I was pleased to come across Tristan Gooley’s philosophies in his book ‘How to Connect With Nature’. I have felt for a while that in order to encourage people to be re-inspired with and reconnected to nature, we have to somehow first tap into their inner child or to childhood memories and experiences. Gooley seems to be suggesting the same approach. He poses the suggestion “feeling a connection with nature has the potential to be an exciting and meaningful experience. Perhaps you have a desire to rediscover a lost connection, if we go back far enough we all find there was once a bond. It is found for many in memories of childhood, but we can be certain of finding it by going back further still, to our ancestors… the stimulation a full connection with nature can bring to each person is life enhancing to the point where it changes who we are.” (Gooley, 2014, p4). I agree that feeling a connection with nature can create wonder and joy and want to explore further how I may be able to achieve this in my art.
Tristan suggests; ‘Sheltering from the wind in a hollow, eating wild berries, or curing an ailment with a leaf are no longer necessary physically, we can buy products to overcome these challenges instead. But to achieve a connection with nature they are wonderful early steps. ludicrously simple acts with obvious consequences can offer surprising philosophical rewards.’ Making a concious effort to have even the smallest connection with nature everyday can be so rewarding. As a mindful act, it allows us to step out of the bussiness of our modern lives and just appreciate being in the moment. For me I find water colour painting a mindful experience as when I take myself out into nature to study plants I find myself appreciating minute details that I may have not noticed previously and admiring the brilliant colours and intricate patterns. I become a part of the environment, a brush stroke may have a sudden movement where I was taken, unaware by a gust of wind or I may have rushed a painting where I felt the cold around me. These experiences help me to be in the moment and truly appreciate the beauty in our world.