Wandering in Nature with Pencil and Paper


Today whilst I walked my Jack Russell Tilly up the local recreation fields I had a bit of folded paper and pencil to hand.


This is due to the fact that I always think of something good (or at least I hope it will be) to do with art, teaching or writing whilst doing the daily rounds of the grassy playing fields. The fields are hedged by trees and bird-filled bushes and lend a lovely backdrop to my morning musings. I never go up there in the evening though as it feels a bit eerie plus it is very dark.

Over the Christmas and New Year period my ideas and hunches have been coming thick and fast. I have found myself desperately repeating them over and over as I hurry home at walk’s end in order to jot them down somewhere.

So no more of that. Just a simple pencil and paper in my zippered pocket today gave me the safety net I needed to trap those potent thoughts. I may even move up to using a small notepad which would be firmer to write on. I just want something small – like those flip-shut black police pads of old.

I may just use a tiny but tight bulldog clip and bunch a small stash of my recycled paper off-cuts together into a make-shift pad. I love the idea of not wasting a scrap of paper.

Here are a few jottings from today’s jaunt. If you struggle to read my scrawl the I have listed my notes below in typed form…

Blackbirds – beak-handling leafs (leaves) – tossing and twisting off ground

Survey/study and simplify

Shade + suggest

Holly tree heavy with curving candelabra berries

lacy wormcasts

pine branches – drape ad punctuated

protruberence and interjection – hooks – interlocking

comical cantering of the corvids 

cranking out cackling call

beech trees twig traceries

scented sprig of spruce spine splintered leaves sharp























I feel the value for me of writing down mythoughts is a real help in being able to remember and retrieve a suitable word – to give an appropriate attribution to something when usually words may fail me. So it’s a linguistic exercise as well as a cognitive one. Plus it is a pleasing memory of a walk and one on which I may call to draw inspiration for a drawing, a painting or as a basis for a teaching point. It is all grist to the creative mill.

How do you capture your creative thoughts?

2 thoughts on “Wandering in Nature with Pencil and Paper

  1. Good afternoon Alison Last week I paid for the pdf format of issue 5 of your magazine but so far nothing has come through. I’ve checked my Blurb account as well and am wondering if I’ve missed a link somewhere? Looking forward to reading it! Thanks Best wishes and happy 2020 Cinnamon

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Hello Cinnamon and huge apologies on behalf of Blurb for that. I have sent you just now the link and so do let me know if all is now OK. Also – thank you so very much for buying The Pottering Artist. What appealed to you about it? I would love to hear how you feel about it once you’ve had a read? Kind regards – Alison

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