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We have all seen the ways landscape inspires art, both as medium and subject. But the greatest value of landscape is not as material for art for the same reason friends are of greater worth than material for portraits. A relationship to the landscape offers boundless and self-renewing rewards to the occupant of the landscape. Relationships are high art with tiny audiences, ends in themselves, creative acts that don’t require parallel acts of creation.

Jackson Pollock said, “When I am in my painting I am not aware of what I’m doing.” I feel that way when I engage my surroundings. While I admire the sentiment from which his paintings originated I only value the paintings for reminding me of the feelings– and I covet the feelings but not the paintings. The greatest landscape ever painted was not put on paper. It manifested in no physical product. It’s been enacted innumerable times. It’s the way we set forth into mystery and accept what comes of it.

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