Time in nature has been limited during this time of social distancing – we are permitted outdoor exercise once a day in the UK. I enjoy seeing/hearing/smelling nature during this exercise, but the rest of the time I have discovered other ways to fill the day with nature at home:
- Our small garden is a treasure trove, I have discovered. This week I have been photographing the same leaf each day as it buds.
- To fill my mind with greenery I draw and paint nature, from my imagination or from leaves in my garden.
- I write down descriptions (and this week even a poem!) about nature.
- I’m taking better care of my pot plants.
- Sometimes I watch the International Space Station’s live stream of our planet. I find it peaceful and beautiful, and used to watch it before going to sleep. I find it a great way to gain perspective in life!
- I access nature photography through social media. On Instagram I follow BBC Earth, which has funny captions about incredible creatures. On Instagram I also follow the agency Nature Picture Library, which represents many creatives working for the BBC.
- When I go to sleep at night I look at books about landscape painting. My favourites are:
– Landscape Painting Now – an international and eclectic collection of contemporary landscape art.
– The Joy of Nature – a look at Hockney and Van Gogh works side by side)
– Ansel Adams’ 400 Photographs – stunning black and white photos of U.S. landscapes from 1916 to 1968.
- I listen to birds. Though we live in a city, I am noticing birdsong more than ever, possibly due to the reduction in noise pollution from roads. I love the wood pigeon on my roof each morning and the seagulls above our garden. They make me think of the countryside and the sea! Sometimes I listen to Youtube recordings of birds.
- We can also read about nature, or watch nature programmes.
- And as I always say, nature is always accessible if we look up at the sky. I draw and photograph clouds. I love the moon. The stars are wonderful.
- We make the most of the creatures we have at home. I love my cats! And I look at our garden insects, which my son recently photographed. Yesterday we rescued a beautiful bumble bee from our living room. The tiny creature was magnificent to watch. 🙂
- Since lockdown started, sometimes I just sit in the garden or at a window and enjoy the sunshine, breeze, and spring smells. Before lockdown, I rarely did nothing as I always felt I should be doing something. It has been a time for being still and practising mindfulness, without the usual FOMO (fear of missing out)!
- I hope you also find lovely ways of enjoying nature – even if it is remotely – while staying at home!
- Below are some garden sketches I did this week. Follow me on Instagram at rebekahcurtisart.