I've felt a little lacking in creativity recently. I think sometimes when you're surrounded by your work everyday in a studio it can be hard to keep creating something 'new'. It doesn't help that the weather has been so grey, rainy and miserable recently that my love for bright colours has not been fulfilled by the great outdoors. In times like this I usually turn to books and social media outlets such as pinterest or instagram to get my creative juices flowing. With a need for inspiration in mind, I bought 'Foraged Flora' by Louesa Roebuck and Sarah Lonsdale, as well as 'My Floral Affair' by Rachel Ashwell, and oh boy did it deliver some inspiration!
The photography in both of the books is simply stunning, and I am so incredibly excited for the blooms of flora in the impending warmer months. It wasn't until I sat down with the 'Foraged Flora' book that I realised I had been taking for granted the beautiful and striking elements of nature that are available during these colder parts of the year. See, this book is all about appreciating and looking for the flora that is in season, and is found naturally. The book takes you on a journey through each month of the year educating you on the surrounding flora.
It made me think that actually, we are so used to having the majority of our favourite flowers ready and available in our local supermarket, that we don't really stop and admire what has been growing outside our doorstep during these unique times. If you're already familiar with my work, you'll know that I love nature, and I love colour, and it was at this point that I realised my lack of inspiration was stemming from my lack of interaction with nature. I had been so used to seeing rainy skies outside that I had failed to notice the beautiful blue sky yesterday. So I grabbed a backpack and took some paintings, ushered the dogs into the car and took to the woods.
Oh my word was it a sight for sore eyes. I'm surprised I didn't fall over I spent so much time looking around and taking everything in that there was to see. It's such an incredible feeling, to be in nature, to breathe in the clean air and go up close and personal with some of the amazing natural wonders of the world. Things you would normally not look twice at, like the moss on the tree branch above. It just looked so incredibly beautiful to me. The colours, the formation, and the patterns. It was so inspiring and just what I needed... the dogs had a pretty good time too (apart from when I had to chase Hugo off from eating horse s**t).
In fact, I loved the experience so much, that I got up and out the house this morning for another hour long walk in the woods with the boys. The sun was shining, the dogs were running around having a great time, and, I don't know if you've noticed it or not, but dog walkers are the friendliest people!! Whether it's a 2 second 'Hello!' or a 20 minute chat, it seems to be that nature brings a smile to all those who venture out into it.
So my challenge for you this weekend is to venture outside and explore. Whether that be spending time in your garden, taking a walk around your village, or venturing out to your local woods, or nature park. Breathe in the air, take in all the sights and sounds, and let the inspiration flow.
This one is for the woods.