Awaken your creative nature through Art with Earth + Heart.
Here is an energizing quick paint video to give you a taste of how fun painting can be.
Welcome to Creative by Nature Art where creativity and nature meet. Here I hope you will receive inspiration from articles and books, elemental images, art encounter videos, blog and courses.
Everything shared on this site was created using the Creative by Nature Art Method: a contemplative nature-based art practice of drawing and painting with Earth and heart, for joy, connection and self-change. Art making inspiration can come not only from natural patterns, animals, plants, meandering rivers, the wind, rain…, we can also shift our attention to feel into nature. That way we simultaneously animate our own expression as we deepen presence and thus intimacy with the living world. You could say we learn and create with Earth. We also impersonate the way nature creates by being in the moment, playful, spontaneous and following what attracts. This builds empathy and belonging. We create with our hearts. In sum, we make art simultaneously with the living world and the deepest wild parts of ourselves.
Here is how you can get started now.
Be inspired every week- Sign up for the Creative by Nature Art newsletter today. Become a playful, more present, natural creative by reading inspirational articles and trying out artful encounters with nature. You’ll also be the first to know when courses are open for registration and new events are happening.
Be Social- Join our community. The Facebook page is always hopping with energy and great inspiration and is updated a few times a week with fresh ideas you can use in your own art, teaching or facilitation practice.
Read books and articles- If you like the content on this site you may want a copy of my book Beauty Muse:Painting in Communion with Nature (available as ebook (PDF) and soft cover). It offers over 100 easy-to-try activities, quotes from writers on deep ecology and creativity, numerous full colour images and narrative of about how you can begin an art practice of your own. There are also numerous mostly free articles on nature and art for you to peruse.
Read the blog- Subscribe to the newsletter. You will automatically receive new blog posts of artful encounters with nature. Past topics include Doodling, The Magic of Light Painting, Snow Art and so much more.
Enjoy elemental images- Drop into the gallery and tour through photographs and paintings. In additional to being able to purchase originals many can be acquired as fine art prints.
Do you need inspiration to be more spontaneous?
Read this article about the Joy of Doodling and how it can actually improve your attention while it exercises your spontaneity.
Do you need inspiration to co-create with nature?
Drawing and painting with Light and Shadow is one of my favourites. i think you’ll really enjoy it.
Do you need inspiration to be more playful and child-like while creating?
Maybe turn things upside-down as this blog post and video suggest.
Are you a teacher looking for quick powerful ways to deepen nature connection in your students?
This article on Creative Nature Connection for Educators will give you a good foundation from which to develop a program for your students.
Are you interested in art and mindfulness?
I think you’ll enjoy this article entitled The Artful Eye: Art as Contemplation
Here’s my story
My world burst wide open the day I painted the way a vase of tulips feel instead of the way they look. That daring impulse came to me one cool rainy afternoon in the spring of 1997. Out of sheer frustration with my earlier painting efforts I wanted to connect with the life I could sense in those flowers. I simply set that intention, sat quietly, closed my eyes and using my hands directly on the page, painted whatever came. The result was more patterned and abstract than what I expected yet I loved it instantly. The vibrant colours, unique shapes and the sheer enchantment of the experience convinced me that something normally unseen was revealed. It was like peeling back a surface layer or seeing the within of things. I felt newly present to those flowers, more fully myself yet more fully in connection at the same time. Having been well schooled in the capture and dissection style of knowing nature, I had never before thought to paint a felt connection with another living being.
In an instant I learned that art-making with nature has the power to return us to our vital roots as creatures and creators.
Being blissfully nourished that day by both the process and the actual painting, I was inspired to explore further. I wondered what would happen if I simply began journaling how I feel then painting with no plan. I reasoned that I am also nature and so should be able to see my own naturalness on the page.
Over time, as I drew, painted and explored, fresh ways to shift into presence and connection bubbled up. Soon I learned to trust my hands and slowly the tension dissolved between what I was taught to think and do, and my instincts. Paint gave colour and form to communion between nature and heart. Natural patterns, a metamorphic moth cycle and my muse, a giant Cecropian silk moth appeared on the page and in my yard, convincing me that creating with nature nourishes presence and intimacy at the same time as it places us in a dynamic reciprocal relationship with life.
Many years later I still create this way- marrying in-the-moment presence with nature impersonating “techniques” and I now teach this method to youth, educators, academics, contemplative practitioners, green professionals and anyone who loves nature and seeks a more creative life. My offerings are an invitation for you to refresh your own creative expression naturally.
A brief overview of Creative by Nature Art can be found in this downloadable introductory article.
My work as an artist, author and teacher focuses on sharing the transformative power of painting with Earth and heart. I nurture joyful creative connection and authentic personal expression through art. I do this via in person and online art courses, experiential nature art encounters, and thoughtfully crafted self study resources because I believe art-making is our birthright. Everyone has the ability to create with natural ease. My photo-art and mixed media paintings bring natural pattern to life. Each painting is a passionate expression of feeling into another life. I hold a Doctorate in Transformative Learning from the University of Toronto and here’s my CV. I live, work and play on Salt Spring Island, BC.