So, I must confess, it is not until this moment that I realized how much I rely on my art to record and make sense of the natural world around me.
While on the one hand it is very liberating to enjoy the natural world with my natural eye, rather than through the lens of a camera—or touch the edge of an interesting leaf rather than drawing it in my sketchbook; I found myself desperate for SOMETHING–ANYTHING to record the fleeting moments, rather than enjoying and engaging them with my senses.
I have now taken two Wonder Walks. I could not have asked for a better, more artistically-inspiring start to my weekly wonder walks!
The first of my walks was a longer walk–on a sunny, relatively warm afternoon around Town Lake in Austin, Texas. What a beautiful day! The birds were EVERYWHERE, singing the beauty of the day. Now, if you’ve ever been to Austin, you know that when I say they were everywhere, I literally mean that there were more birds than leaves in the trees. My favorite moment of this wonder walk happened as I was crossing the
river “lake.” I could smell fish, mixed with that smell of tires and humidity (one of my favorite smells, oddly enough). As I looked across the water, I saw a tree over flowing with small black birds. On of of the branches, in direct contrast to its surroundings sat this lovely, graceful white crane.
Such a gorgeous mental image.
(Note: This photograph is NOT from my Wonder Walk…just meant to provide an image to go with my writing…)
My second wonder walk occurred yesterday. My husband and I spent in his family’s cabin–which we had to hike to, as my little Toyota isn’t the biggest fan of snow or ice. Despite the negative degree temperatures, we decided to venture outside to explore our frozen surroundings. Although my husband DID bring his camera, I stuck to my Wonder Walk rules. The beautiful forest terrain had been transformed into the winter’s version of the desert! The Wyoming winds had blown the frozen
sand snow, creating beautiful patterns and ridges. As I walked, my feet pressed into the surface of the frozen snow, forcing large circular patterns to break through the surface of the snow. Although it was cold, I enjoyed touching the snow and listening to the crunches and cracks as I walked through the forest!
Another lovely experience.
Now…what can I do with these experiences? How can I still conduct Artful Explorations once removed from those moments? Well, that is the challenge that I leave you with for this week!
Beginning with this week’s Wonder Walk, I plan to use my research journal as a place to react to my observations and interactions—write words or sentences in response to your explorations; draw pictures. Then, if you feel so inspired, create a work of art based on your explorations or reactions. I was so inspired by my first two walks…I look forward to exploring where those experiences will take me artistically!
‘Til later…happy explorations!