Excerpts from Nature Camp

In the spring, I took a “Drawing in Place” class with my favorite professor, who was about to leave on a year long sabbatical. Professor Beavers embodies many of the values I prioritize, and has shaped me both academically and personally. I’ve spent more mornings than I can count in her small corner office, covered in ink while she talks me out of my own head. And, of course, she pushes my art further.

Every morning, we’d hurtle thirty minutes out into the Virginian countryside and spend the next four hours examining leaves, dirt, and the smallest nuances of the tiniest plots of land. My most meaningful shift from class was that of viewing the woods as a place of sensory deprivation — where I go to have my head go quiet — to sensory overload. Bird calls, overflowing trees, subtle changes in the river. Trying to capture it all in my sketchbook was overwhelming, but I tried.

Additionally, our sketchbooks got trashed. Battered in backpacks, slathered in dirt. At one point, I put my sketchbook down in the mud for Birdie, our professor’s dog, to run across in the hopes that it might create some meaningful marks. I love how much of the Nature Camp experience came across in the book.

Here are some of the pages that most embody the experience.

grace smith
Happy List 1/25

I used to write happy lists often on a writing blog that’s now defunct. It’s a standard practice for me on my social media networks, as well as with my friends. Although this blog mostly serves my artistic purposes, I decided to bring them back. They bring me a lot of joy, whether they’re a coping mechanism through a rough patch or a reflection on some blessings.

Because I have the flu right now, I could use some perking up — so without further ado, here are some of the moments and things that have graced my happy list lately.


What’s on your happy list today?

grace smith
Back to School (Slowly)

Hey y’all!

It’s been a while. Although I expected to somehow be churning out art content as often as I do on my “real” blog, realistically most of my words live over there. I have some posts in the works that I’m brainstorming that feel, most likely, as if they live over here though. How I stay organized, what my latest photo obsessions are, etc,.

In the meantime, I love putting together my mood pages, which are static and in the header bar. My September one especially, since I’ve started embedding songs. I’ve fit some personal bits in there as well as some purely aesthetic moods. Mostly though, I’ve associated September with a slew of sensory details, like the scent of eucalyptus and sweet cream body wash. I can’t wait to get more of those feelings onto the blog somehow.

ALSO, I finally got into an art class that I needed in order to stay on track to be a studio art minor. So I’m happy for my academic track to finally display more of my interests. I’ll be in printmaking this semester, which feels like where I’ll thrive.

Have any ideas of what you’d like to see? Let me know in the comments or via my social media.

grace smith