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April Prompt 2
The second prompt for this month is…
“When we recognize the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
How do you connect with this earth, with nature, with the animals we share this planet with, with the skies above us, and with the depths of the oceans? April 22nd is Earth Day and I thought we could wrap up the month by channeling our connection to Mother Earth onto the pages of our sketchbooks.

What does Mother Earth and nature mean to you?
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  • Take inspiration from The Four Elements: Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. Focus on a specific element or create using all 4 in mind.
  • Use recycled items as your tools/materials: paper towel rolls, old newspapers or magazines, soda can tabs, plastic bread tags, fabric from an old t-shirt, stickers/paper from packaging, cardboard boxes, etc. While our pieces will most likely be flat/in our sketchbooks, I love this 3-D piece (made by kids!) as inspiration.
  • What's your favorite animal? Create a piece inspired by them. I'm a big fan of Dani Connor and her wildlife photography, you may find more inspo there!
  • Collect items from nature and try making watercolor botanical prints or printing with leaves. This can be your final piece or use it as a background and collage, draw, embroidery on top of it.
  • Sketch your favorite place to be outdoors This can be from memory, a photo, or being on location
  • Browse your phone for nature photos Print them out and turn them into a collage
  • Color & texture inspiration from Wild Pigment Project
  • Waste Land: Artist Vik Munoz collaborates with Garbage Pickers to create beautiful portraits of them. Read about it here, or here are ways you can watch it. It's been years since I first saw this film and I have never forgotten it.
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  • Use the earth as a template and fill it in. Here are some examples.
  • Keep a field journal. Sit in your yard, go to the park, take a hike and document what you see. Here are some ideas for what to add and different layouts to try. Try doing this throughout the upcoming weeks or dedicate a page in your sketchbook for this.
  • Get outside and create art using things around you: branches, leaves, flowers, dirt, rocks, etc. Take a photo of it as a keepsake and to add in your sketchbook.
  • Try a monochromatic collage inspired by a color inspired by nature.
  • Make pressed flower art If you don't have any on hand, try photocopying some to use (thank you Mitzi for this idea!) or find another way to re-create this look. Here are some beautiful pieces by Flower Press Studio
  • How does being in nature make you feel? What do you hear? What do you smell? How can you capture these things with colors and shapes? On the flip side, are you more of a city person?
  • What does Mother Earth look like? Make a portrait of how you envision her.
  • Capture nature with paint: Woodland Walk Gouache Tutorial / Watercolor Misty Mountain Tree Tutorial / Acrylic Tree Tutorial
  • Play with paper and make a nature inspired collage, here are 3 different styles you can use to spark more ideas.
  • The Smog of the Sea A 1 week journey, an unusual crew, uncovering the fog of microplastics in remote waters. Learn more here, watch the documentary here
  • Listen to Fragments by Jack Johnson from The Smog of the Sea

For anyone who is interested, Pentel is hosting the #Artcycle challenge, now through May 17th! Put together a recycled work of art for a chance to win Pentel products and a sapling from the Arbor Day Foundation! You can find the details over on Instagram or on their website.

Allow Mother Earth and nature to guide you in the days ahead.
Talk to you soon and Happy Earth Day weekend!
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