Walk in Nature
April 10, 2018
"Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher."
-- William Wordsworth
When I was a kid, nature was a major influence in my life. Our home was surrounded by large maples and tall pine trees. We had gardens galore stocked full of flowers and every spring there were trays upon trays of seedlings sprouting in our garden room.
My mom had an incredible green thumb. When not working, she spent most of her time in our garden talking to her plants and listening to the birds. There were many kinds of birds in our area and every shade of plant green one could imagine. Wildlife and her garden were her temple of sorts—they brought her peace of mind and, although she never mentioned it, I am sure nature inspired her work. Mom was an author of over 20 textbooks in the fashion merchandising arena. She wrote for Fairchild and Milady Publications—now known as Cengage—a publishing company that supplies many of our books here at The Art Institute. I realize I have come full circle.
Fast forward to 2018, mom has since passed and I find myself many years later not all that different from her. I don’t have a green thumb or a garden, but I do have plenty of opportunity to walk in nature.
Myself unaware in my early years—nature has left its mark on my soul and is my inspiration for much of what I do creatively—from photography, to felting to printmaking, to book arts to seeking inspiration for storied themes, characters and mood, lighting and sound for future projects.
Nature not only inspires, she sharpens the senses. From the sound of leaves rustling in the breeze, flocks of birds flying in patterns, colors of the soil and sound of crunch as I walk through last fall’s leaves. Nature has it all—sight, sound, feel, smell. Nature is tactile and textural. I just allow my head to clear and the creative voice starts talking and pointing the way.
I can see why people like Frank Lloyd Wright, John Burroughs, William Wordsworth and St. Hildegard were so moved to write poetry, design homes, author texts and write music. Their connection to nature was strong. They spent much of their time with nature.
So whenever I feel a creative block, the best thing I can do is stop whatever I’m doing and go for a walk in nature. Or I just go anyway. Will you join me?
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