Warm up and have fun!

When we are deep in concentration, working really hard on a drawing, we may reach a point where our bodies don’t want to continue. If we’ve trained our muscles (built our “loose joints”), we can let our bodies take over for the final sprint. Try doing some warm-up exercises to click back in. Botanical drawing can take a loooong time, and you may not finish in one sitting. When that unfinished drawing is taunting you from your table, telling you that you couldn’t possibly get back into that zone, do some simple exercises (tone bars, color swatches, pattern practice, spheres, etc.) and warm up your drawing muscles. 

Don’t forget, the main goal is to have a good time. Sometimes focusing on a pristine, “Art-worthy” final product can build up unnecessary pressure on you. Get out of your own way and enjoy yourself. Documenting nature is worthwhile, no matter what you produce, so you might as well have fun. Observations through your unique perspective and style are such a gift for nature, for yourself, and for your loved ones who share in the joy of your drawings!

Today, Wendy went on a hike with her basic nature journaling tools. She was amazed by the abundance of acorns and mushrooms and had to sit down for a quick drawing. Wendy’s recent works on tree Identification sparked her curiosity to discover that the huge acorns under her feet were from a Chestnut Oak.

Wendy was so excited to capture the beauty, not only  of the acorns and colors of surrounding trees in autumn, but also of this moment she was sharing with nature beside a stunning view of the Catskills.

Her time to leave arrived too soon, but Wendy made sure to take a few acorns with her. Back in the studio, those acorns and her reference photos bring her back to her favorite place of gratitude and joy.

Remember the original spark of joy that made you start in the first place. Keep that inspiration at the forefront of your mind, and your relaxed muscles will take it from there because you are an artistic athlete. You’ve trained for this. And if you haven’t? Start your training now! You can never finish what you are too afraid to start. 

Not sure how to warm up? Try some of the exercises in Botanical Basics.


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