Nature Online Inspiration #WriteOut

Out and About

Have you been following the with  #writeout from the National Writing Project / National Park Service two week celebration of parks and the outdoors? Click the links for many ways and several places and different prompts to explore and write about the outdoors.

What if I Can’t Get Out, But I have Internet?

So glad you asked because I have a favorite place for inspiration. It’s a blog from one of my  CLmooc friends– Kim Douillard, who teaches first grade and each day takes a photograph with a reflective post from her favorite spot: the Pacific Ocean. You can also find her on Instragram or Twitter. Some days, I just scroll through her Instragram or blog posts to enjoy the images, and some times I am pulled in to her reflections about the images and her stories of how her students learn, related to the images. Appropriately, her blog is called “Thinking Through My Lens.”

Today, I was thinking about a project for WriteOut and something simple I could do with nature, like the rubbings and poetry from Kim Ruffin, Associate Professor of English at Roosevelt University in the Inspirations component of WriteOut.

I love how we can apply the “found” items in nature, like these leaves, to create or leave bits of art. I was reminded of the many “rock sculptures” that Kim Douillard has shared with her lens on the beach:

So, I entered this into the google omnibox

Which found a ton of her “rock sculpture” images and more– I clicked “View all” and found some inspiration:

Scavenger Hunt

I could not find on her blog whether or not others can share her images, so I decided to illustrate them with some quick doodles and let you find the images on her blog posts. This is a great way to enjoy the outdoors when you can’t get outdoors– find a source of images and be inspired by drawing your own or writing poetry based on the inspiration. Kim’s reflective writing will inspire you as well.

So– see if you are inspired like I was, and check out the posts from Kim that inspired these simple, imperfect illustrations. I love how these natural finds and human art does not harm the natural area itself– something the Rangers in WriteOut frequently remind us about.

Rock Sculptures

A focus on yellow–

Will you find this rock on her post Unexpected Yellow

A focus on Light and Shadow–

Will you find this rock sculpture  in  her  post  light  and  shadow?

A focus on Formation–

Will you find this rock formation and enjoy the other types of “formations” in her post Weekly Photo Challenge Formation

I added the “footprints”

Sand Castles

Will you find the castles on the cliff in her post In the Spaces Between?

Curious Sightings

Shells, Observations, Reflection in the Classroom

Will you discover the seashells in her post “Reflection as Archeology“?

Only three shells of the many in Kim’s photograph

Acorns in Holes: A Learning Adventure

Will you find what hid the acorns in Kim’s post “Photo Inquiry: Art, Science, And Writing“? This is my favorite!

How did looking through Kim Douillard’s lens inspire you?

Did you find the photographs to match my simple illustrations? Did you find the acorn hider?

Quick Thoughts

Today’s WriteOut allowed me to be inspired by nature from my own home– and to share with you a way to do so too.

Also, seeing the images, I remembered they belong to Kim, and I was able to remix them into an artwork that I could share back.

And, the “found art” was a reminder to remember to “pack it in and pack it out” and “leave no trace” whenever in the outdoors. Be respectful of the beauty.

And in my own backyard, I found a way to create a bit of “found art” by arranging leaves, twigs, and seed pods into a mandala– art with “found nature,” something Kim often captures in her photography.

sycamore leaves and pods, maple leaves, Virginia creeper leaves, and a little purple flower


Thank you, Kim, for the inspiration!

I hope you enjoyed the journey!

Note: Artwork created in Procreate on my iPad