Photo by Larry Lamsa. Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

With striking autumnal foliage and crisp fall breezes abounding, an art studio can start to seem all the more enclosed. And while you might think it’s better to ignore the allure of the changing colors and cooler weather, enjoying it can actually help your art career. A quick trip to the outdoors has the power to take on burnout and creative block and bring inspiration and productivity. So, take a leaf out of Thoreau’s book and find your own Walden Pond. You never know the inspiration, peace, and perspective you might find.

A Change of Scenery Can Relieve Stress

If you stay within the closed walls of your studio, it is very easy to let your doubts and fears get the better of you. It can be suffocating. Mole hills become mountains and everything seems like too much. We all know how the story can go. You might be tempted to push through the stress, but a change of scenery (and a stunning, quiet one at that) can be a faster route to a better mindset. Give yourself time to breathe in the open air.

Photo by Trevor Bexon. Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

(Beautiful) Breaks Are Crucial for Future Focus

While stopping work for a bit may seem counterintuitive for productivity, if you continue charging ahead you’re bound to slow down. So, if you must take a break why not take it in the most beautiful of environs? If you must go for a stroll, why not stroll around towering aspens or shimmering waters? Then you can return to your studio feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on your to do list.

Time without Distractions Drives New Ideas

As long as you hide your phone at the bottom of your bag, you’ll be free from distractions. No phone jingles, no buzzing email notifications, and no online time-wasting temptations. As you walk to find the perfect vista let your mind wander and unwind. Leave the stress and pressure of business behind with each step forward. You never know what brilliant new career ideas may form once you reach a lucid state.

Wandering is Bound to Bring Inspiration

Landscape artists will of course have their choice pick of subject matter. But, being surrounded by such richness - in light, in color, in texture, in subject - can inspire artists of any style. After returning from a recent backpacking trip in the Grand Tetons, Lesley Frenz of the Artsy Forager said “I dare you to come away uninspired.” A trip to open nature is the perfect antidote for shattering even the strongest creative block.


Left Photo and right photo by Grand Canyon National Park. Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

And the Inspiration is Portable

Finding yourself in a stunning place often leads to an innate longing to capture the ephemeral beauty and render it permanent. Bring a sketchbook or a portable easel (Lori McNee suggests STRADA's). If you’re a photographer or your art is more studio-bound, bring a camera to capture the scenes. Then you can return to your studio with loads of inspiration in tow.

Want to Do a Residency in the Outdoors?

Our Artist Lisa McShane recently did a residency through the National Parks Service’s Arts in the Parks. Lisa spent two weeks painting in Arizona’s Petrified Forest. You can read her blog post about it here. There are 50 residencies available across the nation brimming with the benefits of nature.

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