Shining Rocks Wilderness, Pigsah National ForestLandscape painting once had a rich dialogue with landscape design. The English landscape garden, for example, was greatly influenced by paintings. This rich connection hardly exists today. But painter Philip Juras might have something to say about that.
Formally trained as both a painter and a landscape architect, Juras is the perfect link between landscape painting and design. His large scale paintings capture the beauty of specific ecological communities. Juras paints primarily remnant native landscapes. Like the Manahatta project in New York, Juras’ work focuses on depicting specific ecological communities as they may have looked before European settlement.
book on naturalist William Bartram’s travels through the American South.
I first met Philip when I was in graduate school at the University of Georgia. My professor and native plant expert Darrel Morrison developed a class that took students to remnant virgin landscapes around the Southeast. Juras joined us on some of those trips. The landscapes we witnessed changed the way I thought about design. The complexity and majesty of these spaces were unlike any other human disturbed forest or meadow I had experienced. The patterns created by the mature plant communities were strong, legible, and distinct, a offering a storehouse of ideas for modern design. Juras’ paintings recall these landscapes.
To see more about Philip's work, visit his website: http://www.philipjuras.com/index.htm