The Shapes of Nature

By Kathi Ferguson
 
Creative people tend to see things differently. I can attest to that, since I am one of them! Something that may look rather ordinary to most could be perceived as a thing of beauty by the artist—just waiting to be painted or photographed. Artists are not simply attracted to a scenic landscape, a pretty face, or the color of the sky. They observe more of what surrounds them and look beyond the surface.
 
Mother Nature reveals countless examples of this, if you know what to look for. Her wonders are composed of a myriad of shapes, texture, and striking contrasts, no matter what the season. And somehow, they all come together flawlessly.
 
Here on Delmarva, we are embraced by open skies, fields, charming old towns, waterfront, and inland farm landscapes, just to name a few. Many of us pass by them every day, while others may discover them on a Sunday drive.
 
Depending on the time of day, each scene presents itself in a different light, so to speak. Lights play against darks where a line of deep green pine touches a clear autumn sky. Highlights from a setting sun catch the tips of switchgrass and tree tops. The blue of the Bay appears muted under an overcast sky, in contrast to displaying a rich, blue gray color on a crisp winter day. Not to be overlooked are the textures that can be seen across fields of tattered corn, a blanket of buttercups, or vast, open spaces.
 
Interestingly, my eye will often catch something within a scene that stands on its own, deserving of special attention. The patterns, shapes, and rhythm of movement in a cluster of grasses matted down by wind, for example, or looking down a row of perfectly aligned loblollies seeming to stand at attention, cast distinctive shadows across the ground. Often, the negative spaces around and between the subjects themselves form abstract and relevant shapes.
 
So, next time you take a drive (maybe with your special Valentine!), know that if you look beyond the surface, the ordinary can become extraordinary, and you will grow your perception of the world around you. Beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder!