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  • Writer's pictureNicole

Finding Inspiration in Nature: How the Outdoors Fuels My Creative Process

Nature has always been a profound source of inspiration for artists throughout history, and I am no exception. Lately, I've found myself deeply inspired by the textures, colors, and lighting in the natural world. In this blog post, I'll share how the outdoors fuels my creative process and provides endless creative fuel.

A inspiration board with 5 photographs of natural elements--autumn trees, a sun shining across a lake with a tree in the frame; a field of grass and wildflowers; tree bark; a lawn with unique shadows.

The Beauty of Natural Landscapes:

One of the most inspiring aspects of nature is the sheer variety of colors and textures it offers. When I'm out and about, I love looking for the different colors that emerge in various settings. Even during a drive, I find myself captivated by the orange tips of trees, the purples in the shadows, and the beautiful yellows in the leaves when the sun is shining on them. These moments of color discovery invigorate my artistic vision and push me to incorporate these vibrant shades into my work.

Exploring Plein Air Painting:

Recently, I've been doing more plein air painting, thanks to a workshop I'm taking and the increasingly pleasant weather. This practice has given me a new appreciation for identifying values and playing with them in my compositions. There's something incredibly refreshing about painting outdoors, directly in front of the scene I'm capturing. It challenges me to observe and interpret the landscape in real-time, enhancing my ability to translate the beauty of nature onto the canvas.

The Role of Texture:

Texture continues to be a theme that I enjoy exploring in my art. Lately, I've been using the palette knife more frequently in my paintings, which has resulted in some really cool textures. This technique is quite different from my usual brushwork and presents a delightful challenge. The palette knife allows me to create bold, dynamic textures that bring an added dimension to my work, echoing the rugged, tactile quality of natural elements.

Studio Practice and Nature Photography:

When I'm back in the studio, I often draw inspiration from photos I’ve taken during hikes and nature outings. These images serve as a rich source of reference and inspiration for my landscape paintings. Revisiting these scenes through my art allows me to capture and relive the beauty and tranquility of those moments, translating them into works that evoke the same sense of wonder and serenity.


All in all, my focus has been on nature and landscape painting, and as the summer season sets in, I continue to find inspiration in the world around me. The vibrant colors, intricate textures, and ever-changing light of the natural environment provide a great source of creative fuel. I encourage you to take a moment to explore nature and find your own sources of inspiration. Whether it's through painting, photography, or simply observing, the natural world offers endless possibilities for creative exploration.

Do you have a favorite place in nature that inspires you? Share your stories in the comments below or tag me on social media!

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