Without A Camera
Form your fingers using one or both hands into an opening the shape of a rectangle. Well, almost is good enough! Hold it in front of your face and move the opening closer and farther away to change the picture. Look up, look down, look all around! Focus on clouds or shadows or absolutely anything that is special to you. When you have found just the picture you want, hold the picture in your memory for a bit and say “click”!
Any time you want to see your pictures just close your eyes and bring back the picture!
Before drawing, take time to relax, breathe and feel your connection. When we are relaxed and open, the ideas will more easily flow.
Now start from the other way around. Find a small, tiny detail and draw a picture. Then zoom out and draw it again. See how far you can zoom out. Can you make it to space!?
Is there anything you noticed or learned from looking at an object with different levels of detail?
Ask someone you are with to pick out a very small thing in nature for this art activity. Even close your eyes as they place it in your hands. Can you tell what it is? How does it feel? How does it smell? Open your eyes and examine the object closer. See if you can use the whole page to draw this tiny object. Focus in on the little details or create your own interpretation of this amazing small object.
When we focus on just naming a tree, it can be difficult to remember them all. Now if someone just knew your name, they wouldn’t know much about you, would they? This is the same with trees. Try taking time to go beyond the name and get to know some trees.
How do the bark or leaves smell and feel? Is the bark soft or hard? How do the leaves or needles sound in the wind? How do the veins look in the leaves? Dark or light? How big is the tree? What kind of soil is it growing in? What kind of other living creatures lives in its branches or under its bark? Like people, no two trees of the same species are exactly alike.
“You don’t get sniffed when you meet an elephant face to face in its compound. You get vacuumed. The giant...pulls the scent off your body with a seemingly endless intake of breath.” Douglas Chadwick (B. 1948)
“I shall never forget my first encounter with gorillas. Sound preceded sight. Odor preceded sound in the form of a musky-barnyard, humanlike scent.” Dian Fossey (1932-1985)
Write down your experience when you saw an amazing animal. What did you see, hear, smell, and feel? What was it like? Next, write about the same experience as if you were the animal. Imagine you are a bear, moose, whale, elk, bison, mountain goat, mountain lion, etc. How do you move? What would you smell? How would the earth feel moving through the forest, the mountain, the ocean? What did it see, hear, smell and feel about its encounter with you?
History or Buildings
L- liveliness even in autumn
I- I am here
C- color of different lichen
H- hearing water trickle over rocks
E- eternal, as the natural world is
N- now, value, pleasure
By Linda Hamilton
It’s a great way of getting started. Now, think of any word or pick something in nature and try it as many times and ways as you like!
In beauty I walk,
With beauty before me, I walk.
With beauty behind me, I walk.
With beauty above me, I walk.
With beauty below me, I walk.
With beauty all around me, I walk.
Traditional Navajo chant
Once upon a time…
It was a…
Long ago and far away…
The sound of…
There in the forest…
While visiting the park…
Wait until the end to give your story a title and remember… let the words flow like a stream!
Relax…breathe in slowly…feel gratitude for the gift of this air…feel gratitude for this day…and for the many blessings in your life. As you breathe in, just let thoughts of thankfulness come to you.
I am thankful for…
When you see something amazing you gasp in awe or let out a big ‘wow!’ or ‘holy moly!’ It is such a wonderful thing to be amazed when we see things that really excite us. Seeing is often the first way of connection although all of our senses play a part in our experience. What you see becomes the doorway to greater understanding as you take time to listen and smell, to perhaps touch if it’s safe and not harmful to the organism.
Journaling and writing are ways to help the experience become even deeper for you. And when we are so moved by the experience we want to make sure that the beauty and magnificence is remembered and is preserved and protected for others in the future. Pick something wonderful that you saw and write a story starting with your sense of seeing, moving to listening and other senses. Then go deeper to understanding, remembering and protecting. Add drawings if you want. Share your story with others.