Saturday, January 21, 2012

Why make art that no one will see?

Why make art that no one will see?

Well, first of all, that statement isn't quite true. You are "seeing" this sculpture, in a way. Yes it is just a photograph. Yes it is not the full experience. You are not hearing the stillness of the forest, the gurgling sound of the waterfall as it tumbles over and under the ice to the pool below.
You are not feeling the cold in your fingers and toes (maybe this is a good thing! ) nor the exhilaration of standing in the icy water to get this shot (definitely a good thing!). But, you are seeing something of the magic that was present in this moment... the impossible view of shards of ice rising up to form a delicate archway over the black ribbon of water deep in a secluded corner of a nature reserve. No trails lead to this place so it is most likely, no one but me saw this sculpture once I completed it. And I know it did not last the night because we had strong, warm winds the next day and much of the snowcover melted so its a good bet this came down sometime in the night.

But the pictures don't convey the awe experienced when a beam of sparkling sunlight, drifted down thru the pine branches hundreds of feet above , to settle on the foot of the ice arch which set the whole sculpture glowing into a delicate crystalline bridge of light....sadly, the photos cannot capture what the human can see nor what the human heart can feel.

Which brings up another point... just because only one pair of human eyes got to see this sculpture does not mean it was not seen by others. And this is one of the parts that is so hard to explain... for when I am out in the forest, doing this work, feeling in harmony with the landscape and environment, I do not feel alone, not one bit. I feel the presence of the great trees, sleeping in the snow... I feel the presence of the small birds and lively squirrels high in the branches above...and I feel the deep and powerful Presence of both Mother Earth and the Great Spirit which hold it all together. And I feel more than this, even... I feel the presence of graceful beings of energy and light. Some might call them Faeries, some might call them Devas or Elementals or angels, even. But the point is, they are there too and sometimes, when everything is just right and peace is big in my heart, I get to feel them too.

And that is one of the big reasons why I do this art... as an offering... for them.


Bonnie K said...

Lovely, Sally! I agree whole-heartedly with what you said. But I would like to add more: Why make art even if "no one" sees it? Because in the creation process BEAUTY (i.e. LOVE, TRUTH) is sent out into the universes. And in being sent out, we all are touched by the energy from it. It is BEAUTY that this world so desperately needs.

Folklings said...

I recently found your blog and just wanted to let you know how powerfully inspiring I find your work. A few years ago I moved from a megalopolis to a rural community with great forests and a great river nearby - and I suddenly found my creative voice. I have no doubt it was the wildness of my surroundings speaking to me. It is important to me to keep as much Nature in my paintings as possible, even as I wonder if that will decrease my sales. I hope you will be able to keep creating. -Bree

mummaru said...

Beautiful! Your he*art is in your words as well. Thank you for sharing. I "discovered" your work in a Facebook post by Stone Art (the Emerald Mossy Fairy House).

Sally J Smith, Environmental Artist said...

Dear Bonnie,

You are of course, so right! Yes, Beauty is something that connects us all...and not just the Human community. I'm thinking of the amazing Bower Birds... who make spectacular sculptures all to attract a mate. Yes, there is a connection between Beauty, love and what we love to do and the Universe that holds it all together! Thank you Bonnie for your very sweet comment!


Sally J Smith, Environmental Artist said...

Dear Bree,

I'm so pleased to hear about another artist who is finding new ways to embrace Nature and expand the creative process and experience to include more of that most essential relationship...the one we have with our planet. Good for you!!!

I had a chance to check out your blog at and your work is very special!! You have a very unique style...keep at it and look for ways to license your work; greeting cards would be ideal. You have a great could go far! Keep in touch and keep doing your lovely work!!


Sally J Smith, Environmental Artist said...

Thank you so much Mummaru!!

I can't wait to make more stone houses, glad to know you enjoyed the Emerald moss house!!

Blessed Be,


Welcome to the enchanted world of Environmental art and Faerie Houses sculptures created by Sally J Smith. Here you will find photos of the artist's unique art-forms and hear some of the stories from behind the scenes as she shares with you her creative process.