The Sight & Insight Podcast

Episode 23: Elements of Nature

September 10, 2018

"Art not only imitates nature, but also completes its deficiencies." — Aristotle


Willard L. Metcalf, Flying Shadows, 1905, o/c, 26 x 29

Well, if we are already quoting Aristotle, you can tell we are going to be covering some pretty deep thoughts in this week's podcast on 'Elements of Nature!' 

Deep it may be, but the problems or, rather, the challenges of painting nature are not insurmountable. On a basic level, the artist just has to consider all the elements help, or hinder, their painting, and then go from there. And it is perfectly permissable to whip out your artistic licence and brandish it at anyone who dares to complain you moved a tree or moved a rock from one place to another because it composed better. 


A. T. Hibbard, Lingering Snow, 1917, ocb, 9 1/2 x 11 1/2, Vose Galleries, Boston

Artist A. T. Hibbard was noted for moving elements around to make a better composition. Nature, as beautiful as she is, is not constrained by the size of her canvas and, therefore, occasonally - to create a better a better design - it is necessary for an artist to adjust elements to look good within the parameters of their canvas.

"Nature is my springboard. From her I get my initial impetus. I have tried to relate the visible drama of mountains, trees, and bleached fields with the fantasy of wind blowing and changing colors and forms."  — Milton Avery

If you would like help designing your elements of nature, check out David and Connie's Sight & Insight 'October Skies' workshop, October 10-12, 2018, at or  If anyone can help, they can!

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