What is Organic Art?


                “There is Motive”

36×48 acrylic, ink, salt, canvas

By Deb Haugen

“The Organic Artist”

or·gan·ic  (ôr-g?n’?k)

  1. Of, relating to, or derived from living organisms: organic matter.
  2. Simple, healthful, and close to nature: an organic lifestyle
  3. Resembling a living organism in organization or development; interconnected: society as an organic whole.
  4. Constituting an integral part of a whole; fundamental.
  5. Involving organisms or the products of their life processes.

The term “Organic” can be applied to a variety of subjects. I’m writing about “Organic Art“, and what that means to me, as people have tagged me….The Organic Artist. I have always been more comfortable outside, I just prefer nature to walls. As a child my Mom had to drag me inside every night. I lived just up the hill from a swamp, I know my fascination was born there in that magical swamp. I have very strong beliefs in helping our environment, and concerns for the future of our planet.

When you think of the term organic, you obviously first think of produce, that has been organically grown without chemicals. I think when referring to Art with the term Organic attached, we naturally will conjure up pictures in our minds of natural looking things,  a lush landscape, a gnarled tree, or a bunch of freshly picked flowers, maybe even a basket of produce.   

I first thought about the concept of “Organic Art” while walking the creek bed behind my home in Malibu, Ca. I wanted to capture on canvas the feel of  hiking the trails, or exploring the creek. I wanted to convey my response  to nature, something that had a truly innate natural look and feel to it. To take it a step further, I wanted to show the fundamentals of nature that we see daily, that are so strikingly familiar to us, and their relationship to time.  

I’m  intrigued by micro assemblages, tucked just below the surface, unusual hidden worlds complete in themselves. Macro and micro organic happenings are ongoing constantly, natural occurrences that also have to do with the passage of time. Time reveals itself through rotted wood, new growth, death, strata on the side of a mountain wall, all these things show the evolution of our Earth, organic markings of the passage of time.     Now, mix these  with feelings of emotion,  physical movement of an artist responding to nature, and you have what I call….Organic Art. It is an artists vision of nature, natures movement through time, and that particular artists feelings, and responses. I want the viewer to re-live an atmospheric memory in their relationship to nature and my artwork.

Organic art can also be termed “Organic” by the materials an artist is using. Artists use organic pigments, leaves, branches, berries, stones, etc. An assemblage of natural materials, a sculpture in  wood  or marble, stones stacked/placed  along side a river……..or even crop circles, they are all examples of what I would term Organic Art. 

 I find that creating abstract art with an “Organic” sensitivity in mind lends itself to speak of the emotions involved, rather than painting a pretty sunset that we all recognize to be a sunset. The realistic landscape artist discusses the beauty of a forest they are painting. I am focused on the emotions and feelings that my art conveys, atmospheric memories relived. Organic art reeks of a certain familiarity, something very fundamental, and essential in our daily lives. My paintings convey the organic complexities that surround us, sometimes about serenity, sometimes complex layering systems of decay  or destruction. All of life responds to the primitive, tangible, evolution of our planet, some just a little closer to the source. Organic art is rudimentary, it is essential, it’s primordial, supportive and vital. It might express itself in a piece of  raku fired ceramic, a collection of twigs, or paint on a canvas, twisted, layered, and textured. Organic art is all around us. Look at the car bumper rusted in a gorgeous swirl of burnt sienna, or the red paint peeling off the fence, they are all examples of a natural art being effected by time. Organic art is and always has been a part of our ever changing planet.

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Source by Deb Haugen

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