Okanagan Art & Nature Club

Updated: Jan 19

Try something new! Join our group, and be a part of the international green sketching movement, to experience simple joy and meditative moments in nature at our doorsteps.

Mindful Art and Writing Journal Club Responding to Nature • Curiosity and Discovery • Playful Processes Satisfying Swirls • Arts and Sciences Connect and Inspire


This group is for anyone, starting right here with the Friends of Woodhaven in the Okanagan. We encourage family members of all ages to participate together!


We can draw and scribble notes each in our own way, ten minutes at a time whenever and wherever we can stop and pay attention to natural patterns and connections around us. Group members will be able to support and encourage each other.




“One of the most useful and interesting definitions of love is that it is sustained, compassionate attention– and that’s what you’re doing when you are drawing a wildflower,”

“That love, that’s where stewardship is mostly born. We don’t protect that which we don’t know, understand and connect with.” John Muir Laws (Artist, Author and Educator)

. . . . .

The process of putting pen or pencil to paper to draw, simply helps us notice, remember, and care . . .


"The more you love nature, the more you want to take care of it" Dr. Ali Foxon ( from her 2019 TEDx talk ‘Drawn to Love Nature’ )







STOP BY WOODHAVEN PARK TO PICK UP A LITTLE POCKET SKETCHBOOK TO GET STARTED (There are also two little bundles of these at the Lake Country Art Gallery for some sketchers in that area).




Thank you to the Robert Bateman Foundation #sketchacrosscanada project for providing free pocket sketchbooks to help get our new club members started! These are available for pick-up at Woodhaven Regional Park. The mailbox will be refilled once or twice each week until we run out of booklets. Along with the sketchbooks, the club will provide "Woodhaven Critter Lists" to help people learn about wild inhabitants of the park!



What our club could look like:


These are our ideas to get started. . . What do you think? You are welcome to add comments and RSVP from our sketch club link on the Upcoming Events Page if you would like to get involved!

-One Sunday per month online starting March 7th, but possibly for a Sunday afternoon out in the field when in-person outdoor gatherings are okay again. We could add simple prompts and/or examples (posted on our site or mailed every second week) for families to keep things going. Group members will be able to share ideas, quick tips and discoveries as we go.


-Intergenerational participation is encouraged with adults and kids exploring together. Our focus is on being explorers, asking questions and following curiosity.

-We hope to occasionally line up guests/guides to share knowledge about birds, wildlife, wildflowers, trees, writing, drawing tips, mini technique demonstrations and more! Our club focus will be on shared activities and connection, not on full workshops. Our group will be collaborative and supportive as a casual club. If more in-depth workshops become available later in the region or online we can let you know, but for now this club is intended to be relaxing regardless of your background experience in art or science.

– We will start with suggestions to help people with the simple set-up of journals, and some ideas about question prompts to get us started.


Basic prompt examples:

·

Three basic prompts can be helpful to start notebook doodles, words, rubbings and more: 1. I notice . . .

2. I wonder . . .

3. It reminds me of . . . PLUS a fourth question for imaginative extensions

4. “WHAT IF?” (More about the creative play later!)

· There will sometimes be visual inspiration examples posted, or challenge questions, before a meet-up. These will always be open-ended enough to leave room for your own interpretations and discoveries.

Examples of some ways our club can support members:

· Sharing info posts about sightings people notice and/or record in any way with words, sketches, photos, charts, quotes, book recommendations, hike recommendations, etc. ?

· Regional critter and plant lists for to help people know what can be found in our area, including Woodhaven Park.

· Opportunities to involve student leaders/volunteers for a few special summer sessions

· An online forum could be set up for people to share sketches, discoveries, notes and ideas outside of group meetings. All members are encouraged to point out and try ideas/techniques that interest them. Each discovery leads to the next question.

None of this is about competition or perfectionism, just curiosity, mindfulness, connections, and following the slow wandering line to see where it leads!


Please Join Us!


ANYONE INTERESTED IN UPDATES, INFORMATION OR IN HELPING WITH PLANNING, PLEASE RSVP FROM OUR EVENTS PAGE, OR FROM THE CONTACT PAGE. We are making preparations for the Okanagan region now, and our first local Zoom meeting for participants will be on Sunday March 7th, 2021.

First steps of this project are being organized by Susan Neilson.

More information and direct contact information is at susanneilson.ca . We hope to involve other collaborators as we get started.


Notice and celebrate, one dot, one line, one leaf, one blade of grass at a time!

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