To quote Marc Chagall “Great art picks up where nature ends” That is quite the statement don’t you think? Agree with it or not, nature is a powerful influence in art. It has always been that way for me, but over the last 18 months or so it has become an essential part of my day to day life as well as my painting.
Most of us are aware of how being in nature makes a physical difference to our well being. Walking amongst trees is known to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve sleep and concentration and even boost your immune system due to Phytoncides, the chemicals trees release into the air.
Being by water, especially moving water like a flowing river, or the rolling waves of the ocean gives us an increased feeling of health and happiness, reducing anxiety and generally making us feel calmer and more relaxed.
Even pottering in the garden, holding the earth in your hands causes a surge of serotonin, the happy chemical, that acts as an antidepressant.
But did you know that looking at a photograph of nature, or a documentary has the same physical effect on the brain? Just a recording of a trickling stream or a magazine photograph of crystal clear waters will release those happy chemicals. A cuppa and Countryfile, or an episode of Springwatch before bedtime can have mood changing benefits.
Why am I telling you this?
Because this is what I wanted to tap into when I sat down to redesign my website. I wanted to create a site that not only worked practically, being an outlet for my paintings and greetings card range, but also as a refuge from the anxieties and worries of the world.
Nature has been a lifeline for me and so many others whilst the world has been in turmoil and so I wanted to bring this to you. A place where you know you can find images that make you feel good. Where you can find the fresh new green of a fern leaf on the edge of woodlands, or the special kind of blue in the swell of an Atlantic wave: The intricate mix of species in the chalk hills of the South Downs or a whispery cloud in the bluest of blue skies. Images that give you that kick of happy chemicals to soothe your frazzled brain, lower your stress levels and leave you refreshed and revitalised ready to carry on.
This was my goal during the months I have been redesigning my site. To bring to you a breath of fresh air and a place to find nature, to bring a refuge of calm in these strange and sometimes frightening times. I have put my heart into these pages, all the photography is my own, so it means a great deal to me that you find something here that helps you. Please visit and stay for a while. And if you feel better for it, do let me know and I will continue to develop this space for the mental wellbeing that nature brings.
Post a comment below to let me know how it makes you feel. I am waiting to hear with excitement (and a few nerves)
Much love, Laura x