Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Two insights

with 26 comments

1) “Third-graders who spend a class session in a natural outdoor setting are more engaged and less distracted in their regular classroom afterward than when they remain indoors, scientists found in a new study.” You’re welcome to read more about the study.

2) For those of you in the Austin area, you’d do well to check out the Blanton Museum’s exhibit called “Ancestral Modern,” which features Aboriginal Australian paintings. The show will remain up through September 9th. As a sample, here’s a painting by Rosie Nangala Fleming called “Three Dreamings: Fire, Mulga Seed, and Emu,” from 1993.

Click to enlarge.


Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 3, 2018 at 4:44 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , ,

26 Responses

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  1. J would strongly agree with Dr. Kuo’s findings. The salutary influence of nature has long been recognized by those who practice Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) … http://www.shinrin-yoku.org/shinrin-yoku.html. The effect is something I think we who frequent the out-of-doors have always appreciated and valued, highly. As to your second insight. I have always been fascinated by the degree to which indigenous Australians are so strongly connected to nature … and, not simply its physical manifestations. Clearly these people experience Shinrin-yoku though they surely do not refer to it that way!

    Pairodox Farm

    August 3, 2018 at 5:00 AM

    • Thanks for providing a connection to shinrin-yoku, which makes the same point as the study. I noticed in the conclusions about the study that “…children with ADHD perform substantially better on neurocognitive tests of attention after taking a walk in a natural area than after walking in an outdoor setting with few natural features.” It implies that a playground, even though it’s outdoors, wouldn’t provided the same benefit as nature. Now I’m wondering whether the wilder a setting in nature is, the greater the benefit. For example, would an urban park with paved walkways be as good as a more remote piece of nature?

      Our one visit to Australia was for a wedding, so we never got far outside Sydney. Some television documentaries I’ve seen in the years since then make me keen to go back and hunt up some nature there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 3, 2018 at 7:40 AM

  2. Aboriginal art is beautiful. I am glad you had a chance to see this exhibition.


    August 3, 2018 at 6:15 AM

    • It is, and we are glad too. Shortly before our recent Canada trip we became members of the Blanton Museum in order to get reciprocal membership at many other art museums in the U.S. and Canada. We went to several on the trip, then after returning we visited the Blanton for the Aboriginal show, plus two museums in San Antonio and one in La Grange (an hour east of Austin).

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 3, 2018 at 7:47 AM

  3. awesome art !


    August 3, 2018 at 1:59 PM

  4. Aboriginal art is stunning, but so out of my price range, being able to visit an exhibition is definitely worthwhile.


    August 3, 2018 at 2:16 PM

    • Nowhere in the exhibit did I see any indication of how much the collectors had paid for any of the paintings. From what you say, that market has hit its stride, and the time to have bought something affordable would have been decades ago. By the same token, the current prices are great for the painters.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 3, 2018 at 2:28 PM

      • Even decades ago I couldn’t afford any. Other than a very tiny decoration painted onto a piece of bone. I have only just remembered that, now where on earth has that gone?


        August 3, 2018 at 2:39 PM

        • I had no idea that even decades ago aboriginal art was fetching those kinds of prices. I hope you find your little decoration on bone. It might make for a worthwhile post.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 3, 2018 at 2:45 PM

  5. Very beautiful Aboriginal artwork. Thanks for posting!


    August 3, 2018 at 4:53 PM

    • Sure thing. Being as relatively (compared with Texas) close to Australia as you are, you might get to experience some in person.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 3, 2018 at 4:56 PM

      • Earlier this year the public art gallery in Gore displayed some Aboriginal art from their collections. Much older, and I don’t think it was in colour however it was still incredibly fascinating.


        August 3, 2018 at 5:06 PM

        • I’m glad you got to see it.

          Native art in Australia is so different from the native New Zealand art I saw on my visits. I wonder if anyone has ever combined the two.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 3, 2018 at 5:16 PM

          • I haven’t heard of any such combination. As you say, the art appears to be completely different.


            August 3, 2018 at 5:19 PM

            • Right. The Māori went to New Zealand from Polynesia, and Polynesians had had no contact (that I’ve heard of, anyway) with Australia.

              Steve Schwartzman

              August 3, 2018 at 5:22 PM

  6. With so little internet time, I rely on gmail to read 100 wp posts while at home, but the images don’t load. it helps, however, to stay a little in tune with what everyone is doing. now online, i see this stunning image – oh my, what a treat for very tired eyes!!!! i’ve opened the ‘study’ link and am a bit envious of the art-viewing ops!

    • This is an atypical post for Portraits of Wildflowers but it’s right up your alley as an artist. I’m glad you got to see it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 7, 2018 at 8:57 PM

      • Here’s another ‘atypical’ comment for your posts; I mentioned to someone that I didn’t want to be a ‘Chico Mendes’ (Chica) and end up being killed for my protests about the deforestation/burning/pesticide use in the area — so I did a quick search to be sure they could find out about Mendez if they didn’t know what I was talking about.. and the ‘other’ person in this story has a very-special name! https://www.edf.org/chico-mendes-living-legacy

        Playamart - Zeebra Designs

        August 10, 2018 at 2:34 PM

        • Wow, what a coincidence in names! There’s also a billionaire Steve Schwarzman (no t in his spelling) in the world of finance and investment. Don’t know if I’ll ever meet either one of the two. Apropos the one you discovered, I just finished reading Laura Dassow Walls’s recent biography of Thoreau, in which I learned that he was already decrying the loss of nature around him in Concord more than a century and a half ago. Here in Austin, properties where I’ve taken nature pictures continue to disappear.

          And don’t you go putting yourself in danger and disappearing on us.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 10, 2018 at 2:49 PM

  7. I liked the painting then, still like it now. It reminds me a little of Navajo sand paintings.


    July 7, 2021 at 6:59 PM

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