Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Revival of FINE ARTS, with Nature as theme

 Revival of FINE ARTS, with Nature as theme
Fine Arts reached its peak in the ancient world with "the glory that was Greece" and "the grandeur that was Rome." As a movement, it underwent a stormy history. How can it weather the present environmental upheaval, and become a agent of reform?

Dr Abe V Rotor 
 Living with Nature School on Blog [avrotor.blogspot.com]
Paaralng Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Mely C Tenorio, 738 DZRB AM, 8 to 9 Evening Class, Monday to Friday (Phase II 2006 to present)

  • Fine arts reached its peak with "the glory that was Greece" and flourished in the "grandeur that was Rome." This was in the known world then, the Greco-Roman Empire which lasted for a millennium.
  • Then the world plunged into the "Dark Ages."Whatever happened to mankind remained in limbo for more than five hundred years. Black Death decimated Europe's population by one-third. Religious conflicts gave rise to fanaticism and ruthlessness, with victims surpassing the number of those killed in the two world wars combined. The sense of nationhood was far fetched, more so of a united world. What with the warring fiefs and kingdoms?

  • Then in the fifteenth century dawned the Age of Renaissance which adopted the Greco-Roman model and the rise of Christianity shifting from mythological themes. Many of the great works depicted renewal of faith in God such as the works of Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Raphael, and later Shakespeare in literature. The later part of the Renaissance saw the rise of science (Galileo), exploration (Columbus), and politics (Machiavelli).  
  • The Renaissance followed on the heels of the Middle Ages, and was spawned by the birth of the philosophy of humanism, which emphasized the importance of individual achievement in a wide range of fields. The early humanists, such as writer Francesco Petrarch, studied the works of the ancient Greeks and Romans for inspiration and ideology, mixing the philosophies of Plato and other ancient thinkers with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Under the influence of the humanists, literature and the arts climbed to new levels of importance.
  • The environmental movement has its roots in the 19th century with American Philosopher Henry David Thoreau (Walden Pond), John Muir (creation of Yosemite National Park). As industrialization grew the preservation of  the environment became the leading movement in the early twentieth century, becoming the basis of modern environmental movement which began in the mid-to-late 1960s. Rachel Carson (Silent Spring ).  "Modern" art became associated with the Hippie movement and Counterculture, post-impressionism, surrealism, among other recent schools of abstract art. Towards the end of the 20th century the need for green technology was realized - now the subject on world summits, the latest being that of the 2015 Paris Summit on Global Warming. The conservative Roman Catholic Church led by Pope Francis issued an encyclical letter Laudato Si - a universal call for universal brotherhood  in saving Mother Earth.
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  Author's Note:  Five students taking up Fine Arts as a course at the University of Santo Tomas visited me for an interview at home in Lagro, QC.  It is at home where I could show my works as a nature-artist, principally a 90 feet long by 7 feet (average) tall wall mural which I painted around the periphery of my residence. (As shown in the photographs below.)   
For quite a time I pondered on the real theme of the interview. I maybe bias to the scientific aspect of nature which is closely associated with ecology, in which case art would be subservient to equations and formula, defining in colors and lines such terms as dynamic balance and biological diversity. On the other hand, if emphasis is on the side of art,  the tendency of art is to sacrifice ecology if favor of subjective interpretations. 

Indeed, the occasion opened to mind a relatively recent movement - eco-art - a contraction of art depicting nature.  It is broad and general though.  But it is this vastness that many will agree with me in proposing The theme, Return to Fine Arts with Nature.
Applying the ancient world of fine art, not only on to the perfection of art for art sake, but on Mother Nature as subject, maybe what we need to create a movement with two objectives: revival of the fine art which has dovetailed into various abstract forms; and the elevation of awareness of Nature's beauty and significance in our present campaign to preserve the environment. 

I would like to invite our pageviewers, readers, and radio listeners on Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid to tune in simultaneously with viewing this blog, Living with Nature.  I also invite them to search and red the related articles in this Blog, albeit other references, to enrich our consciousness on the unity and harmony of Fine Arts and Nature.   

Giant heart-shape frame for Mother Orangutan and Child , a gamely triangulation, exudes joy and exuberance to these city-bred ladies. Deep in our mind is the universal instinct of motherhood which challenges man's rationality and values.  To what extent is primal instinct genetically ingrained and spread in the living world?  To what advantage (or otherwise) has this relationship evolved in guaranteeing the survival of species.  Through fine arts, reach out for the wondering mind.

The biggest animal creature that ever lived - the blue whale, larger than any of the dinosaurs - brings down-to-earth knowledge and understanding about this enigmatic creature. Why it has survived through millions of years, how it became adapted to ocean life when its ancestors were originally land dwellers, how it keeps its huge body warm as a mammal in the cold seas - are not just imagination and fantasy, but real.      


Meditation with Nature by the seaside, at the inter tidal zone with rare creatures, where peace and solace reign. It is not any lesser to religious meditation. In fact, it is an experience real and true with all our senses, psyche and spirit notwithstanding.
Art takes us closer to nature, it defines our role, humbles us, makes us realize that Paradise is not forever lost, and that it is only in heaven that true joy is found. Nature offers us so many opportunities to rebuild that lost Garden by our own hands in whatever capacity - even just to discover a flowering weed and make others share this experience for a moment.

Knock, knock! The door closes after us, as Nature opens.  When we leave our home  we open the gate to meet Nature.  She's just a step away.  In fact she is with and in us.
The air we breathe, water and food we take, things we wear, light to see her wonders, creatures around us, ad infinitum.  How do we greet Nature in the morning? Bid goodbye at the end of the day, say our Thanksgiving? Express the fine art of awareness in painting, music, literature, and other creative ways. 

Sun in the depth of the sea - an illusion? Is the deep beyond the lighted zone a world of darkness.  To us humans our senses are designed for terrestrial life, we cannot perceive what the bottom dwellers can. What is human superiority, what is scientific breakthrough? Humility rises where and when we submit ourselves to the mystery of creation, and cease to question, to doubt. Fine arts is submission to such humility.


Talk to the hornbill (kalaw).  Ask where it has been for so long a time.  Is he and his mate survivors of a biological upheaval?  Has this bird lost its own species, that it is no longer a part of a population but just an endangered flock? There is a song, Where have all the flowers gone? - allegorically applicable to other living things. How can this  explain the cause of extinction of species. Fine arts may yet save today's threatened and endangered species.     

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