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!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Paint Chip Inspiration

If you ever need a quick muse, go straight to your nearest paint or home improvement store and peruse the paint chips. With endless hues offering such descriptive names like Rocky Slope, Deep Cavern, Lightening, Painted Desert, and Monarch Wing, you can find yourself inspired by nature while standing in the middle of the paint aisle.

A random handful of paint chips can
get the imagination flowing. Try con-
necting a bunch of paint color names
in stream-of-thought story or poem:

I was beachcombing upon our Mother
Earth during the solstice. I noticed a
shimmering seashell and at the same
moment I saw lightening out across
the ocean deep. I ran toward the
seashell just inside the mouth of a
deep cavern, protected now from a
thunderous downpour. I watched my
seashell, as it lay on the sand, alight
into a calcite butterfly with each
pulse of lightening.
Pick a few paint chips that grab you and use those to write a few lines of poetry, or a detailed setting for a fictional piece, write a song, or use them to inspire your next painting or altered art piece. Recently we used paint chips during our Photo Safari creativity workshop by randomly chosing a paint chip color and then matching that color to something found in nature.

You can reverse these prompts by blending your own colors, creating a nice palette on your paper then coming up with descriptive “paint chip” names of your own.

Nature and inspiration are all around you!



The paint chip color "Cottontail" was the muse for this
little acrylic/pen & ink ATC.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Heart Nature

Two hearts, almost a triple heart if you were to turn it on its side.

I love this doube heart rock my mom brought back from a trip up the northern Californian coast. I am always looking for hearts in nature, along with other common shapes, faces too, and letters--little serendipitus gifts from Nature that seem like offerings to connect to my world when I am always seeking to connect to hers.

Whether it's the search or the actual treasured finds that delight, it is always a treat to make these discoveries of the "familiar" in a sometimes less than familiar environment. I like to believe these discoveries, along with feeling a secret connection with something special just for you, is one of those magical ways in which Nature can appear as a most unexpected muse.

Go outside and look for your secret gift. It may be waiting for you at night or during the day, in the rain, on a beach, or desert path. Enjoy the mini-journey :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Native Palettes

I recently led a “native palette” wildlfower walk where we created natural palettes from native plants along the trail by smearing and rubbing petals, leaves, and stems on paper.

It was a relaxing gathering of creatives on a wildflower wander, learning a little about some favorite desert flowers while exploring the Santa Rosa San Jacinto Mountains National Monument visitor center trails for a variety of shapes, colors, and fragrances to help our creativity blossom. We had a great time with the exercise, each making our own native palette and revealing some unexpected and surprising colors!
An example palette made
from plants & other natur-
al substances in my yard.

This is a great exercise to try, easy too. Grab some paper (water color, card stock, printer paper, pretty much anything goes), I recommend cutting an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet in half for easier handling. Press and smear or rub a variety of plant materials onto your paper. Experiment with different parts of the plant, try to keep pollen separate from petals, try fruits. Go beyond plants by smearing moist soil or mud, charcoal, minerals and other natural sources you find.

Want to take part in future outings that fuel your creativity? Check out Let Nature Be Your Muse meetups!

The group's collection of palettes (the first round)!

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