This past weekend, I was lucky enough to spend part of the time at a friend’s cabin, enjoying the sunshine for what seemed to be the first time this season. For me, spending time surrounded by nature serves a dual purpose: it helps me disconnect from daily stress (having no cell service definitely makes this easier) while allowing me to slow down and notice little, beautiful things happening around me.
I try to do this in my daily life, even on the busiest, gloomiest, most frustrating days—small rituals like watering the plants on my doorstep or setting out materials in anticipation of a plaster pour really bring me back down to earth. Keeping my hands busy with mindless tasks becomes almost meditative. At the cabin this weekend, however, I was able to simply sit down and observe: how sunlight streamed through the clouds, the way the fire crackled and smoked, and how many different types of trees stretched up above my head.
In my own work, I’m not directly inspired by nature, but I think it’s important to carry that feeling of being grounded back to the studio. I can feel this balance when I’m quietly observing my own process, picking up on subtle details in my work that I might otherwise miss, and being aware of how each part works on a larger scale. When I’m not fully, mentally involved in what I’m doing, I know I’m not creating my best work, and I’m way less efficient. So instead of wasting time and energy, sometimes the best remedy is to just step outside (and run away to a cabin in the woods for a few days, if possible), then come back when you’re ready.
Featured Image: by Jill Sibio