Nature and Art by Sarah Burgess

I have to admit that I have spent more time than I would like indoors this week, working on material for Volunteers’ Week.  (If you’ve not already watched our videos please do check out our YouTube channel here!)  However, I suddenly realised that I had still been able to do one of the 19 ways without even really noticing!  I’ve always been obsessed with rainbows – real ones, or pictures, or even things coloured like rainbows, so it has been a joy to walk around my neighbourhood recently and see all the rainbows that people have coloured in and put in their windows.  I’ve got quite a collection of photos of them all!  So when I was charged with designing the words “voluntary action” for a Volunteers’ Week selfie, it was a no-brainer, it had to be rainbows.  We’ll draw a veil over the fact that I have had to ask for advice on how to remove crayon from clothing, but I spent a couple of hours having a wonderful time colouring in.  It was great to have an excuse to get the pencils and crayons out.  Perhaps you are more artistically gifted than I am and actually able to draw rather than just colour in?  While I was thinking about my colouring in attempts, Day 2 of the Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild popped into my twitter feed suggesting people take some paper and a pencil outdoors  and sketch what you see.  Cumbernauld Living Landscapes have lots of nature based activities on their website, including information about how to draw a variety of animals including an otter and a badger.  Given that otters and badgers are unlikely to hang around long enough for you to sketch them, this would be a good place to start.  CLL have also recently taken their Wild Ways Well programme online; you can find the packs on their website as well as join them online on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons for some nature chat. (Email Paul on p.barclay@tcv.org.uk for details.)

In 19 ways to stay connected to nature, I gave a link to some nature colouring in sheets that can be printed off, but since then I have found something even more exciting!  Ordnance Survey have a selection of maps to download and colour in.  Despite being disappointed that only one city in the east of Scotland is represented, it is fascinating to look at the different maps and I think deeply relaxing to colour them in.  I’m particularly interested in the map of Milton Keynes and the grid layout, which is dredging up vague memories of geography lessons from long ago.

That’s me for this week.  I’ve still been pretty active over on instagram, getting a daily dose of nature from my walks and I would still love to hear how you are continuing to connect to nature right now.  Sarah.burgess@vaslan.org.uk