The Most Inspiring Art of 2012

Richard Shilling's Land Art Finds Beauty in Nature

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Richard Shilling Land Art colored leaves sunwheel

credit: Richard Shilling

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Richard Shilling is one of those artists whose work forces you to look at your own surroundings with a new perspective, finding inspiration in what previously may have been overlooked. Using organic materials available to all of us - leaves, twigs, and stones - Shilling creates simple structures that draw our attention with minimal form to the depth of detail found in forests.

I happened to learn of Shilling's work early in the Autumn when I saw his chromatic spectrum piece using rowan berries. HIs use of color, natural environments and materials was fitting for the changing season, when all around us we're faced with a changing landscape, which, as Shilling demonstrates, is also a new pallet from which to create. As someone with a tendency to procrastinate, especially in executing on my ideas for creating art, I found Shilling's work inspiring because it reminds me to appreciate the fleeting nature of time. His sculptures can only exist momentarily. The ice melts. The leaves brown. The wind blows and the sculptures will fall. And once created, the moment to photograph the vibrancy of color depends on the passing sun. The lesson here is clear: if you wish to create art, don't wait. Build the thing. Take the photo. And rest assured that moment, that season did not pass you by.

See more of Shilling's land art.

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