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The Mindful Eye Challenge—Seeing Spring Blooms

A Creative Way to Find Beauty With your Family During COVID-19

Seeing the joy and beauty that is still here

Some time ago, I wrote a piece on the meditative nature of photography. In it I drew comparisons between the traditional form of meditation and the effects that some get from going out into the world to photograph. As the past week has unfolded, revealing days of news worse than the previous, I've found myself continually picking up my camera, using it as a tool to document the world during the Coronavirus Pandemic but also to create pockets of light and beauty in the continually dark days.

As I walked the streets of Charlestown yesterday I couldn't help but notice all of the beautiful spring flowers emerging and it got me thinking...what if we were all looking for the beauty 'together'? I love photo prompts, they always keep be creative when I'm in a rut so I've decided to create my own sort of challenge during this time, to go out and find something beautiful to document during the week. Thus emerged the #mindfuleyechallenge.

Introducing the Mindful Eye Challenge

The Mindful Eye Challenge will be a bi-weekly prompt encouraging you to see (and feel) the world in a new light and then document your observations. I'll be documenting through photography but you may choose a different medium. You may choose to write, draw, paint or even make music about what you see and feel! If you are a parent you might want to do this together with your kiddos. I'll provide a challenge to get you going and perhaps you'll find something even more interesting along your way. Of course, I ask that all participants always adhere to any social distancing guidelines set in place! Sometimes our prompts will be super open ended and abstract, at other times they will be more species challenge.

Challenge One—Spring Blooms!

While most of us have been sitting inside, trying to stay well and keep tabs of the news, Spring has decided it's moving forward with life! The first sign of springs emergence are the variety of  blooms bursting from the ground and trees. During my walk through Charlestown yesterday, I encountered Magnolia trees, Cherries, Apples and even Helebores (outside of Junebug of course). Depending on where you live, you might find different types of blooms emerging. See the guide below for more details on how to participate.

Challenge Guide

You will need a camera or sketchbook and drawing tool, and some good walking shoes for this photo challenge.


STEPS

1. Go on a walk outside (minding all social distancing guidelines).


2. Quiet your mind to focus on looking at the world a little closer than usual. Today we’re looking for new pink blooms and buds. 

What do you see? Look up, look down, look behind things and in between! 


3. Take several photos or make drawings of each new  blossom you encounter. Aim to find atleast 3 different kinds!


4. Share your photos and art using #mindfuleyechallenge.

Suggestions by age:

0-18m: Go on a walk pointing out all of the new blooms to your little. Take photos of them interacting with the flowers. Teach them how to 'sniff' and be gentle with new buds!

18m-3: Help your little take 'photos' of what you find using your phone camera. When you return home, show them the images and ask them to make drawings. OR even better, ask them to make drawings from their memory!

3-5: Bring crayons and paper with you and have your kiddo make a drawing right where you see the flowers. If you are comfortable, allow them to use your phone camera to take photos themselves. This is a great opportunity to introduce a bit of focus to their day!

5-10: Depending on your children interest, let them lead the way.

The Whole Family: Have each family member photograph or draw their favorite flowers. When you get home, print your photos, collect your drawings and cut each out. Make a mini 'bouquet' of your findings by using collage on a new piece of paper. Write a short story about your adventure under your floral creation and each sign your name.

My little business, as many others, has been severely impacted by this pandemic. If you found this activity unique and useful, a suggested donation of $5 is encouraged. Can't give right now? The second best thing is sharing with your friends! You can find me on Instagram at @aliceandcophoto.

Donate here to keep this business going!

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