(For best results, leave your cell phone in the car or at home!)
1. Free Sketching: take a pencil and a notebook or sketchbook (whatever you have), and even if you don’t think you’re good at drawing, find a spot with a pleasing view and sketch something there. It could be a leaf, a flower, a barn, or an entire mountain scene. Or all of the above! Be loose and free with your lines, but also go slow and be gentle with your pencil.
2. Art Journaling: Pack some of your favorite supplies into a backpack along with your art journal. Remember not to focus on perfection with your page (or even completion, really) just enjoy the process and draw as much inspiration as you can from how you feel in your surroundings. You could even take a Polaroid camera and snap a photo of your surroundings and include that in your journal page like I did here. [[Don’t have an art journal or not sure what it is? Tangie Baxter & Co have an excellent array of information and inspiration available at https://shoptangiebaxter.com!]]
3. Write! Either in your journal, on your laptop, or in a favorite notebook. Write about whatever you feel inspired to write about. Some ideas: Your ambition/goals; everything you’re thankful for and why; how you feel about your current situation and where you know you want to go from here; write a poem about your current location. You could even “vent” write— get out anything and everything you need to get out, put it all on paper and, if you feel compelled to, maybe throw that piece of paper out or burn it later. Sometimes it’s necessary to cleanse ourselves of negativity by getting it out of our head and throwing it away somewhere.
4. Paint a Canvas! My best canvas paintings were created outdoors! I definitely recommend prepping your canvas beforehand. Set aside quite a bit of time for this (you don’t want to feel rushed), and really plan out and pack everything you’ll need for the process (paints, reference photos, brushes, water, etc.) Also, keep in mind you’ll need to clean your brushes and things when you’re finished. If you have a portable easle, don’t forget that, of course. If you don’t, just bring an old sheet or blanket (or a drop cloth if you have it) and paint with your canvas laying flat. You’ll figure out what will work best for you!
5. Photograph scenes and objects that make you feel something, and also keep your eye out for striking textures to photograph. Take your time and be deliberate with each shot you capture; slowly moving yourself and your camera to find the perfect angle before pressing the shutter button. Maybe bring a couple different cameras or lenses if you have them (one digital camera and one Polaroid perhaps.)
6. Find a cute little box or basket and collect some “found objects” that you can later use in your artwork. Think about things you could put on a canvas or in your art journal. Or be brave and go out of your comfort zone— find things you could make into a sculpture of some kind. Sculptures can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never created one before, but if you google “simple found object sculptures,” you’ll see that there are endless possibilities and that honestly, anything & everything goes! It’s always good to venture out of what feels comfortable and safe once and a while. That’s how we grow as artists!–>Tip: This might work best going into the city, you’re likely to find way cooler things like little pieces of metal, buttons, keys, and maps. Those are just a few examples– you never know what you may find!