Last week we were fortunate to receive a visit from small press publisher, teacher and artist Esther McManus. Esther will be teaching creative observational exercises on our fast approaching ‘Drawn to Nature’ workshop, so we thought it would both fun and wise to take a preliminary wander around the woods to search for inspiration, take field notes and discover signs as to which plants and creatures are likely to be awake on April 1st.
We found a whole host of slowly emerging shoots and leaves, studied patterns in decaying wood and felt the warm sun of the forth coming spring on our faces yet the chill breeze of a lingering winter around our ears and backs. Esther is infectiously inquisitive; using her eye for detail, colour and form - honed during the course of her creative work - to spot irregularities in plant growth and to find inspiration and curiosity in places that many would ignore. As Esther sketched, we provided ecological insights where we could whilst making notes of places we couldn’t so as to continue our learning back at home. One of the greatest joys of a nature walk is that we always find something new to enquire about.
Our original interest in nature and subsequent quest for knowledge is rooted simply in appreciating the aesthetic value of the natural world and great outdoors. This is a great place to start a reconnection with nature, so we couldn’t be more excited about sharing some of nature’s secrets combined with Esther’s creative way of seeing and thinking on our workshop this spring.
Perhaps if more people were able to notice the beauty inherent in even the least conspicuous wild flower, or could find interest in the subtle patterns and shapes created by natural forces, we would find it easier to give wild places value and learn to cherish the outdoors as the irreplaceable treasure it is.
Take a look at our Workshop page for more details on ‘Drawn to Nature’. We hope to see you there!
“Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.” Aldo Leopold