Nature and Creativity (and finding nature anywhere)

Nature and Creativity

Have you ever been having a bad day or just felt cranky or off? 

I was having one of those days. I walk mostly every day and even though I know that it would make me feel better, this day I had to force myself to go.

I told myself I only had to walk a mile.  I would just roam around my town for a while and when my walking app told me I had walked a mile I would be done.

I wasn’t going to go on any of my regular trails.  I was walking to get it over with (and hopefully magically not be cranky any more.)

As I was walking I went toward one of the walking trails in my town and even though I had told myself that’s not what I was going to do, I found myself turning onto the trail.

And then I found myself turning off and going toward the wetland preserve that’s just off the trail.

Almost immediately I felt better.  My shoulders dropped.  My breathing relaxed. My face went from scrunched up to almost a smile.

A butterfly fluttered by me.  I could hear birds chirping and bullfrogs croaking.  The ducks were swimming around.  There were flowers and green plants all around

It felt like magic.

Nature and Creativity

Have you ever experienced this?

Nature has such a healing quality.  There have been studies to prove that being in nature reduces stress and anxiety.

But not only that, being in nature helps our creativity.  You spend most of the day multitasking and thinking of a million things.  Nature always you to slow down and focus on one thing.

There are so many ways that nature can inspire art.  You might make jewelry using colors inspired by nature or shapes of a branch. Or you might just feel recharged and have creative ideas from being away from the hustle and bustle of life.

Nature and Creativity

How to bring more nature into your life

I love to go on a hike in the woods or venture out to a waterfall.  However, most of the time that I experience nature it’s really just in my own town within walking distance of my home.

Even if you live in an urban area there are probably natural places you can visit and get the same effect.

  • Is there a nearby park you can visit?
  • Is there a flower garden in your town?  When I first moved to the town where I live I was delighted to find the historical society had a public garden.  I love to go there to relax and think.
  • There may be little areas in your town like riparian barriers where it’s just green space.  Sometimes there are walking trails that follow them.  Maybe there’s a park next to one.
  • You might discover little walking paths.  I’m so surprised to find a new one every now and then in my town.
  • My very favorite tree is one that is just outside my window.  Whenever I’m feeling stressed or creativity blocked and I can’t get outside for a walk I look at it.
  • Your own yard is probably a great place to start!  When is the last time you had your feet in the grass?
  • Maybe there’s simply a bench with a flower pot next to it.

Nature and Creativity

You don’t have to go on a big hike to get the benefits of being in nature.  Keep your eyes open for little spaces of nature that you can enjoy.

If you want to get use your experience in nature as inspiration to create some great jewelry, check out my Nature Jewelry eWorkshop.

In it you get a creativity booster that’s nature related, jewelry making skills lessons and 5 nature inspired jewelry making projects.

Click here to find out more about it!

Nature Jewelry eWorkshop

Inspiration from Waterfalls (Wire Wrapped Rock Pendant)

Inspiration from Waterfalls

Let’s just take a moment to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Mill Creek Waterfall:

I feel better already, don’t you?

Inspiration from waterfalls

Last week was nature week in Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry eCourse and I also went out into nature for some recharging and inspiration.

Being in nature is one of my most favorite things and waterfalls are my favorite thing in nature.  This particular waterfall is one of my favorite spots.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in front of the computer lately editing videos and blogposts and while I love my work, sometimes I just need to get out.

Inspiration from waterfalls

There is something so calming and so grounding about being surrounded by trees watching and listening to a waterfall.

Inspiration from waterfalls

I love the way the sunlight filters in through the trees.  It’s so beautiful.

While we were there I picked up some rocks.  The rocks at this particular spot have a shiny metallic look to them, which makes them really unique and lovely.

And, of course, I made a necklace when I got home!

Waterfall Rock Necklace

I love the simplicity of it.  I teach this wire wrapping technique in Week #1 of Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry eCourse.

And you can learn how to wire wrap the ends of the cords in ECT TV Episode 65.

Waterfall Rock Necklace

I love that I have a physical reminder of one of my favorite places.  This has basically been the only necklace I’ve been wearing since I made it.

Have you been on a nature adventure lately?  What is your favorite nature spot?

Art Journal Page – Let Go

Art Journal Page - Let Go

This is a recent art page I created.  It’s a combination of experimentation and inspiration.

My mom and I recently did a scrapbook store shop hop, which basically means over about 4 days we visited 13 scrapbook stores.  (There were 14 total in the shop hop, but we didn’t go to one that was furthest away.)  We learn some new techniques because the shops were doing make and takes (and some did take and makes.)  I also got a lot of new products to play with.

So when I was on a walk and gathered some leaves I thought it would be fun to play with my new mists.  I had a couple of leaves and just placed them on the page and sprayed around them.  I moved the leaves a few times to get the different directions.

Also recently I have been into using watercolor.  I have a watercolor brush that holds water in it and I got one of those watercolor boxes like we used to use in school.  It’s so easy to use these because cleanup is so simple.  That holds me back from painting a lot.  I have a collection of watercolors in the tubes, which of course are great, but it’s a pain to clean up when I’m done.

Backing up, though, before I painted I outlined everything with a fine sharpie and put the veins in the leaves.

Around that time I stumbled upon the Ray Bradbury quote that is on the page and it seemed perfect for this page, so I added it.

Then I painted with watercolors.  I also used oil pastels to highlight some of the words.

Finally, just because I had it and wanted to play with it, I added a shimmer mist lightly to the top.

Art Journal Page - Let Go

If you want to see more of my art journal, click here for more pages and inspiration.  This particular page is larger and not in my binder art journal that I shared previously, but in a different journal.  (Yes, I have a lot of art journals and other journals!)

Nature Jewelry Workshop

The Nature Jewelry eWorkshop is a great way to get inspired by nature and then make jewelry from that inspiration!

This virtual workshop has 3 parts:

Part 1:  Creativity Booster (having to do with nature)

Part 2:  Jewelry Making Lessons

Part 3:  Jewelry Making Projects

There are 4 Jewelry Making Projects in this workshop!

Read more about the Nature Jewelry Workshop and purchase it here.

Art Journal Inspiration to Necklace

Art Journal Inspiration to Necklace

Friday I shared a recent art journal page inspired by nature and this week I have been sharing the necklace I made inspired by the page.  I also did a video tutorial on how to make the mixed media knotted bead that’s the focus of the necklace.

So how did I go from this page . . .

Nature Art Journal 9-30-15

To this necklace?

Nature Jewelry Necklace

I made a kind of a list or map of the art journal page and then how I could translate that into jewelry.

I listed out images, word combinations, colors and textures, feelings and mixed media materials.

Then I took that list and gathered up my materials and made the necklace.

For example, I listed the colors blue, black, green yellow and tan.  I didn’t end up using the black or yellow, but the green, blue and tan play important roles.

The blue symbolizes the water as well as the blue in the dragonflies and the green represents the greenery as well as mimicking the background color.

I wanted to use organic beads (the recycled glass green beads) and other organic materials.  I used natural cotton cord as a major part of the necklace as well as the focal mixed media knotted bead.

Nature Jewelry Necklace

I also added some leaf charms to add more nature to the necklace.

I think the result is an organic, nature inspired necklace that reminds me of the art journal page.

I’m working on a new eCourse that will take you through this process more precisely and will include prompts and lots of examples and instructions on how to not only be inspired, but create an art journal and then create jewelry pieces inspired by your art journal pages.

I would love your input!  Please take this survey to help me shape this class.  Thank you!  🙂

Nature Themed Art Journal Page

Art Journal made with Binder

As I’ve been sharing, I’ve really been into my Art Journal and Nature Journal lately.  Of course, my main passion and creative expression is jewelry making, but expressing your creativity in a way that’s not your usual medium can inspire you in different ways and even bring more creativity into your main medium as well.

Let’s take a look in my art journal at my latest page.

Nature Themed Art Journal Page

I finished this page last night.  I had the idea percolating for a couple of days.  I had been wanting to try some of the watercolor techniques found in this awesome post.

Also I started reading Art Journal Art Journey by Nichole Rae and wanted to make a list for a page as she does in her art journals.  I’m also drawn to her use of her own photos in her art journal pages, so I knew I wanted to include some photos of my own.

We had visited C & O Canal in Williamsport, Maryland a couple months ago and I took tons of photos, especially of the dragonflies.  This year more than ever before I have seen so many dragonflies everywhere and at the canal there were tons of them.

C & O Canal

The other photo on the page is from a boat trip we took up the canal.

C & O Canal

More than just a reflection of this trip, though, my art journal page is about my feelings about being in nature.  So while the photos are from this trip, the emotions I am expressing are about nature in general.

How I made my page:

Nature Art Journal 9-30-15 b

I made the background using a salt technique with watercolor using both yellow and green watercolors.  (I found the salt technique on the website I linked to above.)

Nature Art Journal 9-30-15 b

I made a word association list for the page about nature.  I simply typed whatever came to mind in that moment.  (Since then more words have come to mind of course, but this is what happened in that particular moment.)

I have an old dictionary and I made a copy of the page with “nature” on it.

Nature Art Journal 9-30-15

I cut my photos out into circles.  I have circle templates that I used.

Once the watercolor background was dry, I attached the dictionary page and the word association list.

To make the painted circles around the photos,  I made the two sizes of circles on scrap paper and put them on the page and painted around them.  And then I added the photos.

The circles are painted with acrylic paint.

Nature Themed Art Journal Page

What I got out of making this page:

1.  Watercolors are fun!  I used to use watercolor more often in painting until I discovered acrylic and never went back to watercolors.  When I found the post with all the different techniques, I knew I wanted to try some of them.  It is so much fun to experiment with watercolors.

2.  Inspiration.  I am so inspired to make a piece of jewelry inspired by this page now.  Spending the time thinking about and working on the page makes me want to create the same emotions and feelings for a piece of jewelry.

3.  Patience.  Acrylics dry so much faster than watercolor.  I had to wait for that background to dry before I could continue.

Have you done any art journaling?

If not, maybe you would like to try.  You can doodle or write poetry or try just making a word association list if painting makes you freeze.  (You can use the prompt nature and just see what comes up!)

Let me know if you do try!  (You can hit reply and leave a comment here on this post.)

{Note:  The link above to the art journal book I mentioned is an affiliate link, which means if you click on it and purchase the book, I get a tiny percentage.  You do not pay any extra and it helps me.  I love this book, so I have not been influenced by the fact that I am affiliate for Amazon to suggest it for you.}

Print book

Want to Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry?  Check out my book based on my popular eCourse.  It has 5 modules that each include a creativity boosters, jewelry making lessons and jewelry projects.  The 6th module brings everything together.  Order a print book here:  Rediscover Your Creativity & Make Jewelry Book.