If there’s a time to take on an artful challenge like this, it’s now, during my pregnancy. I’ve wanted to do a 365-day challenge for..well…more than 365 days now! But, each time, gave up the idea assuming some ‘un-seeable’ obstacle. Not this time though. I’ve been making some leaf art for the past few days and have found so much calm and serenity in those moments that I want to commit my heart and time to this meditative activity – if not for 365 days, at least for the next 30 days. And, August 2 will be my first day! Yay!
You might wonder, what’s the intention behind this challenge and why am I choosing to limit this 30-day challenge to only leaves. Well, there are a few compelling reasons. Read on…
My idea to do this is not really to challenge myself as an artist or prove anything but to merely connect with nature, soak in those lovely, tranquil moments while I make some art and to feel fit and happy as I march towards my baby’s birth day (Oct end).
Call it art therapy or nature therapy. I think as much as food and nutrition for my baby’s health and growth, it’s my mind, heart and soul that I must connect with to feel harmony within and provide spiritual nutrition to my baby’s soul. What the mother thinks; how she feels; how she perceives her pregnancy, her marriage – these messages are communicated to the unborn child through the placenta. Hundreds of studies have confirmed this. And before that, age-old wisdom of saints have vouched for this.
And, talking about why only leaves for this art/nature challenge:
- I really, really connect with tress and leaves – their textures, earthly hues, resilient beauty, their struggle for survival against the rather aggressive earthly counterparts – humans, animals, birds, critters, nature’s own moods and colours. The leaves especially – I can watch them and marvel at them for hours. One green colour but thousands of shades, intricate networked art, infinite shapes. Flowers are flamboyant, glamorous – have an ability to steal your heart in a moment. But the leaves with their subtle, gentle, understated beauty and grace speak to the core of my heart. Such abundance of art to take inspiration from…
- I’m keen on identifying the trees in my city and around; I want to learn more about them – the lungs of my city without which Delhi would be a living hell. So, one of the ways that inspires me to learn more about the trees in my area is by making art of the tress and leaves themselves. Won’t it be fun to mix science and art! Becoming a botanical artist!
- I can’t obviously study the leaves or identify the trees unless I step out of my home, right? So, voila, this gives me a chance to go on a nature walk around my neighbourhood every single day. It’s a 30-day challenge – I can’t afford to miss a day. Great excuse to stay fit. Wonderful for my baby. Way to go to prepare my body for a natural birth. (Who wants another C-section. Not me! Amen.)
- Pari has been really enjoying trying to identify trees and clicking leaves and barks along-side me. During our recent trip to Kashmir, we would be engrossed for hours clicking, admiring, studying leaves. Would you believe, of all the pictures that Pari clicked there, half of them were of leaves, trees, tree barks, stumps and flowers. And that makes me want to continue this learning and bonding time with her – in nature.
Enough reasons, don’t you think, to take on this 30-day leaf art challenge? :-) Of-course, I’ll be posting each day’s leaf art over here and on my facebook page. No matter good or bad, no matter I’m satisfied with my art or not.
So, all through August, you’ll be here to cheer me on, won’t you? :-)
And, if you feel motivated, I’d love for you to participate with me. You can send me a picture of your leaf art (at rashmiejaaju at gmail dot com) and I’d be delighted to post here and on my facebook page. You may do all 30 days or not. Even if you feel like making art on and off all this month, it’s okay.
Let’s code-name this challenge, shall we? How about #30daysleafart
PS: I’ll be posting the Day 1 (Aug. 2) art after I make it.