Great Artists on Wood, Weather, and Winter

It is that time of the year. Dark. Cold. And here are how artists respond.

“There’s a mystery in fallen leaves. I believe most artists are concerned with this mystery.”– Mark Tobey

“There are small fir cones all shriveled up, whose smell gives us such a feeling of immensity that one strolls through Fontainebleau just as if it were a dwarf’s attic.”– Nicholas De Stael

“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape.”– Andrew Wyeth

“I discovered that by running against the wind with a bunch of pine branches in your hand, you could have the pine trees singing right in your ears.”– Georgia O’Keeffe

“Each wood has its own purpose. I make masks out of alder, red cedar is for the large totem poles, and birch is good for rattles; it is harder and gives a better sound.”– Dempsey Bob

“I think of white as silent. I think of Midwest snow, icy blue shadows, that silence that you can almost hear.”– Joan Mitchell

“The Japanese think of rocks as the bones of a garden–the plants simply come and go.”– Isamu Noguchi

“I see weather-beaten trees as a metaphor for humanity.”– Paul Cunningham

“It is the mountain I must express, all else subservient to that great dominating strength and spirit brooding there.”– Emily Carr

“I looked out across the fjord. The sun was setting. The clouds were died red like blood. I felt a scream pass through nature. I painted the clouds as real blood–the colors, too, were screaming.”– Edvard Munch

“I’m trying to understand nature as a whole: how a leaf grows, changes, decays. By working with a leaf in its place, I begin to understand these processes.”– Andy Goldsworthy

“The more you work outdoors, the more you’ll see–especially in the shadows.”– Barbara Courtney

“It takes a certain maturity of mind to accept that nature works as steadily in rust as in rose petals.”– Esther Warner Dendel

“Sometimes something you just pick up, like a fallen tree branch, has such fantastic integrity.”– Judy Pfaff

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