“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” ~Georgia Okeeffe

Nature gives a unique pause––a breath of fresh air and a moment of inspiration and peace. It’s this feeling that nature artists at the Celebration of Fine Art aim to capture and share. Working with vastly different mediums and techniques, Cathy Sheeter, Trevor Swanson, and Jan Bushart share the process behind their art.

Cathy didn’t intend to be an artist, yet her science and anatomy background has proven to be an ideal crossover in her nature and wildlife-focused scratchboard works of art. Her anatomical understanding presents itself in the meticulous detail of her work. Beyond Cathy’s representation, her unique process with scratchboard enhances the details she’s able to convey.

“When you get close to a detailed painting, you look at the brushstrokes,” she said. “When you get close to a detailed scratchwork, it looks like animal hair.”

Cathy works on both black and white scratchboard, and with various inks and tools like X-ACTO knives and sandpaper, begins to scratch away layers to reveal highly realistic representations of wildlife and nature.

While Cathy captures images in nature to recreate in her studio, Jan Bushart likes to paint on-site, en plein air when possible, and at the very least, capture a study to take back to the studio. Her favorites are then recreated into larger pieces.

To Jan, the surprise of the moment is the best part. “The joy is going on location, finding a great spot and finding the quality of light that might just occur for a minute and I have to capture that moment in time and not chase that light and be able to translate that into a painting in a very short amount of time,” she said.

It’s these magic moments that only occur in nature that all three of these artists strive to capture.

“The moment when you see something and your world falls away,” Trevor Swanson said. “You forget the due dates and the mortgage. This is the moment that you want to remember.”

It’s these “in-the-zone” moments Trevor captures in his oil paintings. From scenes of Africa to the Rocky Mountains, Trevor’s work recalls the grandeur and most importantly, forms a connection to share awe-inspiring moments with others. Trevor shares that one of the greatest compliments is when others look at his work and say, “I feel like I’ve been there.”

The strong connection between these artists and the natural world is evident. To hear more from their conversation and see some of their work, watch the full Art Discovery below.

Cathy Sheeter

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Jan Bushart

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Trevor Swanson

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