Home › Art & Your Natural Environment

Art & Your Natural Environment

Do you ever think about making art with the natural materials around you? Do you see leaves and sticks on the ground that you are convinced could create a masterpiece? You're not alone-- Check out some awesome works made by artists who use natural materials ranging from wood, rocks, leaves -- and more!

Have you ever looked at a leaf and thought about art? You may have seen vibrant trees on a crisp fall day boasting bright reds, oranges, and yellows. But did you ever think someone took those leaves to create something more than a pile to jump in?

Richard Shilling has taken leaves to another level. Essentially creating stained glass imitation using a stunning combination of colors, textures, and shapes.

Online gallery

Works with leaves and light

Mitsuru Koga is a well-known Japanese artist who often works with natural elements such as stones and leaves.

Inspired by the way insects cut into leaves, Koga has created several designs, carving delicate images into leaves to make intricate artwork:

Leaf cutouts

Palm leaf engravings

Lorenzo Manuel Duran Silva is self-taught Spanish artist who also creates intricate leaf designs. He was inspired to work with leaves after observing the way a caterpillar eats through a leaf.

Cut-Away Leaf Art

Rice Straw Art is a portrait made of leaves from the rice plant. Artists use the natural colors of the leaves to create the different shades in the portrait.

Victorian House made out of leaves

Do you think a bunch of tangled sticks can amount to anything noteworthy? Imagine huge structures made entirely of tangled sticks, creating a piece of art to carry your imagination away.

Patrick Dougherty combined his love of nature and carpentry to create astonishing structures of wood and sticks. Originally starting with small projects in his back yard, he's moved on to create enormous works using sticks by the truckload. Take a look and see what sticks out to you!

Featured works from Stickwork

Also, see how he makes some of these unique creations!

"Diamonds in the Rough" Time Lapse

"Peekaboo Palace" Time Lapse

Matchsticks can be used for so much more than simply striking a flame. Combined together, several matchsticks can create rather illuminative designs.

Match Sticks Art by Pei-San

When wood washes up on the beach, some artists see this as an opportunity to create something special. Environmental artist John Dahlsen uses driftwood to create a series of beautiful collages, sculptures, and totems. Page through some of his spectacular creations!

Environmental Driftwood Art

More here!

German artist Tanya finds inspiration in the beauty of the sea and the driftwood it brings to shore. From a simple hobby in 2007, Tanya's interest in driftwood has grown as she creates inspiring sculptures, furniture, and other decorative works.

See here!

English native Julia creates beautiful driftwood pieces on the north coast Cornwall.

Driftwood pieces

Michael Fleming is a Maine Native who uses driftwood to create unique life size sculptures

Driftwood and Thrift

Driftwood Arts & Crafts

Have you ever seen art incorporated with living trees? Artist Carol Hummel intertwines yarn with nature by creating colorful art to inspire young and old. Traveling around the country, she leaves her art to impact communities, making a bold statement.

Carol Hummel Portfolio

We've all heard of people who mold clay and shape other pliable raw materials, but have you heard about people who mold trees? Australian Natives Peter Cook and Beck Northey have mastered the art of shaping trees to create tree people, and living garden tables.

Pooktre Trees

Tree Art in Australia

Andy Goldsworthy is an environmental sculptor, who has created striking works of art, from you guessed it- stone. Known for his unique placement of stone, he creates art for the eye to follow from the shore of the beach to the top of a mountain. Check out some of his creations below.

Andy Goldsworthy Stone Art

Roof Exhibition

Hirotoshi Itoh, a graduate from the Tokyo National Fine Arts University, specializes in unique and sometimes humorous stone sculptures.

Stone Sculptures by Hirotoshi Itoh

A drop of water might not seem like much when you're tightening the faucet or walking through the rain. But have you ever seen an image of a drop on impact? Martin Waugh captures water droplets at a moment we seldom see long enough to appreciate. Take a look at his work up close!

Fine art

Liquid Fire

In recent years, the famous Spiral Jetty earthworks has been resurfacing and submerging with the ebb and flow of the Great Salt Lake near Utah. Robert Smithson created the earthwork entirely out of mud, salt, basalt rocks, earth, and water in 1970.

Look at pictures here!

Made from thousands of tiny seeds, artist Lillian Colton has specialized in creating portraits, animals, and other scenes entirely from natural materials. Using a form a mosaic art, she has crafted masterpieces, winning 9 best-in-show ribbons in the Minnesota state fair.

Lillian Colton's Crop Art

For a different twist on seed art, take a look at what artist Richard Solomon has created. Using natural elements, he designs beautiful collages using some of nature's most delicate materials.

Seed Sun Pieces

Crop Circles:

Crop circles may be made using GPS

Mysterious Crop Circles

You have surely heard of pumpkin carving, but have you ever seen a carved egg? Brian Baity takes an ordinary egg and turns it into anything but ordinary. Using ostrich, emu, and goose eggs he creates one of a kind art that makes you see the possibilities to make beauty from just about anything.

Custom Eggshell Carving by Brian Baity

American artist Virginia Fitzgerald works with a variety of artistic mediums, from photography to to painting. But most recently, she has been using miscellaneous "found" items to create stunning dresses. One of her dresses is made entirely of egg shells.

Natick artist fashions found objects into sculpture

Virginia Fitzgerald's Dress Project

Extremely Detailed Egg Art

12 Egg-cellent Eggshell Creations

Walking Art

Have you seen natural art, which by design is meant to be mobile? Vaughn Bell created a series gallery titled "Landscape for Walking" featuring natural art that doubles as a walking stick. Take a look at natural art that travels around the city!

Landscape for Walking

Jim Denevan focuses on temporary art. He makes creations outside that are not meant to last forever. However, much of his work can only be fully seen from the air. Fly high above the ground and look at huge sand creations that will give you a new idea of perspective!

SJim Denevan Sand Art

Want to see more?

Visit Green Museum, an online environmental art museum. Page through featured artists, exhibitions, and find your own favorite environmental artist! The museum prides itself in maintaining a small ecological footprint and displays a wide range of work from a diverse range of artists. Green Museum is a collection accessible from anywhere, which encourages visitors from around the world to go out and encounter art in the context of their own surroundings.

Green Museum Website