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What nature teaches us about creating art.

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

Hello! Kasia here.

Approaching Autumn, we say goodbyes to the sunny days outside and come indoors to make ourselves cozy with a cup of tea and a good book. Those of us who are keen gardeners (and I know there are many of you here, artists-gardeners!) can now slow down too and say goodbye to the vibrant, juicy colours of their Summer patches and beds. It's a big deal in every gardener's life. It's easy to feel a little sad about this or... we could choose to embrace the transformation and change that our gardens grace us with this time of year.

I've talked to Franscisca Nunes, one of Wanderlust Teachers, who like me, has two passions that go together perfectly - gardening and art making. Based in Portugal, she embraces her plot and maintains a kitchen garden growing all sorts of vegetables and fruits. Have a look through her layered art journals and you'll see she often gets inspired by nature. And I love how she combines the two.

Francisca says: All my life I’ve loved to look at plants, collect nature finds, search on the beach for shells, minerals, and rocks. I was always amazed by the colors and shapes of all the natural elements.

The main theme in my art is flowers, but also the colors and shapes I see around me in nature - I bring these to my art journals to explore.

I also love to use flowers and leaves to print and dye fabrics and papers. This is another way I feel connected to nature, and another way to express myself through it..

I've asked Francisca, what's the one big lessons that nature has taught her, and here's what she said:

Looking carefully at nature brought to my art was the understanding that not all things are perfect and that is ok. I used to think that I had to draw amazing flowers, otherwise it wouldn’t be a beautiful flower.

Looking and paying attention to the seasons, you will realize that colorful blooming flowers start to fade and fall apart, colors get muted and they still are flowers. I started to realize that I could express this other side of nature. Everything is a cycle, and there are no beautiful colorful blossoms in Spring if there are no faded blossoms at fall, to spread the seed, and to return to the soil to give it nutrients. Those moments of transformation are in my art when I boil bundles, when I wet a journal page and colors get faded, and then I can recreate again and bring color again to the papers.

This has truly resonated with me, as I also believe that there's beauty in imperfection and that we're all part of something bigger and constantly in the process of transformation.

So when the leaves start to turn and fall off the trees, when the colours of your beloved Dahlia's fade away, when your flower beds loose their vibrance and brightness, don't turn away from them. Try and draw inspiration from that change. Appreciate the browns. Let the lightness of the seed-heads and bare branches inspire your drawings. Cherish the current moment and love it for what it is.

And here's a bit of extra inspiration from Francisca. Enjoy the video and use it as a starting point for your nature inspired art.

Learn more from Francisca Nunes in her Wanderlust 2023 class!

Read more and sign up to the adventure here.



Jan 01, 2022

"Everything is a cycle, and there are no beautiful colorful blossoms in Spring if there are no faded blossoms at fall"....this is my art prompt for the year of 2022. I struggle with perfectionism and comparing my art to others and finding mine lacking. My journal spreads become one big judgement party, which is not fun. Thank you for your very wise and rather therapeutic words.


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