Integral to creativity is finding ones perfect source of inspiration. Gathering inspiration through mindful nature photography is an intriguing technique and an excellent tool for observation. A perfect way to connect with nature and still ones mind. When the sunlight is just right and there is a quiet atmosphere to the air, observing genuine beauty and capturing it by camera is a recipe to fill one’s cup to the brimful with inspiration. The gathering process is the practice of mindfully observing inspiration and collecting photographic reference.
The exploration of beauty can be discovered in all seasons within nature when you learn the mindful art of observation. These are moments where the allure of the garden reveals itself during quiet observation. Truthfully the mindful art of observation is a feeling or a sensation which has gifted me healing properties. It is unique to each person and must be discovered independently. In my own personal experience, this came to me more like a gift of offering through an open minded mindset. There is ever changing and ongoing pleasure to be found in learning the mindful art of observation. This is how my painting practice has grown and developed over seasons of time.
An exercise found in quiet gathering develops stillness and mindfulness for the practitioner with the benefit healing properties. Through regular engagement with the garden a meditative experience developed, providing me with stillness of the mind, creative vision and a full heart. These moments are highly energized and emotive generating a whole body experience supporting the healing journey. There is a magical allure to these gathering experiences as if the more time I spend with the garden the more it will reveals to my eye. It is true you can find beauty everywhere if you know how to observe it, demonstrate respect and take time to practice slowing down to live in the moment. The art of observation during gathering is a full hearted experience within nature.
“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere”
Vincent Van Gogh.
Stillness in a world of busy may be juxtaposition at its most extreme. However, stillness is more important to humans now than it ever has been. The more time spent in the quiet stillness of nature, the more calm stillness one generates within their own body. Generating a calm presence whereby one is living within the moment promoting a healing environment within ones body. It has been my experience that creative awareness is at its best when there is stillness in the body. The essence of gathering is learning stillness through the art of observation whereby inspiration is revealed right in front of your eyes.
Seasonally, I have begun gathering photos capturing the genuine beauty of nature in my garden. I discovered a particular fascination this fall season from the beauty of decay. Magnificent colours, textures and forms found within the glorious golden light of fall as flowers harden in form and begin die off. Through photographic moments I find inspiration for paintings, writing and document change of seasons in my garden. In truth, practicing the art of mindful observation through gathering provides immense and constant inspiration.
Photographs of nature are done with ease when the artist has vision. For years I found cameras not to be compatible to my creative vision, until I received a gift of a Canon camera. It has been a life changer for me, I love taking up close and personal photos of natures beauty in my garden. Seasonally documenting my garden with my unique vision and use these photos to inspire my paintings. During a gathering session I can come back into the studio with 80 or more photographs documenting the garden with my vision of the season.
Emotive experience is important when connecting with nature through gathering. Excitement felt through downloading images often evokes the exact feeling felt when capturing photos, which equally supports my healing journey. It is this emotive element that makes its way into my paintings. A common thread spoken by my collectors is the sense of positive uplifting emotion they feel daily in the presence of one of my paintings.
The gathering process has become a multilayered way to connect mindfully with nature, heal and inspire paintings. In fact, it is an integral part of my painting process as it is the way I began a new body of work through seasonal photographic reference from the art of observation found through gathering. With passing time, I have come to treasure my photographs like a collector with a collection of uniquely rare antiques. Perhaps gathering may be a strategy others could use in there creative practice and it is always my hope to inspire on their life path.