Nature as Our Guide
Written & Illustrated by elinap
In 2018 I’ll explore daily doodling with different hues of ink on paper.
In July I tweaked the challenge a bit and decided to doodle
a daily pencil sketch in nature every day.
This blog reveals my journey with doodling outdoors and
some insights into conversing with nature.
Here’s What Happened…
This was simple: I just grapped my sketchbook and pencil and went outside. We have a beautiful forest right behind our house with diverse nature with fields, a swamp, a stream and a mountain like they call it (it’s peak is probably not even 80 meters from the sea level) so it’s very easy to go out there and wander the forests, let my mind quiet down and look for something to draw. In July we also went on a roadtrip via southern Sweden to Denmark and that’s when the daily camping life took over and I realized I couldn’t draw on daily basis during the trip. We changed locations with our tent almost each night.
So I was immersed in nature, with listening to crickets when I dived in my sleeping bag,
cooking food with fire many times a day and watching the landscape change from mostly pine trees to luscious forests and finally reached the seashore of the North Sea.
But when I did draw it sometimes took an hour to find something I wanted to draw, sometimes I already had a plan when I stepped into the forest. I did take some closeup photos too, if I decided to draw from them later, but didn’t use them for drawing afterall.
I chose to mostly study shapes and drew the outlines of some detail, a leaf or a flower. And this made my forest walks change a bit as I started to see the forest in shapes as I walked in them. How would I draw that plant? Isn’t that an interesting shape?
Look at that shape in between those trees!
It’s like looking at clouds…
Wellbeing of forests and nature is very close to my heart and I love to study more and just observe. I saw many animals, birds and insects on my walks (and from our car). Sometimes I found dead animals and lifted them aside from the paths so they could rest in peace. I also helped beetles to turn around as I found them upside down wagging their feet.
One month of spending more time in forest and focusing on doodling in the nature helped me to open my eyes to see the forest in a fresh way. Concentrating on little details helped me to flow in the beauty of nature – And the bigger picture.
When I meet animals, dead or alive, I ask what their messages for me could be or if they are giving a message of larger scale for us. I tune into the lives of the animals, birds or insects I meet. What are their lives like? What are they like?
And then I draw conclusions from the answers to my own life. It often helps me get forward.
I’m grateful for meeting so many animals and creatures on my path!
For example a hedgehog walked toward me and my friend one evening just when we were discussing relationships. We stopped and observed and the hedgehog approached us, didn’t mind us and went by briskly sniffing around just half a meter from us.
I took its courageous appearance as a message to be curious, speak from my heart and not hide behind my spikes or curl up in a ball and retreat from the situation.
Natures Messages For Four Seasons
SUMMER – Celebrate Life
Look around you and you can see abundance everywhere in nature – life happens in the now and the message of summer for me is to dive into the abundance of life and celebrate its beauty. Enjoy everything, because life is easy & simple when it’s warm out. Return back to your roots, where life is simple, easygoing and joyful.
FALL – Let go of the old
There’s an old pine tree I visit regularly – Once it let go of two big branches that were too heavy for it when it snowed heavily. Just like that – Crack – and they were gone. I like to think this as a message of life flowing forward. It happened when it was time for me to let go of something old. The only constant in life is change. Prepare to rest and for that clean off your plate. (If you hold on to old branches for too long they won’t be able to carry the snow of your next phase)
WINTER – It’s time to rest
SPRING – Time for new beginnings
This spring we experienced a heat wave here in Finland that nourished the nature in ways that made it bloom and blossom in all its glory in just a few days. I took it as a sign that when you’ve rested deeply enough (winter), life can start to happen and you will be able to catch up with it easily with grace and beauty. So, rest always when you feel like it and need it and you will be awarded for taking your time.
Do you take a moment every day to visit a nearby forest,
admire the beauty of nature or look up into the sky?
Nature has it all and says it all…
Just listen and observe
I’d love to hear from you – Comment below
And let’s share our journey!
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