Darkness Is My Nature By Michael Davis

There is nothing quite as beautiful, terrifying, and costly as the dark side of Mother Nature. In this gallery I will showcase several works of art that depict various natural disasters and violent acts of nature. I will also discuss how numerous artists use different techniques to create the emotion and chaos of these acts of nature ranging from insidious to furious. We all have our dark sides and bad days; Mother Nature is no exception.

In this painting Michael Taylor shows the chaotic fury of a flash flood. The piece is abstract but the imagery is clear and powerful. Taylor is really able to capture emotion with this piece by utilizing movement. As you look at the painting you can invasion the water rushing by, destroying anything in its path. Many of Taylor’s pieces are abstract but he often shows, and seemed to be inspired by, natural phenomenon.
A fire burning out of control is the subject matter of this historical piece. The artist of the series detailing “The Great Fire of London” is unknown, but this mystery artist was able to use color and contrast to capture the rage of Mother Nature. The bright oranges and yellows of the fire stand out against the dark surroundings, making the terrifying fire glow bright in the night. The painting also has beautiful symbolism, the building in the foreground almost looks like a face with two eyes and a wide-open mouth, almost as if the building is screaming.
Childe Hassam’s painting “A New York Blizzard” is a wonderful use of pastel medium to show a New York snowstorm. Hassam is able to use several different elements to create this piece, such as emphasis and focus by using color. The focus of the piece is the few well-dressed pedestrians walking through the blowing snow. The pedestrian in the foreground wearing all black with a black umbrella practically stand out, almost giving the painting a gothic element. Hassam is able to paint the snowstorm with such vivid life you can almost feel the burning cold of winter.
In this painting, Sergey Das shows a powerful image from within the violent waves of a tsunami. Das is a painter that has created a variety of images, but he often paints modern abstract art, and this is the case for this painting. Modern art is often up to the interpretation of the audience and when I look at this painting I think of an image you would see when you first open your eyes after being sucked under the vicious wave. The use of color in this piece is what gives me that image, the dark water, the debris, and the splash of red makes me think of blood. The patch of yellow on the side makes me think of sunlight shining down through the water.
“Sunday Evening” by Russell Drysdale depicts a family in the harsh outback of Australia. Drysdale was inspired by this subject matter and uses surrealism in this particular piece. When I look at this painting I think of a drought, or an image from the dust bowel. Drysdale was also inspired by the Great Depression and shows that in this painting. Using color Drysdale is able to show the dryness and heat of the location. The painting conveys suffering and loss while still showing life and human endurance.
This piece done in watercolor by Joseph Mallord William Turner shows a steamboat charging into an oncoming storm. This painting really captures what it looks like to see a rainstorm from far away. Light colors and loose fast brush strokes create a dream like effect to the painting. This painting was done in the impressionism style creating heavy texture in the piece, the darker clouds of the storm releasing lines of rain down onto the blue water.
This painting uses color and contrast to show the gloriously terrifying eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Joseph Wright created this oil painting showing the power of volcano’s. The bright oranges and reds amidst dark black clouds draws your eye, the painting also has contrast on the subject matter, running right down the middle of the painting. One side of the painting shows the vicious eruption, and the other showing a full moon hidden behind white clouds, the moon shimmering off the water below. Wright uses extreme detail to make the painting polarizing; the land in the painting stands out in realism.
“Avalanche in an Alpine Landscape” by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes shows an avalanche tumbling down a mountainside. Pierre Puvis de Chavannes uses lines to capture the image of a hidden avalanche surrounded by snow, almost like an insidious killer hiding just out of sight and sneaking up on you. The piece was created with black and white chalk, which adds to its astatic and texture. This style also helps covey movement making the scene look sketched and chaotic, almost as if you're watching the crushing wall of snow race towards you.
The landscape style of luminism is used to create the painting of a thunderstorm moving into Narragansett Bay. Martin Johnson Heade was able to use hyperrealism to create this slick painting filled with deep contrast. The thunderstorm is a dark ominous force surrounding the sunny bay, one lightning strike running down the right center of the painting. The dark blacks and grays make an emotional, symbolic, and visible contrast to the small sliver of blue sky still visible. The sky and storm becomes a living beast in this painting.
The sense of movement in “Tornado (Le typhon)” by Alphonse Legros is what makes this piece so powerful. The piece depicts an image of outdoor surroundings as a tornado approaches. Legros shows several large thick trees bending from the weight of the wind. One tree appears to have been blown over and three people scurry, trying to escape the powerful force of nature. Detail adds to conveying violent movement, the blowing leafs on the trees, the cloths blowing in the wind; these details make you feel as if the violent tornado is just out of frame.
Credits: All media
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