Anyway, nature influences me a great deal in my art, as it has interested many artists. (Speaking of which, here is a great interview of Picasso speaking about various things including nature)
Nature is more of a backdrop though. Natural forms find their way into my work but I’ve never been intensely interested in simply painting landscapes or sketching flowers, for example. No plein air painting for me–it’s too distracting. Too much space, noise, visuals–I can’t concentrate.
I read about an artist that also thought of the landscape as more of a background to their art, not part of it, but I can’t remember what book I read that out of or what artist it was…I think sort of the same way, except that I acknowledge the role of nature in my art, even if nature isn’t the subject, nature is always there.
No, I need nature for different reasons–to cleanse myself–my mind, my body, and my soul. When I’m walking, hiking, climbing, playing, boating, whatever, I am happier than any other time. Art is work. Nature is my escape.