I can do. Predictable behavior? Yep- at least for me.
I hope you take every opportunity to get outside and enjoy spring. You deserve it!
See the above paintings and more of my available work here.
Artist and naturalist Michelle Louis has a vigorous curiosity about the natural world. She walks with intention in nature at least 1,200 miles yearly, much of it on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. She makes art documenting her experience along the way and in her studio.