by Mark J Ratcliffe

Nature – the perfect way to get inspired and heal from a creative block? 

Isn’t Nature amazing? Who doesn’t like getting outside in nature and just immersing yourself into it. But how often do we do it and is it actually good for us? Whether it is looking at the colors and textures around you, smelling the freshly cut grass or fresh air, or listening to the sound of the trees blowing or the ocean waves crashing against the shore. Really being in touch with nature and allowing your Senses to connect can bring a sense of inspiration, healing and calmness. 

If you look across the internet, it is suggested from various sources that nature really is good for our health. MIND organisation (here in the UK) confirms that spending time in nature has so many benefits not only for mental wellbeing but also for physical wellness. I talk about various aspects of this in my online course “Mindfully Creative ” and even colors that have universal meanings can mean something personally to each and every one of us. But I also wanted to talk about why nature is a great source of inspiration as an artist but is often overlooked or forgotten. After all nature is a natural and organic way of looking at the world and seeing how it reacts and manages to various situations. Look at the seasons we experience, and the environment naturally adapts to hibernate, renew and evolve. We do that as artists too don’t we? Well… I know I do. 

When I get a creative block or am feeling a little low and uninspired, the first thing I do is go for a walk. I get outside and allow myself to just be. Be in the moment of now and walk through a forest, or along a beach. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy either. Sometimes I just go outside in bare feet and allow myself to connect with the earth and feel the grass on my feet or the sand in between my toes. I feel like it’s a re-set. A reminder to slow down and appreciate the natural world. And you know what? 99% of the time it works and it gives me a new perspective. Nature gives me inspiration in so many ways and I want to share a few with you here today. Let me know if you can relate too: 

Nature provides me with: 

  1. Color Palette Ideas – looking at the natural world, look at the colors that exist in the environment today. Look at the tones and the hues. What colors work well together? Nature really is a perfect color palette suggestion. You can easily see and visualise if colors work well together. 
  2. Shapes – nature is full of different shapes if you really look. Take the shapes of a tree. The bark on the trunk, the lines on the leaves.  There are so many shape ideas here as a pouring or abstract artist that it’s a great source to get inspired.
  3. Time to breathe – sometimes we are too consumed or busy with “life” . We don’t allow ourselves 5 or 10 minutes each day to stop, pause and just appreciate the environment we are in. I have a challenge for you! Every day for the next 5 days go outside and give yourself 5 minutes to do nothing other than breathe and just look around. I guarantee you will feel so much better and it will help relax you and calm your thoughts. 
  4. Practice Gratitude – we are always so busy making the next creation or thinking of new ideas to explore our creativity. But what about all that you have achieved already? When you step outside in nature, say to yourself 3 things you are truly grateful for… I’ll share mine with you but I just know you have so so many of your own too… for me: 1) connection with people worldwide through my YouTube channel who I would never get to meet any other way, 2) An email I received thanking me for my advice; 3) time in the day to paint. What are yours? Feel free to share them with me via email. 

We all hit those stumbling blocks or question why we are even doing what we are doing; and if people say hey don’t then they are really lucky! Gift yourself a few minutes each day to allow yourself to go outside and immerse yourself within nature – no expectation or no judgement – and just see what happens. Nature might just be that thing you’ve been looking for. 

If there is a topic you would like me to discuss or explore in my Monthly Blog, please drop me a message at the email address below. 

Check out Mark’s course on Smart Art Courses: Mindfully Creative: Art Techniques for the Mind, Body and Soul www.smartartcourses/art-for-mindfulness 

Mark Ratcliffe from Mark J Ratcliffe Art: Abstract Artist & Creator; Certified Meditation Coach and Wellbeing Practitioner.  Written in his own words @MarkJRatcliffeArt /

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