Phew, I’ve been thinking about this post for months, so I’m quite happy to finally be making it! This might be my favorite idea so far in this series. *rubs hands*
In case you’re wondering, I started this series to motivate myself (and you!) to get outside and have something interesting unique or creative to do out there. 😉 So I take you with me on a walk around our farm, adding in a little twist or art/photography prompt that you can try too, where you live.
Today we’re going to collect bits and pieces of nature and arrange them into beautiful art! If you love being creative but don’t really consider yourself an artist, I think you’re going to enjoy this one. 🙂
First, we gotta find a spot to make our art. This can be on pretty much any piece of flat, smooth-ish ground. I found a place between a strip of woods and one of our fields.
Now we want to prepare our canvas. *artistic wave* (Is that a thing? I feel like I should know…) Ahem. Unless you’re using pavement, a sidewalk, or something similarly smooth, you’ll need to clear a spot on the ground for your masterpiece to go. I brushed away the leaves and debris from a patch of dirt and stamped on it a bit to flatten it out.
Now it’s time to collect the elements of your art. You can wander far and wide for this, or challenge yourself to use only things close by. For this first piece, I used mainly sweet gum pods in various stages of decay (see top three photos), cedar, holly, and a bunch of round galls. You can also use gravels, grass, twigs, flowers, pinecones, acorns, wood chips – basically anything! Gather a bunch of each element in approximately the same size or length.
The galls were my favorite part – I found a whole (very dead) tree of them! Galls are kind of like little cocoons, but they can look really neat. These reminded me of wooden beads.
Now to assemble your art! You can make actual scenes and objects if you want, but my favorite thing to do is create simple mandalas: repeating, circular, flower-like patterns. Start with a roundish something in the center, then build outwards with different elements, keeping things fairly symmetrical. Fill in gaps for more intricacy – like, I nestled sweet gum pods in the spaces above the holly leaves and then galls between the pods.
It’s kind of hard to see the pattern in a photo, but if you’re not making a blog post about it, you can simply enjoy it in real life. 🙂 Or take close-ups. *nods*
Don’t forget to sign your piece with bits of twigs, gravels, galls, etc. 😉 (P. S. Acorns without caps would make a great substitute for galls!)
I made the above mandala just a few days ago, but I originally had the idea for this post months ago, in fall. So here’s the sequence of my first mandala. The “elements” include pinecones, sticks, and leaves of various kinds.
This mandala was much larger, and I quite like how it turned out! Especially the cute little red leaves on top of the yellow ones. (Also heh, notice my tennis shoes changed – I’ve gotten new ones since this. XD)
If you DO want to take pictures of your mandala, I recommend using a piece of white foamboard (which you can get for a few dollars at Walmart) for your background. You can either bring a basket of elements inside, or, preferably, take the foamboard outside so you don’t make a mess in your house.
For this one, I used more galls, bunches of parsley that’s still growing in our herb garden, sweet gum pods with the stems on, clover leaves, and garlic grass.
This one isn’t at all perfect, but see how much cleaner and clearer it looks on a white background? With more time and patience, you can make some really beautiful mandalas.
Okay, now for a bonus section! You’ve probably seen those drawings where someone incorporates a physical object into a drawing, right? Well, I tried it and it’s super fun! Go for it. 🙂
I intentionally kept these simple to show you that literally anyone (except, like a two-year-old) can make this kind of art. Can you draw a stick figure? Then you’re all set! 😀
Hee hee, those are quite the ears! (Side note: if you’re looking for more traditional (and pretty 😛 ) art inspiration, check out my last sketchbook post here. And if you want more object art inspo, check out @hyemi.jeong and @poojamtkr on Instagram!)
Heh heh, I love this one. Isn’t it neat how a couple of lines can transform something? What do you think is happening here?
Annnd that’s all for today, my friends! I hope you collected some inspiration to take with you on your next walk. 🙂 Enjoy the fresh air!
Would you try the mandala or the object art? Which piece was your favorite? Should I make an object art post?
Thanks so much for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!