Seasonal Perspective

Watch oil painting “Trees and Stream” come alive in 2 minutes (time lapse)

When I shared this painting with you in July, I was thinking about time, and I used this painting to illustrate how we don’t know if the sun is rising or setting without context. It was a summer day when I showed you this one, and my thoughts were completely different on that day than they are on this one. Seasonal perspective is the obvious difference. Now I see this as an an autumn orchard painting, with trees ready for harvest. The orange and yellows look like October when viewing this art in October. So, that’s easy to figure out, but there’s more to it than this…

Seasonal perspective can be complicated, just as humans are complicated. For me, October is always bittersweet. I look forward to the fun treats and desserts, and the upcoming joy of Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions with my family. But my mom’s birthday was in October, and I think of her for the entire month. I think of the good and bad parts of our relationship, the traumatic experiences as her caregiver, the final dramatic moments that changed me forever, and how much time has passed since. Just when I think I have moved on, my heart says, “OK, it’s been long enough now, Mom. When are you coming back?”

But we can all be like that girl reading a book in the orchard. She was an after-thought. I didn’t intend to put a person in that landscape. The landscape was a project for my 2021 collection, but now it seems like this art wouldn’t be the same without the girl in it. She is what makes this scene what it is. It’s her response to the serenity of the place that helps us feel peaceful when we view it. Without this context, we might not have felt as calm. Maybe we would have interpreted it entirely differently. 

For example, the sunrise could have felt like the harsh glare of the morning rush, and the fully ripe fruit may have symbolized work that needs to be done right away before the harvest is ruined. It may have seemed stressful. Or, if we saw the sky as the sun setting, maybe we’d have thought that time was running out on the day. Instead of seeing a busy morning, and the rush of work ahead, we may have seen the day as over and the work was left undone. But the figure of the girl, relaxed and absorbed in her book, tells us that this is a different painting. It is one of letting go. It is one that isn’t ruled by work or time. We don’t even know if it is morning or evening.

And when I view this art in October instead of July, or when I first painted this in the spring of 2020, I now see it through a different spiritual seasonal perspective. Autumn tends to be a time of reflection and letting go. Leaves fall, flowers die back. The wind picks up, and our thoughts go toward the upcoming holiday season and long winter ahead. This can bring us to mind of loved ones, even if our loved ones weren’t born in October.

Art is a healing language. Even though I try to express in words what my paintings feel like to create and what I want to say when I share them, and how my perspective changes with time, it’s still difficult to explain in words, because I’m translating from colors and movement on a canvas. As I share my paintings and thoughts with you, it is my hope that the healing language of art makes a positive difference in your life. God bless you and your families.

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“Autumn Forest”

Watch Natalie paint this art in 2 minutes (time lapse)

“Autumn Forest” is included in the collection “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Nature“. Prints are available below.

Oil painting “Autumn Forest” by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Small Print “Autumn Forest”

All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$33.50

Medium Print “Autumn Forest”

All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$65.50

Large Print “Autumn Forest”

All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$98.50

“Americana”

Watch Natalie paint this Americana art in 2 minutes (time lapse)

This landscape art is included in the collection “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Nature“. See the full length 4th of July variety show that features this painting in a live taping.

“Americana” by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Small Print “Americana”

All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$33.50

Medium Print “Americana”

All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$65.50

Large Print “Americana”

All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$98.50

Hidden Risks

Watch me paint “Savannah Tree” in 1 minute (time lapse)

“One of the most identifiable features of Savannah is its trees, many of which are covered with Spanish moss. The moss truly changes the shape of trees, and if simplified- like in this painting- the effect is almost umbrella like. When many trees align the city streets, the effect is dramatic and romantic.

These trees appear in the landscaping of many parking lots, making even a simple trip to the grocery store a beautiful experience. This is more true of the island shopping areas, but overall there are more trees in commercial zones in the Savannah area than I’ve seen in other parts of the country, and when so many are flowy and lightly billowy in a breeze, there’s a calming effect to what could be stressful errands. It is the trees that slow the pace down, a Southern sedative.”

 

“Spanish moss drapes from many tree branches. Don’t touch the moss. It looks soft and inviting, but apparently there are bugs that live in it. Enjoy with your eyes!”

 

-from book “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia” by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

The bugs inside the pretty Spanish moss are tiny red chiggers whose bites can cause itchy red welts, rashes, and may even cause severe allergic reactions such as nausea, vomiting, tightness in chest or throat, faintness, dizziness, hives, and difficulty breathing. Because the bugs are tiny and completely obscured by the ornamental Spanish moss (which isn’t really a moss at all, but a different type of plant that lives on trees), this is a hidden risk. 

In nature, as in life, we consciously and subconsciously survey our surroundings for threats. We assess risks and dangers based on what we sense, see, and hear. But some risks are hidden, like tiny red bugs. Programs, movements, policies, people, trends, or ideas may be like Spanish moss. A collective mindset might seem attractive, harmless, or even beneficial, but may secretly harbor a dangerous hazard to our lives, health, freedom, or spiritual happiness.

Sometimes Spanish moss drapes a tree so completely that we no longer see the mighty oak underneath, yet it’s still there. No amount of chigger-infested moss can change what’s underneath. No matter how engulfed we may feel, may we be as trees that stand firmly rooted. 

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Are you home?

Watch me paint this house in Savannah, Georgia in 1 minute

(time lapse)

I took pictures near a park square in Savannah one day, and this particular view inspired me to paint it. Most of the house was obscured by trees. It was as if nature and humankind had melded into a new world.

I feel that way about my patio garden, as critters and birds are quite welcome to hang out in the new space I’ve created. Indeed, they seem to think that they own the place and everything I put out there is for them. It seems we’re all at home.

Are you home? Do you feel welcome in your space? Do you feel compatible with nature, your neighbors, your community, and your surroundings? Being at home is less to do with others and more to do with ourselves.

Sometimes when I’m living in a temporary place it’s difficult to feel as if I’m home, so I have to work hard to create that connection. I remind myself that my wild birds and living trees are with me everywhere. Of course these are not the exact same creatures and plants I’ve seen in previous backyards, and many are different breeds of birds and different types of trees entirely, but some are the same as other places I’ve lived. A red cardinal in the Deep South in Georgia brings me just as much peace as a red cardinal Up North in Minnesota.

I’ve lived abroad as well as various places in the United States. They say “people are the same wherever you go”, and that is fundamentally true. There’s nothing unique or shocking about human nature. Everything we see has been seen before, for thousands of years. The only differences are in the way our human nature plays out due to progress and technology. But at our core, humanity carries the same mix of “good” and “bad” as we have since the beginning.

Home is not necessarily where our heart is, but we can put our heart into wherever we are. As we work and journey toward the place we want to be, we can embrace where we are today. So, when I ask myself- and YOU- “are you home”, I hope that your answer is YES.

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LOL, Irishness

Today I tried a new recipe (not the peach cookies in my painting video). These also had powdered sugar on them, but I screwed that

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Memory Lane

The current White House Christmas decorating theme was released this week, and I was reminded of the 2018 event that I was inspired to paint

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“Bird in Forest”

Watch Natalie paint this art in about 2 minutes (time lapse)

“Bird in Forest” is included in the collection “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Nature“. Prints available below.

“Bird in Forest” oil painting by artist Natalie Buske Thomas

Small Print “Bird in Forest”

All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$33.50

Medium Print “Bird in Forest”

All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$65.50

Large Print “Bird in Forest”

All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$98.50

“Dancer in a Floral Forest”

Watch Natalie paint this art, and all 50 oil paintings in this collection (menu below)
Dancer in a Floral Forest oil painting by Natalie Buske Thomas

Small Print “Dancer in a Floral Forest”

All small prints are approximately 8 x 10. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$33.50

Medium Print “Dancer in a Floral Forest”

All medium prints are approximately 16 x 20. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$65.50

Large Print “Dancer in a Floral Forest”

All large prints are approximately 24 x 30. Giclee Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. Free shipping. No frame.

$98.50

“Savannah is lush with tropical plants, flowers and palm trees, but the area also has a surprising amount of evergreen forestry acreage, as well as hardy wild flowers I was familiar with in Northern climates. I didn’t have to give up my favorite trees, and in fact, am surrounded by them (although the trees and tropical flowers aren’t typically together in the same place like depicted here in this fantasy scene).”

List of Oil Paintings in this Collection, linking to their pages here on the site, and also citing physical pages in the hardcover book:

  1. City of Savannah
    1.1 “City of Savannah” page 6-7
    1.2 “Natalie at the Fountain” page 8-11
    1.3 “House in Savannah” page 12-13
    1.4 “Guardian Lion” page 14-15
    1.5 “Autumn Angel” page 16-17
    1.6 “Steamship Savannah” page 18-19
    1.7 “Boiled Peanuts for Sale” page 20-21
    1.8 “Bulldog” page 22-23
    1.9 “Serenity Piano” page 24-25
    1.10 “Painting Colors” page 26-27
  2. Tybee Island
    2.1 “I Love Life” page 30-31
    2.2 “Living Sand Dollar” page 32-33
    2.3 “Matthew the Sea Turtle” page 34-35
    2.4 “Fungie the Dolphin” page36-37
    2.5 “Angel Releasing Dove” page 38-39
    2.6 “Flag on Tybee Island” page 40-41
    2.7 “My Kids at the Beach” page 42-43
    2.8 “Lighthouse near Tybee Island” page 44-45
  3. Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians
    3.1 “Gator and Snake” page 48-49
    3.2 “Tree Frog” page 50-51
    3.3 “Lizard” page 52-53
    3.4 “Blue Heron” page 54-55
    3.5 “Hummingbird” page 56-57
    3.6 “Painted Bunting” page 58-59
  4. Flowers and Trees
    4.1 “Pink Flower” page 62-63
    4.2 “Porch Flowers” page 64-65
    4.3 “Clover” page 66-67
    4.4 “Butterfly Tree Flowers” page 68-69
    4.5 “Savannah Tree” page 70-71
    4.6 “Dancer in a Floral Forest” page 72-73
    4.7 “Come to the Garden” page 74-77
    4.8 “Cherokee Rose” page 78-79
  5. Faith and Food
    5.1 “Floral Cross” page 82-83
    5.2 “Lenten Flower” page 84-85
    5.3 “Celtic Cross” page 86-87
    5.4 “Mary of God’s Favor” page 88-89
    5.5 “Lion and the Lamb” page 90-91
    5.6 “Breakfast with Friends” page 92-93
    5.7 “Peaches in a Bowl” page 94-95
    5.8 “Peach Cookies” page 96-97
    5.9 “Peach Pie” page 98-99
  6. Seasons and Weather
    6.1 “Pumpkins and Mums” page 102-103
    6.2 “Autumn Cottage” page 104-105
    6.3 “Spring Lambs” page 106-107
    6.4 “Peach Tree Hurricane” page 108-109
    6.5 “Eye of the Storm” page 110-111
    6.6 “God’s Promise” page 112-113
    6.7 “We Gather Together” page 114-115
    6.8 “Savannah Snow” page 116-117
    6.9 “I Believe in Santa” page 118-119