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Reconnecting to Nature

Updated: Mar 9, 2023

An Earthkeepers Handbook Recipe

Monthly Mantra: Progress is more important than perfection.

This month's mantra holds a lot of meaning for me. Sometimes it’s hard to get started when the road ahead seems really long. But if you break things down into smaller steps, it’s much easier to get started and follow the path as you make it, as it emerges, or both…

I feel very drawn to nature, whether it’s being outside in my garden, on a neighborhood stroll admiring my neighbor’s gardens, visting a local park, or hiking further afield. When I can slow down, settle in, and read, picnic, camp, sketch, or paint, it’s even better. Realizing how much enjoyment and mental boost I get from my time creating outside in particular, I had the idea to share tips for creating a deeper connection to nature through artful play and observation. This idea has been nestled in my brain for quite some time, and what form would it take, I wasn’t sure, but I started drafting content. Whether a blog, article, zine, book, or whatever, it was emerging before I had a place to put it confirmed.

And then I saw an art call from EcoArtSpace, for members to compile something to be called Earthkeepers Handbook, a “recipe book” of art & nature connections. Members were encouraged to craft our best concoctions, from making art materials and dyes to creative processes, as an offering to this eclectic eco collection. We were also encouraged to hand write things, just like a recipe card, do you remember those?

So, I now had a goal, a place in the world to share art + nature play in my connect to nature work, as an earth-keeping recipe, how perfect! I found the process of hand writing and drawing my recipe a refreshing break from the more typical submission where every letter is neatly typed on screen. I was also able to test the process at the Centrum residency, and refine and expand on the content and create new artwork for future iterations of this idea. The current recipe, "Reconnect to Nature", is included in the book, which just launched late last month! Find the digital version of the book here on Issuu; my recipe is on pages 156-157.

The Earthkeepers Handbook is a delight to flip through. Hope you enjoy! And sharing is encouraged, so please help us spread the word about these creative solutions for a sustainable living, wellness, and eco art practices!

four pages with recipes for art making and art process
Earthkeepers Handbook excerpt: Reconnect to Nature

And, the artful connections journey doesn’t stop there. The next milestone on this trip is a small folded paper ‘zine that expands on the initial recipe version. Developed with partial funding by Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, the first set will be distributed at locations throughout the City for free. The 'zine will be titled "Connect to Nature with Art" and is scheduled to launch in April 2023, with a little celebration at the Push/Pull Gallery. Details and distribution locations are in the works, stay tuned!

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