Nature Blog#2

Welcome to Doreyl's
Backwoods Nature Blogging

Living in the Woods... Artfully
by Doreyl Ammons Cain

     From the first day, my life in the woods meant living creatively. Nature just moves you that way. I cant say it's an easy way to go, as most animals in the woods demonstrate, yet this life-style keeps you fully awake and aware. The fast energy of a ground squirrel, a bird in flight or the shine in the eyes of a field mouse all tell a story of intense aliveness. This same kind of energy goes into creating a work of art, so these woods, Nature's Home Preserve, is my art studio.

     Living artfully makes a connection to a world beyond day to day chores, a saving grace when faced with troubles and worry. The sheer joy of creating something new strengthens and renews my spirits. With this in mind I paint all of my public art murals on panels here at Nature's Home. Figuring to share my seventy two years of experience with drawing & painting within the stimulating aliveness of the woods, I have dedicated my life to sharing this art through the illustration of books and creating public mural art.

     Discovery of something previously unknown or unseen gives a keen feeling of accomplishment and delight. When hiking our nature trails searching for an inspiring scene to paint, discovery is constant. The spring time of year washes of clear color lightens the landscape with wildflowers like Trillium, Violets, Dogwood blossoms, and the Kelly green of tender new leaves. Wild birds, so intent on feeding and building their nests, stay in position so you can sketch them. Even squirrels stop their noisey chatter and sit still on tree limbs to study the growing forest. Pastel painting become a study of nature in these woods.

     To view nature undisturbed gives the most profound esthetic experience. No wonder people still attempt to capture this natural beauty on paper & canvas and have since recorded human history. I surprise myself at the creativity that bubbles up with each encounter with a wildflower or distant mountain scene.

     At four years of age I took my first artistic stroke. I broke off a stick and drew birds in the sandy dirt road that wound it's way up to our mountain cabin. For hours at a time I studied the wings of butterflies, crawdads in the creek, the fireflies flickering lights and every wildflower within my short grasp. These Smoky Mountains filled my young heart. Now, as a much more experienced biological artist and avid hiker, I still wander the mountains and study the splendor of the millions of living species around me.

     I welcome others to this unexplained special experience in the woods. You don't have to be an artist to feel it, just realize that everyone is creative and you are too!

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