Even today, living out our lives on small screens, we still need that connection to nature and landscapes.
Until a few years ago, I could not have told you my big ” Why.” Why am I drawn to paint landscapes and the stories of people who share part of their lives in open spaces? The layers of my life reveal a simple truth – nature’s landscape has been both a place of celebrations and of refuge. “Nature immediately connects me to joy”.
Mountains are the backdrop for many great memories of family and friends gathering together. I grew up in the forested, rural countryside. My parents spent time with my sister and me in the outdoors; camping, lakeside picnics, walks in fall colors, sledding and skiing. To pay for college, I worked four summers as a U.S. Forest Service lookout perched above the trees. Those months of living in that sereneness, I honed peace and centering skills that would help me navigate life. By spending time in nature, you can find breathing room and calm.
Nature has also been my trusted companion during those painful chapters in life. As a civilized western nation, we tend to go the with the “3 M’s” – Medication, Mars Bars or Merlot. My default became long walks outside. By moving one foot in front of the other out in the fresh air, eventually the giant knot in my stomach lessened and the brain fog cleared. The direction I needed to take became clear outdoors. Being in nature and relaxation are connected.
Today, we let our lives get over-the-top busy, layered with packed schedules, long commutes and a seemingly endless list of “must do”. We don’t get outside enough and stare at small screens too much. The media often reminds us that Nature needs our protection and the truth is, we in turn, need Nature to develop and nurture our best selves. My paintings are a way to reconnect us back to those spaces, places that give us so much. Please visit Paula Christen Watercolors.