City Artist, Country Artist, Part II: I Love The Rural Life

On Wednesday we heard from artists who prefer the city life, with its energy and spark. They actually seem to be in the minority, as you can see in the responses from those who prefer country living–there are a LOT of people who find all the inspiration they need in the trees and fields and water and sky.


Tanya wrote: “People have a tendency to project their own tendencies and desires on others. Maybe cities foster Lehrer’s creativity, but I’m sure that isn’t true of everyone. I like visiting cities and the stimulation of visiting museums and galleries, experiencing work I would have never in a million years dreamed of. However, I also find being around other people exhausting. An hour or two and I’m sucked dry. It would have to be a rural environment for me, then, as long as there’s excellent internet coverage and I can get books delivered.”

Marilyn says: “Definitely rural. Why? Because there are so many distractions in a city. Also, in the country, you have time to think, imagine, and to wonder “What if?” A long walk in a beautiful, peaceful place clears the mind and allows new ideas to grow before they are crowded out. In a city, you are constantly bombarded with input, visual and aural. Before an idea has time to grow, it is pushed out of your mind by another idea and another.”

Jean: “I much prefer the quiet and solitude of the woods. I love the city for social outings and our world class art museums but for my own creating, give me the birds, trees and a subtle breeze.”

Andrea says, “Where I live is almost ideal, semi rural, easy access to trails to hike, several coffee shops and opportunities to meet people from different walks of life. Of course having a university based community doesn’t hurt,” and she adds, “It’s also become a lot more tolerable with the advent of the Internet. I don’t have to travel to meet cool people :)”

Lorri says, “No brainer: I live in the mountains where there is peaceful, quiet solitude.”

Dawn wrote: “We live in a very rural area with a vineyard next to our property. I get daily inspiration just going out into our field. The changing colors of the grape leaves and the hills around us going from green to brown. I think it is important to pay attention to what is around us. Sometimes we go about our day so busy trying to get from paint A to point B that we don’t see what is right in front of us. Stop for a moment and actually look at what is on the ground in front of you. Seed pods, pieces of pottery, torn tickets, bottle caps. All of this is inspiration for an assemblage or collage. Look up, the shapes of the clouds, the colors of the sunset-sunrise. Just stop for a moment and look. I have never lived in a big city, always rural so I don’t have a base to compare the two but I do know that I would never give up the live I have here and the ability to create from what surrounds me.”

And Zom says:  “Maybe it is connected to introversion and extraversion. My choice is obvious :). I find my time in the city very stimulating, but sometimes I feel so stimulated that I have a difficult time settling down to create. I have so much going on inside at any time (extreme introversion) that I don’t need too much from the outside to get creating. I love it when I have the opportunity for visits to the city, then home to months of creating in the rainforest. Of course it is pretty stimulating here, with the animals and plants etc.”

PS: Want to brush up on your trees? Check out Painting and Drawing Trees in the Landscape. I haven’t seen it, but you can find out more by clicking the link.


Ricë is the author of Living the Creative Life, Creative Time and Space, and Destination Creativity. She also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.




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2 Responses to City Artist, Country Artist, Part II: I Love The Rural Life

  1. CarolineA says:

    Have you had any responses from people living in the “old world” of Europe with its history and lovely old towns and villages? I was born in Europe and migrated as an adult, and truly miss the inspiration and beauty that time gives even the most basic cow shed. Were I to go back, I would be torn between the city and the country, and how much would be determined by how modern the city I lived in, and how redeveloped my surrounding would be.
    Living in a new country I have to go with those who prefer country life; and for exactly the same reasons. But if I lived in Paris, London or Rome, my answer would be very different and the choice far harder.

    • Rice Freeman-Zachery says:

      What an interesting take on the question, Caroline–I love this. I hadn’t thought about it this way, but I, too, would probably make a different choice if I had the choice of an ancient city thrown in the mix.