• Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? 2. Now that you’ve heard from several other journalers about their processes, and had a peek at their journals, which ideas or approaches do you want to try? 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share?
      You must be enrolled in the course to reply to this topic.
    • Peter
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I've kept a nature journal for over a year as part of a course on Wildlife Identification and found it a great exercise, but my drawing skills are very basic and so I used words far more than drawing, My sketches needed lots of annotations to show patterns etc. As part of my revision before my assessment I did draw a lot of birds to help me remember the markings etc (they took me a long-time) and I find myself missing the process and keen to learn how to draw properly so I can enhance my journal. I have a safari trip to Botswana with my daughter in August 25 and I'd really love to be able to confidently sketch and use watercolour to create a record of what should be a very special trip.
    • Nichole
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      In my professional career (I am a biologist and environmental educator)  I encouraged many people, both children and adults, to keep a nature journal and sketch to take the time to "really see" the detail of life around them.  I have also done pen and ink Botanical Illustraton.  Now I am learning to use watercolor and want to add more color and detail ... and get myself journaling again.  I enjoyed seeing the different journals and like the styles with drawings and words / descriptions associated.   I have taken two other of Liz's classes and like her teaching style.
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am in a transition period in my life, and I wanted to return to activities that I enjoyed before I started my own family, such as writing and sketching.  My education is in conservation, ecology, and wildlife biology.  I haven't been too in-tune with that part of me for a while, and I would like to reconnect with that part of myself. I love the bright crisp artwork, and I would like to work towards that level of artwork, with lots of detail.  I like the idea of having a drawing and then creating a closeup of part of it to show greater details.
    • Deirdre
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I was impressed by how organized they are and how much detail some of the nature journalers had added.
    • Jan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1.  I've been wanting to work on drawing and watercolour skills, I like to observe birds, and I love being in nature, so I thought that this might be a good way to combine those skills. 2.  As I'm just a beginner at drawing and watercolour, I want to focus on those skills first, but ultimately I will incorporate notes and eventually compile my observations in a monthly overview.  I am open to different approaches, though.
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I was originally inspired to try nature journaling because I would like to draw scientific illustration professionally in the future. As I learn more about nature journaling, I think it will be a useful tool to remember my adventures and observations with more detail and information than can be captured in a picture. I took a class in college last quarter that included nature journaling, but would like to learn how to make it more of a habit, and how to come up with ideas of what to capture. Something I would add that wasn't mentioned was adding a note about how you're feeling while journaling. This can help you remember your perspective in the future, and you can see the difference in your observations between good and bad days. It is also important to keep record of your mood during experiments because how you are feeling can affect the outcome.
    • Caroline
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Two things inspired me to begin nature journaling.  The first is that, on trips, I would rather try to sketch & paint what I see than to take a photograph.  I like looking at the details and the relationships among different objects.  The second is that I take a watercolor class and I think sketching from nature will help me become a better watercolorist. I like that Jewel showed how her journal evolved over time.  It reminds me that I do not have to have everything figured out before I start and that mistakes will happen & it is okay.  Several of the journalers sketched or painted first and then wrote their notes.  That approach appeals to me, too.
    • Tracy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have always wanted to be able to draw.  I love being outdoors and I am passionate about wildlife so creating a nature journal became a goal of mine.  There is so much to study, I want to get better at identifying trees and this will be a great way to do it.  I liked the page where the artist had different ferns on the same page so she could refer to them as needed. While watching the video, I especially enjoyed seeing the journals with color.  I also liked the idea of uses boxes and I liked the journal where the artist had 1 small drawing to represent a day.  Doing 1 small drawing is less daunting then trying to fill a page every day.  I would like to do a travel journal as well but I am still uncomfortable doing art in public spaces.  I am still slow and developing my skills.  It was wonderful to see how happy people were with their journals, it was very encouraging.
    • Gloria
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I would like to begin nature journaling to reflect on the different birds and places I have been and to be present in the moment. I really like the idea of a monthly journal page and incorporating color.
    • Mary Lee
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Living on the  river during the summer I  just enjoy sitting on my deck  in the mornings and watching  nature.    I like the idea of boxes  to go back and  look up more info to learn more about the picture.  I also like the idea of  putting  date and time  of where I was each day.
    • Tracey
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I’ve become interested in nature journaling because I love being in nature and wanted to kind of document my observations. Although I’m not the greatest sketch or paint artist, it’s really just for me so I can record and then remember interesting things I come across in my garden,  on walks, or someplace I’ve visited.  I like Holly’s style of journaling. I’ll probably incorporate her idea of drawing one observation subject and write a little bit about it to recall the moment to my mind in the future.
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I've always fallen in and out of journaling. The longest journal I had was a personal work journal that I kept up on for about a month but then stopped using it after I changed duties. But I've wanted to get back into it to express my feelings more and also logging what I've seen in nature. I would like to do a little bit more writing in combination with illustrations. The last girls journal was amazing with all of it's sketches. I hope I can get to that still level at some point.
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I spend all work days in front of a computer. Being out in nature revives me; mind, body, and soul.  I want to maximize the experience by learning about everything I see.  On solo hikes, I'm taking more time to observe everything from the littlest plants, lichens, and insects, to the grandest trees and geologic formations. I take guided nature hikes and I have ID books. But to really understand and remember what I'm seeing I think journaling is necessary.  Writing and drawing about my experiences aren't things I'm naturally good at, so I signed up for this class.  I'm especially horrible at drawing, but I think with practice I will improve.  I think drawing will help me to focus in on the details of what I see.
    • MF
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      I started journaling the flowers in bloom in my backyard, alone, no one around, very private and unsure of myself. With time, I took courses on drawing and watercolor, and months later put together a portable journaling kit which I brought on my vacation trip at the beach. The relaxed pace helped me try all kinds of drawings and, slowly, I immersed myself in my drawings and was astonished at the results which gave me strong emotions of pleasure and content, every time I looked at them. To my surprise, the extended family eventually took a peak and enjoyed them as well. I was finally opening up my secrete universe to others and sharing my love of the nature and enjoyment in drawing. It drew me closer to others and started many conversations. I guess I came out of the closet after many months and years of drawing alone ans keeping it very private. Now, after 3 vacations, I feel totally relaxed to get my set up out in the open, and enjoy the simple and natural conversations and exchanges when people I don’t know come to me to look, comment and share feelings about my drawings. I have grown as a person from shyness and a strong desire for privacy to a person who now enjoys sharing my love of the nature. With time, this very private hobby and passion of mine drew me closer to people and bring me much peace and content. I was not expecting this added bonus. Artistically, each drawing got better simply by continuing to draw, experiment various mediums, tools, papers etc. It is now part of me, a source of happiness and a way to illustrate how deeply I feel the beauty of nature which somehow translate on my drawings. I hope this course help me cross this new step to go out regularly in nature and woods to capture all the beauty I see. I joined an ornithology club, this community is helping me go imageimageimageon outings regularly and start my new adventure.
      • Gloria
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Hi MF, I loved seeing your stack of journals and some of the paintings. Thanks for sharing
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I love being in nature either walking in a park or spending time in my garden.  I want to deepen my experience and I think nature journalling will help me slow down and be present in the moment.  I used to be good at art when I was younger but moved away from it as I focused on a career in accounting.  I realized how much I missed being creative which drew me to this.
      • Alexis
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Hi Laura, I thought I would reply to your message because we have a few thoughts in common.  I too enjoyed art tremendously when I was younger. I also moved away from it as I climbed the career ladder.  I am now slowly stepping down the ladder and taking this course is really helping me to focus on nature and watercolors to see more to life. I am looking forward to more and more artistry and journaling things that are in my garden and when I take my nature walks.  Thanks for sharing and reading this.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I am a naturalist,science teacher and aspiring artist.  Nature journaling is the perfect marriage of these interests of mine.  I’m hoping to start simple and my own pollinator garden in my yard. With my own plants and my own yard I can do it on the daily basis, and I can see how things change in the season. I hope that it could be a record for myself, my memories, and for my grandchildren to see how the garden grows.
    • MaryBeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I want to combine my love of gardening/nature with my love of sketching. Sketching an object teaches you much more about an object such as a tree or plant than a photo ever could.
    • claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I came to nature journaling as way to slow down and be more mindful about what was there around me but which I was kind of taking for granted. I also wanted to learn how to draw and paint as this is something that I have always found a little challenging. I like that all the journals were different and that really there’s no right or wrong way of doing it- it kind of just evolves!
    • Jodilyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Nature journaling feels like a way to slow down time.  In a fast-paced life it is too easy for all the details to become blurred.  I want to use nature journaling as an opportunity to sit, observe, sketch, write a story, take a note with no pressure for the end result or a rush to finish.  I found looking at the various journal styles very freeing in the fact that you can do it however you want, and it may change over time. Putting the pen/pencil/brush to paper is the hardest first step.
    • Robert
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have kept personal journals since I was in the Peace Corps 1970 to 1973. I often put sketches and pictures in my journals, but have never been satisfied with the quality of my sketches. I now travel a great deal with my wife and have taken up birding as a hobby to keep me occupied as we go from place to place. Now I want to keep up journaling ( I have been lax for the last few years) and at the same time increase my skill at depicting what I am seeing in the journal.
    • Claudio
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am both an artist and a biologist and I want to be able to merge the two skills. The journals above sure gave me lots of inspiration. I like how some are framed, I think I want to try that. I also really liked McNeills sketchbook approach, but I think i want to lean more towards the first one with notes and illustrations.
    • Alison
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      The various nature journals shown were inspiring and, yes, also intimidating! Still, they show me how to learn to look closely and to really see and the drawing (good or bad) is not so much the end as the means to help me do that.
    • Ali
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I enjoyed the variety in these different examples! I also love Edith Holden's "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady" - I loved that she included poetry and other things within her journal and have used it as a model for my nature journal so far this year (though my drawing talent if very novice... so what I've created so far is not so beautiful).
    • Mackenzie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am a very big birder, and I've found that a lot of birding is trying to see as many species as you can during a certain time or at a specific place, a lot of birding is all go, go, go, rushing around from species to species. Nature journaling will help me slow down and take time to appreciate the little things about the birds, and their environments, that I love. I want to begin nature journaling to understand my favorite birds more in depth, and become more knowledgeable on their behaviors and plumages, all while keeping track and cataloging experiences so I can look back at them forever. I liked the first girl who had boxes around her drawings and writing woven in between the boxes. I like how she set aside a seperate space for her drawings, I think trying that in my own sketches will be helpful to me because I write a lot in my journals, so much so that sometimes words have to take up the whole page, and the sketch has to go on a whole separate page. I like when both the sketches and their explanations are on the same page. I am very excited to do this course!