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!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Nature Time: Create A Maze

Last week you were asked to create a maze inspired by the Your Nature article “aMAZingly You!”     and     the   wonderful metaphor mazes can offer. Here's your exercise up for comment:

Make it simple or deviously complex. I spent about 10 minutes creating this maze on the large leaf I left in a Double Tree hotel lobby--at an information kiosk--for someone to find! Maze-making can be as relaxing as doodling or free-writing, allowing your brain to unwind while focusing on something repetitive, yet engaging.

It’s easiest to draw your “answer” or home path first, then filling the rest in around it. If it’s your first maze, I highly recommend using a pencil so you can go back and open up your false routes! Or just remember to leave gaps on both sides of your path for adding the phony routes and dead ends in later. Have fun with this one! Create them in or on unusual places for extra fun, like a leaf, a bookmark, a flat rock, or on the envelope of a letter to a friend. Let us know what happens. My leaf maze with, “Have an aMAZing day!” on the back, was gone by the time we left to meet friends for dinner, about 40 minutes!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Nature's Palette: Clinging Feather

Photo (feather) by Dries Knapen
Color is a powerful visual. A specific color or color combination in nature may be used as a warning, as camouflage, in mating, to attract pollinators, and more. Either way, it's purpose is to evoke a response. What colors do you respond to in the things you collect or the art you create?

The nature's palette series is a color prompt from nature itself, how will nature inspire you today?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

aMAZingly You!

When I was a teen I was big into mazes. I loved trying to find my way out of hedge mazes, hay mazes, and even a huge corn maze once. In fact, the seasonal “Maize Maze” staff warned us to plan a couple of hours for navigating our way through the huge maze, complete with look-out towers. They also gave us an emergency “help” flag mounted on a tall pole so we could be found and rescued, along with a quick lesson on how to signal for help! It was great fun! We prided ourselves on finding the right clues along with our sense of direction for getting out on our own.

Intermingled and prior to that, as a pre-teen, I made tedious, complex mazes that filled up entire notebook pages and then asked my parents to make Xerox® copies of them so I could do them later. It was a fun thing for me, I would spend hours drawing out the home path, then filling in elaborate dead-ends and fake routes.

Now that I’m *ahem* older I love the metaphor a maze presents for the unique paths we take along our journey. When you think about it, there is one true, deeply intuitive path we are each following. Many times we stray from it, we get lost, or we might get fooled or lured into taking false paths that lead us away from our core values, or our natural instincts. Sometimes we get stuck (cue rescue flag pole). Some of us simply choose to meander—whether we’re unfocused on our goal, or enjoying some extended opportunities while accomplishing our goals. Now and then these alternative paths lead us back to our original destination, sometimes they just end and we have to go back and figure out where we went off track. No biggie. Because, in the end, if we were to turn around and trace our steps, we would see this amazing journey that brought us to our end goal. We might gaze across a series of repeating patterns, mistakes, and doubling back; but we could surely appreciate the beautiful design it created. One that is so purely our own blueprint embedded beneath our creative decisions, growth, and actions at that moment of our life.

Life invites us to be amazing! Don't retreat into creative non-action because you are worrying about choosing the wrong path (or project), if it turns out to be a dead end or takes you away from your values, turn around. Create your own path, create your personal maze, YOU know the best route to your creative success. Make it fun, make it happen!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nature Time: Moon Meditation & Thesaurus of the Senses

Below are the last two Nature Time exercises moved over for any comments you'd like to share! IWe would love to hear how these exercises opened up a creative flow (or not) and how you decided to use the exercise!

Thesaurus of the Senses
Create a thesaurus of the senses (Strangling My Muse). This week’s exercise is taken directly from one of my fave creative beings and online inspirations, Sandy Ackers. I could only add, in keeping with the Nature Time element, that this is a great challenge to create a nature-themed thesaurus too! Enjoy this creative challenge from Sandy’s blog:

“How many words or phrases can you come up with to describe the color of the sky? See how many words or phrases you can produce for each of these: the color of the sky; the taste of sugar; the smell of rain; the feel of air; the sound of laughter; the shape of eyes. This is a great exercise when you don’t have much time. And if you keep thinking up words to describe the sight, sound, taste, feel and smell of various items, you can compile your own thesaurus of the senses—a wonderful reference when you need interesting words for your fiction, essays, poems or other projects.”

Moon Meditation
The moon is a great mentor in living your life to its fullest. Find a comfortable spot in the moonlight and try this moon meditation: Our silvery moon has long been the source of inspiration for artists, philosophers, and poets. Both science and art continue to seek ways to study and interpret its profound affect on our lives. Think about the people in your life, and how they inspire you; awaken those same inspiring qualities in your self. Meditate on your ability to express yourself as passionately as those who inspire you and others will not be able to resist supporting you in achieving your creative calling.

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