Left: “I consider painting leaves and sticks as a simple therapeutic approach to stress of any sorts.” —Robin Albright
Middle: “This was made from stone and natural clay… and is meant to express the message to keep our hearts soft, even in the midst of hardness.”—Shannon Crane
Right: Ruth Inman of North Art Studios plans to offer leaf printing classes later this summer.
The concept was simple and unassuming: “Share your nature-inspired creations here to inspire others to create with the beauty of the natural world in mind.” Motivated by images of a friend’s family project, Peoria artist Jody Tockes created the Nature-Inspired-Art Facebook group on May 1, 2020.
In the age of shelter-in-place, a connection to the outdoors could hardly have been more appealing. “My hope,” Tockes explains, “was that it would encourage people to disconnect from electronics, get outside and commune with nature; have a creative distraction from all the bad news; and work on it with their family unit when possible.” Since then, dozens of group members have shared a wide range of nature-inspired art—a welcome respite from the indoor constraints of quarantine.
“Our natural world is good medicine for the soul during this very trying time,” she adds. “I really believe by spending more time in nature—and time creating—people can get back to the simplicity of what really matters in life.” PM