Students See Art in Nature

by Stephanie Schuck | Jul 20, 2017

leah noe painting on trailAssistant Art Professor Jenny Ambroise is taking her Intro to Art classes to a whole new level in the Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab! leah-noe-rustic-trail-paintingStudents were able to spend time working on their painting skills on the trails of the EcoLab, and selected an outdoor scene with a strong sense of place. According to Ambroise, they were instructed to choose a place that causes a powerful emotional reaction, such as a desolate place, or one that they found beautiful in an uncommon way. Working on a small scale, they painted the scene from life three times using different viewpoints. Students concentrated on quickly capturing effects including the weather and lighting.

Nature can be an incredible source of inspiration for all types of art and expression.claire-crane-pond-paintingThe EcoLab has many different habitat types, and therefore lends a variety of landscapes and subjects. Being outdoors can also help to relieve tension and bring forth a sense of awareness. Ambroise states, "the EcoLab is a great resource for Marian art students because of the visual variety of nature. the patterns of shadow, the line of a branch, the reflection of water, the dozens of shades of green, for example,emilie-esker-squill-and-stairs-painting all provide a richness that is hard to beat for subject matter. The students also enjoy getting out of the classroom and experiencing a unique type of place and space, and they often have an emotional connection to the specific spot they are painting. This engagement with the EcoLab leads to beautiful images".

leah-noe-boardwalk-paintingIf you are interested in bringing your class to the EcoLab for a truly unique experience, please contact the EcoLab's Outdoor Education and Restoration Coordinator, Stephanie Schuck,

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