Environment As Art: 15 Beautiful Pictures of Nature

simon beck

15 different beautiful pictures of nature by artists who love the environment. 

Using the environment as their canvas, or taking artistic inspiration from nature, these artists are the leaders of the environmental art movement. Their beautiful pictures of nature inspire us and cause us to think, contemplating our own place in the natural world and our relationship to the earth that we inhabit.

1. Simon Beck (photo above)

Spending long days walking in the snow, artist Simon Beck creates his large scale snow art. The patterns are made completely by foot; Beck wears snowshoes to create them.

andy goldsworthy

2. Andy Goldsworthy

One of the most notable artists working in the environmental sphere, British artist Andy Goldsworthy constructs works of art on site, his pieces closely tied to the locations that he creates them in. His work, captured as beautiful pictures of nature, is well captured in the documentary Rivers and Tides.


3. Carlotta Brunetti

Born in Italy and raised in Germany, Carlotta Brunetti creates beautiful pictures of nature in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Her goal as an artist is to connect her indoor work with her outdoor pieces, forcing us to think about our own relationship to nature.


4. Jim Denevan

Working on sandy beaches, Jim Denevan creates temporary installations of art inspired by the environment. The artist, who’s also a surfer, is clearly inspired by his surroundings, using a driftwood stick found on site to create his huge installations that are eventually erased by the ocean.


5. Néle Azevedo

Néle Azevedo, an artist and independent researcher based in Brazil, is the woman behind Minimum Monument, an urban art action in public spaces around the world. It’s composed of hundreds of ice sculptures that are taken to central places and then left to melt. In 2009 Azvedo installed a version in Berlin, which received worldwide attention, highlighting the threat of climate change.


6. Richard Schilling

Self-described as a “land artist” Richard Schilling works closely with his surroundings. The British artist makes natural sculptures that he constructs with materials that he gathers near where the sculpture is installed.


7. Agnes Denes

Born in Hungary in 1931, Agnes Denes came to the conceptual art scene in the 1960s. Working in a variety of mediums, her first environment focused piece was in 1968. One of her most well-known pieces Wheatfield – A Confrontation, where she planted a field of golden wheat in downtown Manhattan, at the Battery Park Landfill.


8. Yann Arthus-Bertrand

You can’t talk about environmental art without mentioning Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The French photographer, journalist and environmentalist is world famous for his beautiful pictures of nature taken from the sky. In 1994, on a project sponsored by UNESCO, he set out to document the state of the Earth. The resulting book, Earth from Above (‘la Terre vue du ciel’), sold over 3 million copies and was translated into 24 languages.

anna garforth

9. Anna Garforth

Instead of using spray paint, Anna Garforth does graffiti with moss. But that’s not all she does. The London-based artist has worked on a variety of projects for brands and museums around the world capturing beautiful pictures of nature and transforming urban spaces.

chris jordan

10. Chris Jordan

Photographer Chris Jordan is most well-known for his large scale works addressing consumption and garbage. His work has taken him to the island of Midway to document the effects of waste. He captured the tragedy of ocean pollution, with his heart wrenching images of dead albatross, their stomachs filled with trash from the North Pacific Gyre.


11. Patrick Dougherty

To give you an idea of what Patrick Dougherty does, his website is called Stick Work. Combining carpentry skills with an art background, Dougherty has built over 230 impressive works around the world, some in natural settings and other in the middle of urban spaces.

nils udo

12. Nils Udo

German artist Nils Udo is another legendary environmental artist, working with the natural environment since the early 1970s. Like other artists in his genre, he uses items found on site to build his installation pieces, which range from large nests to colorful mixtures of leaves.

gloria lamson

13. Gloria Lamson

Creating temporary installations using natural or simple manmade materials, Gloria Lamson explores ways to engage natural forces. She often works in remote locations, documenting her work through photography. She has a beautiful series titled “Drawing in the Land” looking at how lines activate our awareness of space.

robert smithson

14. Robert Smithson

Earthwork artist Robert Smithson, who passed away in the 1970s, was well-known for his sculpture and land art. Perhaps most famous is his Spiral Jetty in Great Salt Lake, Utah.

nicole dextras

15. Nicole Dextras

Environmental artist Nicole Dextras works in a variety of mediums, from grass to ice. In 2012 she put together The Little Green Dress Projekt, a collection of 21 handmade botanical dresses, in her words: “wear it and compost it.” Pushing the limits of art and architecture, Urban Foragers is a collection of “wearable architectures” – they are clothes that transform into a temporary shelter.

Related on EcoSalon:

20 Unforgettable Works of Environmental Art

20 Conscious Artists Who Go Beyond the Canvas

Images: Simon Beck, Phil Roeder, Women Environmental Artists Directory, Jim Denevan, Néle Azevedo, Robert Schilling, Agnes Denes, Yann Arthus Bertrand, Anna Garforth, Chris JordanDuncan Price, Justin Warner, Ned Raggett, Retis, Nicole Dextras

Anna Brones

Anna Brones is a food + travel writer with a love for coffee and bikes. She is the author of The Culinary Cyclist and Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Catch her weekly column, Foodie Underground.