This blog has moved to my new art/creativity site (Mouse House BLOG). The new blog is also about getting you connected with nature for creative expression, along with my art, workshops, and my personal journey.

Please feel free to explore past posts here, some of which will re-appear for encore showings in Mouse House. Let nature be your muse...

Thank you for visiting Your Nature, and if you like what you read here, be sure to follow my blog at its new home, to continue to receive creative fun and inspiration in your mailbox!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Your Creative Voice: Teachings From The Scorpion

When we feel a connection with the natural world, we begin to appreciate its value and every species’ right to share our world. We wish to protect its future as our own, and we will find a creative way to share this passion with the world. What we learn from nature gives us insight into ourselves.

Like some art, the scorpion is a creature often misunderstood and reviled. But once we learn to appreciate its value and its rightful place in our world, we feel connected and can learn much about ourselves. Like the scorpion, you are a truly amazing being and key to your environment. Everyone and everything you share your creative “habitat” with may have an impact on how you express yourself and vice versa.

Daily interactions shape your inner nature, the core from which you pull from each time you take action in your life. Who or what are you allowing into your environment and how are they shaping or influencing your creative process? Read on for encouragement and advice from an unexpected source, the scorpion.


1. Scorpions rely first on their strength for nourishment, using their strong pincers to capture and hold prey, not their venom.

Respond with your inner strength for facing challenges, do not sting with your words. As creative beings, we are usually our own harshest critic, quick to tear apart any creative effort. Be strong and do not succumb to venomous comments or thought, be honest and thoughtful with what you create, these are your most vulnerable expressions. Nourish your talents with inner confidence and by capturing and holding onto supportive critiques and trusted guidance.

2. Throughout human history scorpions have had their share of both negative and positive “press.”

Consider this when dealing with an undesirable situation or unwarranted criticism. Become aware of all perspectives, yet don’t let others take away your creative voice!

3. Scorpions molt throughout their lives as they grow. Newly molted scorpions must keep stretching while the new exoskeleton hardens to ensure that it can move when the hardening is complete.

Shed old skins as you grow. Create opportunities for multiple transformations that inspire you. Stretch your creative boundaries. Allow yourself room to grow as you fulfill your creative calling.

4. Burrows are a very important aspect of the ecology of desert scorpions, offering shelter and protection while molting and from predators.

How often do you allow yourself time for a little “burrowing?” What can you do to ensure those quality, restorative moments vital for maintainining your creative energy and focus? Creative beings tend to be emotionally sensitive—protect this treasured way of directly experiencing the world around you, this is part of your personal inspiration—retreat and “burrow” when you need to regroup or reclarify your creative voice.

5. Scorpions tend to change their habits rather than their form in order to adapt to a new habitat.

This is a great reminder to stay flexible while pursuing your creative goals, rarely do things go as planned. Expanding your comfort zones and growing as an artist means adapting and navigating new territory! Find new inspiration akin to a new habitat in order to punch up your creative survival. Shake it up a little, avoid those habits that drain your creativity. Don’t change the positive, Über-cool YOU, adapt by changing the habits or your studio’s appearance/workability that is stifling your creativity.

Adapted from: “Teachings From the Scorpion” M. Hedgecock, 2009
Scorpion photo: M. Hedgecock

Friday, June 25, 2010

Creativity Tool: Spirals

Spirals have inspired artists for ages, first appearing in megalithic art in the form of petroglyphs. Spirals have symbolized the sun, growth, evolution, hypnosis, and the universe. In nature, spirals can be found everywhere—perhaps the source of ancient inspiration—and are usually described as whorls when found in plants and animals. In mathematics, “a spiral is a curve which emanates from a central point, getting progressively farther away as it revolves around the point.” (wikipedia.org)

What does a creative spiral signify for you?
How could you use spirals in your art or writing?
How would spirals appear in your work as a chef, or a dancer, as a sculpture?

SOMETHING TO TRY: seek out spirals, any size, shape, or form for 3 days. Take notes, photographs, sketch, or mentally list your finds for possible jumping off points for future projects. Where do you notice spirals most, in nature or man made environments and structures? Do you find more while you’re purposefully looking for spirals, or when you’re occupied with other tasks? What do your answers tell you about your creative process?

Full article here.

Nature Time Exercise: Nature Journaling

Last week's Nature Time exercise moves over for discussion. Let us know how you took time to break out your inner nature journaler....

If you’ve never kept a nature journal, consider it a great way to build your writing tool box! It can be as simple as documenting a quick note of the first time you notice your favorite wild blossom, or migrating bird in your yard, or the first rutting calls of elk.

Nancy S.M. Waldman (The Practically Creative Quarter) found she did it for two reasons, one having to do with creative writing. She writes, “When writing, it’s often useful to have at your fingertips real notations of when the Indian Hawthorne blooms in Texas or if it’s believable that the first snowfall of the year might be as late as January in Connecticut or if a character could be hearing the frogs at dusk in Nova Scotia in mid-April.”

This is a fantastic way to connect nature to your craft and I encourage you to start a nature journal today to see where nature inspires you…

Saturday, June 19, 2010

11-year old Artist Campaigns to Save Gulf Wildlife!

Fantastic, Olivia you are our hero!

Please read this wonderfully inspiring story about a passionate, budding ornithologist and artist who has helped raise over $70,000 to protect pelicans, manatees, whooping cranes and the other birds she loves-species threatened by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yay Olivia, what an inspiration you are for us all!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Solstice

June 21, 2010 begins the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Imagine what creative projects you could accomplish with longer days! How many times have you heard yourself say, if only I had an extra hour or two in my day, I could really get into a creative zone. Well, why not let this ancient “midsummer” event get you in the zone.

Think honestly about your time today and this evening, or over the next week; how and where can you make changes that will open up minutes or hours? Every minute you save will add up to a block of time you’ve successfully managed for yourself.

I might add that it helps to have an ongoing list of creative projects you would like to do, if you had the time. It should inspire you to enjoy your time in a way that is most uplifting for you. When the moment comes that you have an extra 30 or 60 minutes, you won’t go blank and waste time in trying to come up with “something” to do that you’ve wanted to accomplish. Will it be planning a yard project or a room re-do, starting or finishing that creative project, or trying out a new recipe? Of course, never underestimate the recuperative power of free time that involves doing nothing! As a creative being, it is essential to protect your creative time for daily snippets of inspiration or productivity.

Enjoy the beginning of summer marked by the solstice. There are many ways to celebrate this seasonal marker, from ancient to modern. What will you do to maintain your personal, creative time as the days grow shorter from now?

“Summer Solstice” by Ursula Freer, please visit her beautiful gallery.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nature Time: Snap To It!

Last week's Nature Time is up for comments now that there is a new exercise (side bar). Please feel free to share you experience!

Carry your camera with you wherever you go today. Most cell phones have cameras built right into them, take advantage of the video option found on most cameras and phones today. Let your eyes explore around you throughout the day, snap photos of anything that strikes you: friends, your lunch, flowers outside your office, the sunset, colors, leaves floating in a suspended dance on a swirling current of wind. Don’t worry about the perfect shot—just get it so you can access it later.

Note what inspired you to take each shot, either at the time or when you’re finished, go through your photos/video, recall what inspired the image (liked the color, great emotion, delicate lines, etc.). Write these down as bullet points and look for a theme or pattern that may connect each photo. This will give you a sense of what inspires you.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Nature's Palette: Lavender Fields

In a previous post, I talked about the inspiration that could be found at your local harvest festivals, like lavender festivals, cherry festivals, etc. My family and I just spent the weekend at a nearby lavender festival and had a great time! These are fun for the whole family and events like these are a fanstastic source of inspiration for all the senses! While there, all I wanted to do was sketch or try my hand at a little painting or pastels like these artists...

I kept thinking of how fun it would be to set up a mini-easel for my son and let him go with finger paints and brushes and just see what we might create--perhaps something lavender-y, perhaps he would paint his famous monkeys :) We did manage to collect some flowers and make our own "magic petal potions!"

How will this nature palette inspire you today?

For ocean-inspired nature palettes, click the links below:

Ocean <--click

Seashells <--click

Monday, June 7, 2010

Nature Time: Clay Play

Clay play is up for comments now that there is a new nature time exercise (side bar). Please feel free to share you experience from last week's exercise below!

It’s all about texture and patterns. Grab some clay, Play-doh®, modeling clay—even natural clay if you are lucky enough to have a source. Roll out and pre-cut flattened, 4” x 6” pieces to take with with you into your backyard or nearby park. Find patterns and textures to start pressing your pliable, flattened pieces of clay onto. Try trees, interesting building surfaces, rocks, leaves, man-hole covers, outdoor sculpturs, sidewalk cracks. Use these pieces to stamp patterns onto your work or apply to clay works, or assemblage pieces. Or, let these impressions inspire a character or setting. Use as you creatively wish!

Lavender Festival

The site of lavender fields, lavender flowers, the smell lavender can inspire many creative outlets: drawing, cooking, gardening, photography, writing, painting—I’ve read lavender oil is a great oil painting medium!

Here’s a fun way to spend Father’s Day, and/or feed your creative mojo--the 123 Farm’s 6th Annual Lavender Festival this June 12,13,19 & 20, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. If you’re interested, please visit their website for details, directions to their Cherry Valley, CA location, festival activities, schedule, and organic herbs and oils for sale (including lavender, peppermint, rosemary, and sage!).

Lavender farms can be found throughout the region, check your local area for any local harvests, find out what's available in your area. Don't worry if lavender is not a likely harvest--now's a great time to learn about the organic goodies in your region to discover a local farm that celebrates the harvest publicly for natural inspiration!

Mmm...what inspires you most about lavender? Scent, sight, taste, touch...?

About the 123 Farm: http://www.localharvest.org/farms/M14941

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Inspired by Nature: Ocean Voices

This is an amazing collaboration of nature, specifically our oceans, and the creative spirit it inspires. Spoken from the depths of our core, we are invited to share our thoughts on the ocean and to be a part of a deep passion and need to protect and celebrate it. From sound artist Halsey Burgund’s Ocean Voices interactive and beautifully creative website…

Sound artist Halsey Burgund and marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols joined forces to collect the voices of people around the world recounting their personal experiences with the ocean. Combined with music written by Halsey, these voices become an integral part of audio collages which listeners can create to suit their own preferences (click LISTEN below and follow the instructions). You can help them by sharing your voice and spreading the words of all participants around the globe.Article - Voices of the ocean

I can't wait to try it...tell us what you think :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ten Fascinating Nature Phenomena to Inspire You

It's a 'natural' kind of creative inspiration. Give a peek at these curious natural expressions. Pick one as a prompt for a poem, an article, or your next piece! The last one (I don't want to give it away) really intrigued me! But it was the huge "Penitentes" that immediately inspired a sculptured piece for me...I can't wait to bring it to life with my own interpretation in clay :) How will YOU be inspired? Ten Fascinating Natural Phenomena

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