My nature workshop is designed to help you reconnect to nature and express your experience through art, writing, and photography. It can be tailored for whatever environment is available (even cities have nature), but generally we’ll take a nature walk, look at plants and wildlife, listen to the sounds of a forest (or whatever nature exists in the area), and sit in meditation outdoors when time and weather allows.
If the slant is on writing:
We learn about the history of nature writing, examine the various ways the genre is represented (poetry, prose, photo essay), take a nature walk, capture the essence of an experience with nature by writing a “flash” scene of 100-200 words (or sketch), share & discuss.
If the slant is on sketching:
We study the work of other nature writers, examine the different styles of capturing nature on paper and discuss the various ways it can be shared if that is desired (I publish mine online and as books). Then we take a nature walk and if weather permits, do some sketching in situ. If weather isn’t cooperative, we’ll either make the nature walk quickly and collect subjects with photography or bring small objects back to the conference room to draw while inside. I usually take photos no matter what so I can finish sketches later if I don’t have time in situ. And if we draw while inside, I’ll put the photo on the projector screen so we can all work on the same item, or if the participants have gathered their own items of interest, they’ll work on them individually. At the end, we share and discuss.
For a combination workshop we’ll sketch, photograph, and write and share.
The Park County Library System in Cody, Wyoming modeled their 2016 nature writing workshop on those presented by WildOzark
June 4, at the Art Room Gallery & Workshop of the Place on the Square in Kingston, AR
Today (Nov. 22, 2015) at the Hobbs State Park in northwest Arkansas, the weather cooperated to give us still winds even if it was still fairly cold. But not so cold that we couldn’t take a nature walk and gather a bit of outdoor ambiance for the “captures”. Participants shared their flash captures (100-200 words or less) and gave us all insight on the various perspectives each individual wrought from the same experience.
Here’s a few of the photos from the walk and talk at Hobb’s State Park:
Hosting a Nature Writing Workshop
The workshop hosted at Hobbs state park was sponsored by The Village Writing School
If you’d like to book a similar workshop please email me at [email protected].
I can tailor it to be heavy on the writing focus or more to the sketching/journaling slant.
Bring pencils, camera, notebook if you can or want to do some hands-on writing, drawing and photography. I’ll have a few copies of the nature journals I’ve designed on hand for $10 ea, if anyone wants to buy extra ones of those. Workshop organizers may opt to supply materials. I will usually supply the art journals. My fee can be per event or charged per person and split with organizers (with a minimum guaranteed turnout). If the location is outside of northwest Arkansas there will be travel expenses.
A little about me and the reason I offer this workshop
It is said that a relationship with nature is necessary for health. On the average, people have become more disconnected over the past few decades and often don’t know where to start to reconnect to nature. I think of myself as a “liaison for nature”. A Nature Ambassador. Wild Ozark is my outlet for helping others reconnect. Words, sketches, and photography are the mediums I use and I enjoy teaching others how to enjoy my process, so they can evolve it to their own.
Predator and Prey, or the hunter and the hunted is a common theme throughout my fiction writing. No Qualms, one of my short stories (free at most retailers) is about about a predator/prey relationship. Symbiosis, my first finished novel, not published yet, deals with predator/prey relationships and the balance of energy among life on earth, sometimes symbolic and often outright. Many of my flash fiction stories (I have twitterfiction and 100-word flash stories) are also dealing with this same dynamic. This is a strong theme that runs through most of my fiction and is strongly influenced by life in the wild Ozarks where we live. My first published novel, First Hunt, also has a predator and prey theme to it. I guess it's just part of my nature.
Wild Ozark is 160 acres of beautiful wild Ozark mountains. I call what I do "nature farming" because the land produces, all by itself, the shagbark hickory trees, ferns, moss, ground-fall botanicals, and the perfect habitats for growing and stewarding American ginseng. I'm co-creating with Nature - all of the things I use to make the Fairy Gardens and Forest Folk, the bark we harvest for Burnt Kettle's shagbark hickory syrup, are produced by nature without my input. This land is my muse for inspiration when it comes to my writing, drawing, and photography. It's truly a Nature Farm.
About the voice behind this blog, Madison Woods
I'm a creative old soul living way off the beaten path with my husband in the wild Ozark Mountains. Besides homesteading, growing plants & making crafty things and newsletters, I write books and stories. My rural fantasy fiction, written under the pen name, Ima Erthwitch, usually takes place in a much altered Ozarks.