Mystical Realities:
The Eco-Surrealist Art of Collin Elder


journeyfine artist collin elder blurs the lines between the human form and the natural world, perhaps reflecting a more true version of reality than most surmise. images courtesy of collin elder

There’s something distinctly primal but also simultaneously spiritual about Collin Elder’s evocative paintings. Shamanically blending dreamlike machinations of the human figure and mind with the natural

world, they reveal themselves in layers—upon closer inspection sacred geometries and fractals emerge from the abstractions alongside synergies of both animal and human forms, enmeshed in the fabric of their ecological origins. And that’s intentional on both an actualized and philosophical level: Collin’s work, in his own words, is meant to explore the “depths of our links with the non-human, and hopefully connect their remembering with the health of our human community.”

With a background in conservation and a degree in wildlife biology, his work is “an effort to evoke a vivid sense of direct experience.” To essentially reconnect us with that which has been lost in our transition from an agrarian to technological society. His vibrant paintings pierce directly into the heart and rekindle forgotten aspects of the soul, reconnecting us to the mystical realities just outside our everyday awareness. They encourage us to transcend the “idea of looking through our investigations, classifications, sciences and technologies, into active, subjective participation with an integral, holistic and mysterious ecosystem.”


I believe there is a deeper message in his work—that everything is one. That the separations we believe exist between ourselves and our environment are simply figments of our misperception.  After all, at the subatomic level, everything is made of the same cosmic matter—electrons, protons, neutrons, all arranged in an infinite variety of shapes, colors and sizes. Where then does one thing end and the next begin? What separates the essence of you from the essence of a tree, or a wolf, or a star, or anything else for that matter? Nothing, it seems. And in that sense, perhaps Collin’s paintings are a much more accurate reflection of the true nature of reality than we let ourselves believe…

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About The Author

Justin Faerman is the Co-founder of Conscious Lifestyle Magazine.