When we go outside there is always such richness of experience at our disposal. At certain times of the year it can feel easier to get outside than at others though! It is currently spring in the UK and the clocks have gone forward, temperatures are warming up and there is an explosion of sounds and colors that signal the long winter is over. So grab your jacket and follow me as I show you some simple ways to get creative in the great outdoors.
Creative Challenge 1. Make your own land art. Follow in the footsteps of famous land artists such as Andy Goldsworthy and Betty Beamont and create a perishable artwork from found natural objects. The beauty with this sort of art is that it is as transient as the natural world itself. It only lasts as long as the weather and the elements allow.
How to: Go on your favourite walk and begin to notice colours or patterns that repeat. Find a space you might want to make your artwork in. The next day, go on the same walk again and begin to pick up the leaves or stones that have taken your fancy. Go back to the space you chose the day before and begin to assemble your artwork in any way you fancy. Make sure you take a photo of it as that is your only record of your artwork! You way wish to take several photos of it as it slowly disintegrates and goes back to nature.
Creative Challenge 2. Make a simple sketchbook and make some wild and untamed rough sketches on your next walk!
It is my belief that absolutely anyone can be creative and anyone can draw! It’s what I teach in all my workshops. I have found that holds most people back from drawing, is a lack of confidence in their abilities. But a drawing can be just one simple line, it can be a ‘scribble’ or it can be a detailed drawing. There is no ‘one’ way to draw or make art. Go wild with this and let yourself experiment and get mess. We don’t expect to play an instrument or become a pro footballer in half an hour, so we shouldn’t expect that of our drawings. Going wrong is half the fun! Below is one of my own 5 minute sketches, made on the Suffolk coastline on a blustery day.
How To: To make your sketchbook, grab 3 sheets of a4 printer paper and fold them in half. Put the folded sheets inside each other and take any pencil or pen you have, plus a book or board to lean your paper on. Begin to make some lines as you walk, following your eye. These will be wobbly and strange. That’s great! Then go to your favourite spot and start sketching what you see. If you start to do this regularly you will be amazed at how your drawing skills improve.
Creative Challenge 3. Go barefoot on earth or grass and write a short haiku poem to describe your experience.
When we go barefoot, we ground ourselves, and our body becomes suffused with negative charged free electrons, which can help with reducing chronic pain, improving sleep, helping support adrenal health and a whole host of other positive benefits too numerous to list here!
Haiku’s are defined as ‘Japanese poem’s of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world. Here is an example of a famous Haiku by Matsuo Basho
‘An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.’
How to: Take a piece of paper and pencil with you. Walk on sit with bare feet and become aware of how this feels in your body. You may find that as you do this, you become more aware of the colours and sounds around you as grounding is very calming. Start to write down any words that come to your head as you do this. You might find your haiku comes to you immediately or it might take some time. Play with words, let your intuition guide you.
So there are my three ways to get creative outdoors, I hope you enjoy completing one or all of them. You may even find that this process kick starts a new hobby for you!
Photograph your artworks and poems and tag @artthinkinglab in your pictures and use the hashtag #getcreativeoutside
I look forward to seeing the results of your creations!
Perienne is an internationally exhibiting artist and creativity expert. She is the founder of Art Thinking Lab, which runs Art Thinking Masterclasses; creativity and leadership sessions for businesses and non profit organisations, helping them to create, collaborate and communicate in more strategic and impactful ways – www.artthinkinglab.com. Perienne’s artwork can be found on her website.