Why Make Nature Inspired Art?
There is so much to do in so little time, isn’t just getting outside enough?
Why pile something else onto our already full plates?
Sure! Getting outside a few times a week is great, and its importance should not be diminished by any means, so why bother with adding nature journaling to our outdoor time?
In the words of naturalist Thomas E. Smith, PhD:
“Experience without words is just experience.
Words without experience are just words.”
Include drawing and art into that quote and you get the essence of why I encourage nature journaling for all humans as a way to creatively connect and build deep lasting loving relationships with our natural world.
Sure, each time we venture into nature, big or small, we are impacted, but when we can assimilate those experiences through images and words, written and spoken, we begin to form bonds and understand the natural world, and our roles within it, more fully.
As adults, when we understand our ecological relationships and identities, we can help children do the same. In my over 20 years teaching, I’ve found that nature journaling, using both pictures and words, is an incredible and effective way to embrace ourselves as part of the amazing web of life. Embodying our roles in nature and deepening our place connections gives us strength — physically, psychologically, and energetically.
There is plenty research out there showcasing the ways that regular nature experience improves health, mood, behavior, productivity, academic achievements, and more, but when we look at the benefits regular creative nature connections bring to our spirit and quality of life, we begin to really see and feel the ways that nature impacts our everyday lives.