What Does Nature Know About Creativity

Summer Oaks | Rod Jones Artist

What does nature know about creativity?: Three people walk into a national forest. After about a half-hour the first one says, “This place is absolutely beautiful, it’s Shangri-La, a gift from heaven, a very spiritual place.” 

The second one, proudly announced, “Look at all these trees, you could build a lot of houses with all this timber.” 

The third one looked at the trail they were walking on and said, “I think this place stinks! I just stepped on a stink bug.” 

The trio’s forest walkabout yielded three personal impressions. What if I told you each of the three people were highly accomplished artists? Would you think for a minute that creative people could have diametrically opposing views such as theirs, when they witnessed splendor and magnificence of nature firsthand? We will explore the why’s of their personal responses later on.

Nature is sagacious, it doesn’t dictate perceptions. But for those with a mind that is connected to unshaded eyes, and a mutable spirit: nature becomes gracious in its willingness to allow all those who take the time, to see, hear and witness beauty that could never be duplicated by man. It’s true nature at its whim can become inhabitable and virtually shut out all those that dare to challenge its authority.

Nature knows what’s best for nature. She: and she is often referred as a she; because the idea of nature, is considered to be the mother of all creation. The primordial soup that ultimately served up mankind became her spokespeople, but not always with good intentions. To this very day, she often takes command of the planet and lets everyone know, including the beasts of the earth, that she’s always in charge. There is no nook or cranny on the planet, that isn’t 100% controlled by nature. It would be scientifically implausible to consider nature as not being completely in charge of the elemental universe that perpetually impacts our big blue celestial satellite. The worldly plane that we live and create on called earth.

The merciful side of mother nature: Did we not learn to cook our food over a fire thousands of years ago from the power of a lightning strike? Didn’t we learn to cultivate and harvest the abundances of nature’s edible and life-sustaining plants? We should never forget that nature was kind enough to get rid of those pesky dinosaurs, sometime before Adam and Eve. Creative people owe much to the evolutionary process that brought us to a contemporary life field with options to be profoundly creative. We rarely consider humanity’s evolutionary process that puts the first creative thoughts into our minds. Nature knows creativity, she has been a patient but stern faithful teacher. 

Man does not dictate to nature: There’s a cradle of discovery in nature’s earthly and bountiful ability to create. From protozoa to the largest mountains and the deepest seas. The wonders of original and authentic creative creations could never be explored in any known lifetime.

What about our three forest explorers? The ones in the beginning of this story, and all share one thing in common; they are all successful creative people.

The first explorer, the one who spoke glowingly about the beauty that was surrounding him as he walked through the forest, just happens to be a landscape painter. He has painted scenes from nature all over the world, he even had the opportunity to paint Monet’s garden. This fine artist knows nature’s beauty firsthand documenting all that nature has to offer to the best of his creative ability. He is an explorer of light and color. He has a reasonably good grasp of nature’s phenomenal expertise at creating composition from all the elements she works with. He loves nature because nature has inspired him to the very core of his soul. Nature has been his communion; always revitalizing the spiritual union he tries to capture in every work of art he creates.

The second explorer, the one who quickly determined there to be thousands of board feet of lumber that could be harvested. This gentleman, by occupation, is an architect and an interior designer. What he does for a living is build. He is considered to be very creative in his architectural designs and use of materials. He often takes liberties with nature’s crafty design work and he incorporates what he learns into his architectural designs. Because he is also an interior Designer he has a great appreciation for color and composition. He looks to nature to not only be a source of inspiration before him most importantly an array of materials that he can incorporate in his creative work.

The third explorer, the one who stepped on the stinkbug. He just happens to be a multidisciplinary artist. He works with a variety of mediums; he is somewhat of a recognized talent in his use of making photographs. This talented gentleman paints, sculpts, makes collages, and creates digitized artworks on his computer. All this talent coming out of one person often becomes overwhelming: to overcome he tries to focus on small details and little vignettes of life happening as he moves through life. The unfortunate incident with the innocent stink bug hit all of his senses simultaneously. Sight at first: he focused on the ground where he was walking, avoiding what he perceived to be the clutter that surrounded him in this overwhelming forest. Not wanting to overwhelm his sensitivity to objects he wasn’t clearly focusing on the trail, just enough to avoid the unevenness of the trail and various obstacles that found their way on the path. Unfortunately his boot hit the ground, instinctually he knew something was wrong especially when all of a sudden his nose was filled with a ghastly odor. He announced to all that were in easy earshot, “I think this place stinks.” From that explorer’s perspective, nature gave him a powerful wiff, to remind him that nature can be ungracious in the most subtle of ways. You may be surprised to find out that this very creative gentleman managed to concoct three pieces of art based on the theme of the humble black stink bug.

What does nature know about creativity? Everything. Luckily; if we choose, we have the God-given right to explore and try to emulate these genuine creative concepts that are virtually below us, above us,, and all around us. Nature is never stingy, a beautiful sunrise or sunset, often is the inspiration for verse. Great literature and nature go hand-in-hand to the altar of creativity. The best cameras in the world all the way down to the mobile phone, are aimed at nature’s beautiful offerings. Artists have literally walked all over the planet with canvas and paints in hand, doing their best to capture just a fragment of all that nature provides to the visual senses.

What does nature know about creativity? She has the most powerful sculpting tools and colors to work with, she manages the wind, the water, rattling movements from her very core, all the way to the lives of trees and plants. She makes sunshine to nurture, gives the earth warmth; and the moon that manages the oceans currents and waves. She creates a canopy of stars. It’s no wonder that man takes his inspiration from the originator of creativity and that is, and always will be, nature’s all knowing creative expressions.

What does nature know about creativity? Man’s very survival has been governed by nature. During those sometimes long cold nights when man huddled together to stay warm, long before he received the gift of fire from nature. He looked to the heavens with awe and wonder, he looked over the dimly lit plains before him. In the innocence of his mind, he witnessed the power and the beauty in his surroundings. Early man must have thought, “I can try to capture this beauty by whatever means possible.” It was nature that forced man to be creative; to not only be creative in his survival techniques, but in his deep appreciation for the majesty of his surroundings.

Nature knows, she dearly knows about creativity, we humans are witnesses as we endeavor to capture each and every site and feeling we embrace to our very core.