Yesterday I got to go hang out with my Mom and do some plein air watercolor painting in my parents’ lovely back yard.
Mom has wanted to get more into art but didn’t know where to start, so I said I’d bring down my paints and we could play around with them. We were dabbling around and as I shared small tips that came to mind, I realized something about all the paintings I really am proud of.
Every painting that I’m absolutely in love with I’ve done when I’ve been outside, unhurried and un-distracted. The African animals I did in Kenya, the river trip camp scenes done while perched on boats or rocks in canyons, even the flowers I’ve painted at home when I gave myself the afternoon “off” to go paint. Without my phone.
It can be easy to get stuck in the same routine whether you work at home or in an office, whether you’re a code developer or a graphic recording artist.
It’s easy to feel guilty about taking 15 minutes or a day away from a project that’s not flowing to focus on something else, whether it’s a different kind of project or taking your notebook and a pencil and heading outside to do sketching of whatever you find, wherever you find yourself.
It’s easy to write about how important it is to “unplug” in this day and age. But we have all felt the beneficial ripples of creativity and rejuvenation that show up in surprising ways after taking some time to “plug in” to nature and give ourselves some quiet time without the calendar, the messages, the screen. And while you’re at it, leave the self-judgment somewhere else too.
This week's tip:
When I need inspiration, I go out in nature. Head outside and look for signs of natural beauty around you. If you live in an urban area, take a close look at the colors in the flowers in a planter, or the bright veggies at an outdoor market. If you’re able to get out to a rural area, find some wildflowers or a stream and listen for different kinds of birds to inspire you.
Wherever you are, take a moment to really look around you and let the present moment wash over you.
So how do I draw that?
Want to learn to draw a little person like this one? Find out here!
Now I want to hear from you!
What do you do to get inspired? How are you using this Sketch? And of course, any questions, epiphanies, and requests for future ConverSKETCHes!
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