Saturday, April 23, 2011

What is Land Snorkeling - Clyde Aspevig


From “Land Snorkeling with Clyde Aspevig”, by Scott McMillion, Montana Quarterly, Fall 2009
Land snorkeling isn’t power walking, or even hiking. It isn’t about exercising your body. Rather, it’s a conscious method of exercising your curiosity. It’s not so much about finding answers as it is about finding questions.
Clyde Aspevig
"Winter Glow"Oil on Canvas
48 x 48 Inches 
© Clyde Aspevig
It’s a vital tool for Clyde Aspevig, one of America’s preeminent landscape painters. He’s been land snorkeling most of his life but only recently came up with a name for it.
Go outside. Walk Slowly. Pay attention. Listen. Smell the air. Taste it. Look at the soil and see how it responds to your step. Notice which grasses shine brightest in the morning dew. Compare birds, the differences in wing and shape and flight pattern. Maybe kick over a rock, see what’s under there.
      
Clyde Aspevig
"January Pearl"Oil on Canvas
20 x 24 Inches

© Clyde Aspevig
This is land snorkeling. Doing it could take you almost anywhere, even if you never leave your own neighborhood.
       
Think of it like snorkeling a reef. You drift over mysterious turf. You keep your head down, mostly. Everything is cool, so you look it all over, and you wonder. You come back smiling.

“The act of discovery is one of the most gratifying sensations,” he told me, standing on the bank of the Shields River, near his home in the shadow of the Crazy Mountains. 
Illustration ©BlairThornley.com
What is it? 
By Clyde Aspevig
Clyde Aspevig
"Flower Gardenen"
Oil on Canvas
24 x 12 Inches 
© Clyde Aspevig
Land snorkeling is taking the time to savor aspects of nature we ordinarily don’t see or pay attention to. Land snorkelers wander thru nature with no intention of hiking to a destination. One contemplates what we find in nature and explores every possible connection with all parts of our natural world. Each blade of grass, rock, or creature has some connection to us. We ask questions looking at nature and find out what that connection might be – we develop our cognitive and abstract muscles to solve the problem. We have fun doing it. It helps us to think. Our imagination and creativity is enhanced and richens our lives in a healthy and productive way. It’s free and it’s fun.
Land snorkeling is reestablishing the ancient connections to our landscape. We open up all of our senses to experience the hidden treasures of nature. We develop our intellect thru our senses. We sniff it, touch it, examine the texture, color, shape, etc. etc.
We look closely at things – like a feather found in the grass, a wing design, a rocks texture, and the pattern of a tree growing.

Carol and Clyde
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