For an artist date this week, take yourself on a color-hunt with your camera. At a time of year (In Montana, it’s late winter/almost spring) when we crave color, this is a fun exercise in seeing. Check out the list of ideas for a color hunt, whether you have a camera or not.
Artist date idea #2 … take your sketchbook and/or camera to a local cemetery and notice details. Here’s a section of weekly artist date ideas for jumpstarting creativity. Get out of the house. Play. Do something fun and different from your usual routine. Do it weekly. Check back weekly for more ideas. Add your own, too!
Last week, my young friend, Grace and I invented our own “art camp.” She stayed with me for four nights and we had 3 full days of creative fun. I sure hope we get to do this a couple more times this summer. Hanging out with young people fills my cup, especially when they are as enthusiastic about life and learning and creativity as Grace is. It was super cool that we got to do so many projects and have some adventures. I promised I’d show her how to make a blog post, so next time, we’ll publish some tutorials. Enjoy our photos!
It’s been a long time since I have visited Paradise Valley and Yellowstone Park in springtime. Starting when my sons were little, we camped in Yellowstone but usually after school was out for the summer, or in the fall. I’d always heard about the incredible spring surge of baby wild mammals and birds there, but I’d never experienced that awesomeness until this retreat. Fall was always my favorite Montana season. I’ve changed my mind, though. My new favorite season? Spring-near-Yellowstone. Yes. That is a season. Springtime-near-Yellowstone. Not just plain old Spring.
What can we, as teachers, parents, grandparents and friends of children, do — to make sure kids reap the benefits of unstructured time connecting with nature? Read this article for some ideas and background about “Nature Deficit Disorder.” Here’s an excerpt from “Last Child in the Woods:” As a child, I was unaware that my woods were ecologically connected with any other forests. Nobody in the 1950s talked about acid rain or holes in the ozone layer or global warming. But I knew my woods and my fields; I knew every bend in the creek and dip in the beaten dirt paths. I wandered those woods even in my dreams. A kid today can likely tell you about the Amazon rain forest—but not about the last time he or she explored the woods in solitude, or lay in a field listening to the wind and watching the clouds move.” Read more and find a list of ideas …
These monthly calendars are a gift from me to remind you of your heart’s connection to the Earth. They’re free, downloadable for your desktop or your (actual) wall. I usually post these calendars the first day or two of each month. Please download them for your personal use — you can print the calendar if you prefer, or make it your computer wallpaper. There is also one for iphones. Please tell your friends these are available. Thank you! May you always feel loved.
Dramatic. Exciting. A truly spiritual experience: being at Freezeout Lake at dawn in late March. Hundreds of thousands of snow geese and other migratory birds use the lake as a rest stop on their journey from California to Alaska.
Throngs of geese erupt from the lake at sunrise and head east to the grain fields. You can hear their wings beating as they fly overhead, and the sound of their calls — it’s shiver-making! Put this breath-taking experience on your bucket list, if you live in Montana or are visiting in the early spring.
The ideal is to foster not isolation, but connectedness. Art of any kind must affirm human values. — Brett Busang