Creativity and Nature in the Azores

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I’ve just returned from teaching in a wonderful University of Azores Art and Biodiversity workshop for Portuguese educators. I was interviewed by the local Tercieran newspaper Diario Insular. The article has been Google translated into English and seems to be a bit fast and loose with meaning but here it is just the same. Check back again soo for two new pieces about creating with dolphins and volcanoes!!!

Artist and educator Lisa Lipsett

Art is a bridge to respect Mother Nature

Canadian artist and educator , Lisa Lipsett created the Natural Process of Painting, a contemplative creative process that strengthens the human relationship with nature through painting. “Beauty Muse: Painting in Communion with Nature ” is her latest book. In a workshop for teachers organized by RCE/Açores- Biodiversity Group at the University of the Azores , Lisa Lipsett explained how art can help us to respect Mother Nature .

How can the arts bring us closer to nature?

I am an artist and educator and I am interested in the relationship between people and nature and how to design with nature – we are not talking as much art , but how the creative process – can make this closer bond. Sometimes people think only on the product. Art is something we can contemplate when it is finished. But the truth is that anyone can create. They are not necessarily artists, but the process is understood as the most important. When we create based on nature and we are not planning a specific result, the connection is much stronger. Our mind is quiet and we are just creating, as Nature herself does so spontaneously and naturally.

But how can such a process help to create a mindset more ” green ” ?

I can draw a picture with tulips , simply. Once done it , but then I thought I was missing something … Then I tried to paint the way the tulips “feel . ” I closed my eyes , I chose the colors and painted with both hands. The result was amazing. It is a very intuitive process, with no plan. What I note is that in this way, we look at nature as something to which we belong. We can stop thinking about her and engage with her. When we feel we are interested in a certain being (it may be a butterfly or an animal), and create with that being, we care and then more easily will want to protect it. We develop a personal relationship with nature from within, not just information …

It is easy for ordinary people create through this process?

It’s easier than it may seem. There are things we can do to help the mind to relax. We can close our eyes, try to feel a connection with what we are painting , use both hands and not the one we were taught to use at school … It’s a way to create fun, which carries with it great rewards.

In a very stressful world , where people do not stop to think about these issues , basically what you are advocating is that the process of creating art can be a gateway to re-establish a relationship with nature …

That’s it… I also think people should take risks and create more. I still think we all have ideas about creating art , but then we don’t move forward because we think we are not technically skilled enough. But we all have hands and bodies, which are natural and are our bridge to creative connection with nature. We must realize that we all know how to create, we just have to make it a practice. It’s something we can always do, almost like brushing our teeth.

How does school encourage the creative process?

Many children already show creative spirit. But generally at school we give more importance to science … The children have internalized the creative process, but are often limited to being trained in artistic techniques. Then spontaneous creating begins to seem difficult, confusing … We must always preserve the individual process of creation.;=22889

Lisa LipsettCreativity and Nature in the Azores

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