Viewing 619 reply threads
    • Bird Academy
      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.
    • April
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      sunnyraye
      My inspiration for journaling I think began as a child - my Father painted and I have always adored the idea of painting but have not actually really explored it on my own.  Combine that interest with birding and the love of nature - journaling just pulls together something that I cherish and really want to explore and participate in.
    • Bonnie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Grandma Bon
      1. What inspired me was the act of recording my observations because, otherwise, I forget so much of what I see. I love closely observing anything in nature and then trying to draw or paint it. Just the act itself makes me look so much closer and notice what I would never otherwise see. 2. I loved seeing how the others used their journals. I think the first one was close to what I wish to create....although the last woman's journal was so lovely. Maybe someday I will be able to do what she does. I also liked how the first woman's journal (and a couple others) evolved as she moved forward. She started out putting everything in boxes, and then she had the drawings burst out of the boxes. I think I will probably be too uptight and perfectionistic in the beginning, but I hope I can quickly get beyond that and see the journal as a tool to ask questions and look for answers in growing my understanding of the natural world. I've always had a goal of understanding my little corner of the world with depth and detail, and I see this journal as a tool in moving toward that goal.
    • peter
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      peter207
      I took the Drawn to Birds Course last week and it inspired me to take up drawing and especially painting birds and making a journal.
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      dranderson8
      I took the Drawn to Birds workshop last weekend. I like the lady who had the daily drawing at first, not because I feel like I want to or could draw every day, but I liked her realistic depictions of birds, and that's what I aspire to do. I live on the Rhode Island shoreline, so we have a large variety of shorebirds and some migratory birds that pass through. I've always been good at sketching, but mostly because I'm an engineer. I sketch inanimate objects well. Now that I'm semi-retired, I'd like to expand to birds as well, and the Drawn to Birds workshop really helped with that. This looks like a good next step to depict some of our local birds, with some information and background scenery. Experimenting with watercolors will be completely new to me.
    • Blanca
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      BlancaManzanilla
      Hello from rainy Belize. I took "Drawn to Birds: A Sketching Workshop with Liz Clayton Fuller" last week and really enjoyed it. I want to learn more about sketching and drawing. I have a pretty cool backyard - howlers, birds, Mayan temples of Lamanai, jungle, insects, etc - and I do write sightings in my daily journal, but I want to do a better job. I like Holly Faulkner's idea to start with. Nov 19 - Oropendolas calling from Cohune tree during a break in the rain! Thank you!
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Library Lady 3232
      I love to travel, camp and hike and would like to record my observations and practice my sketching on a more regular basis.  As a retired Librarian, Master Gardener, past Girl Scout and Boy Scout Leader,  I love to research about the animals and plants in the places I visit.  Journaling will offer me the opportunity to explore, draw, paint and research a variety of topics.  I will be 70 next month and I hope to never stop being curious about the world around me. I hope to use the boxes to guide my drawings, paintings and observations.  I am ready to get started!
    • Diane
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      deejayv
      1. I like the idea of having my own field guide - to look back on experiences and help recall details of the day that might of otherwise been forgotten.  It will also make it easier to share with others & deepen my own learning and understanding of my surroundings. 2. I like the idea of using "boxes" to help me get started in organizing my thoughts & observations.  To get my art on the page first, and include details around it.  I like the idea also of trying daily/weekly/monthly.  Lastly, I like the idea as well that not every page has to  be "perfect" - that even an incomplete sketch can still evoke memories.
    • Lindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      lindyjs
      I've often thought of including sketches in my travel journals over the years but rarely did it.  I saw this course and thought I might get some tips to motivate me.  Of course, I'm not travelling now and it's almost winter.  On top of that, I am at home recovering from surgery.  However , on the positive side, I have lots of time on my hands to try something new.  I'm hoping I can find things outside the window or in my backyard to get started.
    • MARY JANE
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mjsmhw
      1.  Inspired to begin nature journal by a deep desire to give it a try it.  I often stand and stare intently at natural objects or living critters in an effort to really "see" and connect with what I'm looking at.  I am 77 years old and have always felt inhibited when it comes to any type of art expression.  Probably some long ago criticism shut me down.  It's time for me to "get over it." 2.  Margaret's very free pencil sketches of the humming birds was inspiring.  Quick sketch, quick sketch, observe, and SEE!  Jewel's sharing of her struggle to "find her style" is encouraging.  Shayna's open boxes for her drawings appeals to me.  Various journals have incomplete drawings, DJ said, "You don't have to catch all the features."  I've dabbled in watercolor and would like to incorporate that into my journal. 3.  All of the the featured journalist drawings were wonderful!  I admire the freedom to simply do it.  This is what I wish for myself and anyone else diving into Nature Journaling.
    • helen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      helenbn
      I love nature and when I walk or hike I often find something that I love and wish to remember....such as droplets of rain on a fallen leaf, or my backyard birdfeeder filled with birds waiting their turn or squabbling over available space. This course seems perfect for me.  I also enjoy drawing and painting although watercolor will be a new experience. What fun this will be?
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      seadahl80
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? My background is in biology. In my free time I have always been happiest outside in nature and have always had the casual hobby of sketching, mostly influenced by nature, particularly birds. I consider myself a birder and I've been taking several of the bird courses offered through Bird Academy and have really enjoyed fine tuning my knowledge of birds and bird identification skills. I came across this course on Nature Journaling and was immediately excited about leaning new ways to use my sketch book, particularly in documenting birds I see out in nature. I like the idea of capturing more detailed observations about the birds I see and trying to record drawings of their behaviors in real-time. I would like to improve my bird drawing skills and incorporating this with writing more notes about what I am observing seems like a great combination. 2. Which ideas or approaches do you want to try? I'm excited and scared to try adding water color to my drawings. It has been many years since I dabbled in water color and I think it will be a fun challenge to incorporate this technique into capture more details about the birds I see.
    • Ryann
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      skippyrd
      I am writing from California, I was inspired to take this class to motivate me and my family to get outside (now that the smoke from wildfires have cleared).  I have always felt being in nature is like therapy for me and I need it more than ever.  I have always been on/off art projects nothing formal.  Nature journaling and sketching seems like a perfect blend of combining art with nature observation.  My 11 year old son is an amazing birder and takes great photos.  I plan to get us out birding weekly and use that time to journal.  I really like the journal that had a daily goal and a monthly goal for adding to the sketch book.  I plan to incorporate that into my sketching goals.
    • Isa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      icheren
      I took a course 6 years ago (I didn't realize so much time had passed until I pulled that notebook out to use for this course) that was an intensive field study along with learning the basics of using watercolor . I don't consider myself to be a skilled artist, I look for ways to be supported in my pursuit in a low stakes manner. I love being outside and often marvel at shapes and color, this course seemed like a welcome opportunity to commit time to improving skills with color and basic drawing skills. In this time of social distancing, I hope to see others progress and inspirations. I like the combined words and sketches, some with completed color, some not. Like others have mentioned, nature journaling is a welcomed counterpoint to my left brained career in medicine.
    • Tiffany
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      ainwena
      1.  I have always loved nature and being outside.  I grew up in the woods and on a bay, and as an only child there weren’t many kids to play with, so I spent a lot of time exploring by myself.  I kept track of what I saw here and there but nothing serious.  As an adult, I enjoy hiking and camping and I have tried to start a journal but have never kept it up.  Due to Covid, I have been reevaluating how I want to spend my time at home that is both creative and fulfilling and I have rediscovered nature journaling. 2.  I like the approaches that are about the learning first and the drawing second.  I think for me this will translate into the observations, questions, and connections as the majority of the page and the illustrations will support it.  I do like the use of watercolors as the medium, but that is intimidating for me at this moment so I am going to start with pencils/colored pencils.  I do look forward to learning watercolors in this series. 3.  For practice, I want to incorporate sketches from my most memorable photos from previous experiences in nature.  I have a few that have really strong memories associated with the photos, and I want to get the memories down on paper-and practice drawing the subject of the photo too.
    • Kirby
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      pelagicbirderkirby
      1. I have loved nature ever since I was a little boy. My parents have always encouraged me to explore our natural world. We would go on hikes, climb mountains, go skiing, traveling, and I was lucky enough to have a grandmother that had a beach house in Stone Harbor, NJ. Exploring the beach, catching sand crabs, going fishing with my dad, and just being in the salt air every summer inspired me to go to college for Marine Biology. I currently have my bachelor’s degree in marine biology from Stockton University and work as a naturalist/marine biologist and first mate on a whale and dolphin watching boat. Both of my grandmothers have also enjoyed feeding the wild birds in their backyards and they passed this love of birdwatching on to me. My grandmother on my mom’s side of the family is currently 97 years old and continues to amaze me every day! She loves to paint, do crafts, play with our dog and still keeps feeding the birds. Her father was an artist and my great great uncle, Prosper Louis Senat was a famous French Painter with some of his artwork currently in a few museums. I feel like I have to have some type of artistic skills if it’s in the family right? Nature journaling to me, will be a way of connecting myself not only to nature but also to my ancestors in the same way that they expressed themselves through art ☺️ 2. I really liked the watercolor journaling. I definitely want to incorporate watercolors over top of pencil sketches like the girl in the final part of the video. I just really like the bold colors that pop out using watercolors. I would also like to try out some colored pencil sketches too as a personal challenge, since i’ve never done detailed sketching with colored pencils. 3. I’m also really into photography and my father has been a professional photographer for the last 35 years. I would like to maybe include a few pages in my journal that include some of my nature photography taken with my Canon 40d DSLR camera. I think it would be a neat way of learning how to sketch/paint using a still photograph, and then work my way up to sketching wild birds, whales, dolphins, sharks etc. that are moving ☺️🐧🦅F788C4EF-675C-4168-8C4D-3EB149B9A094🐋🦈🐳
    • Leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      menikoff
      Hi Everybody, my name is Leslie. I live in Texas.  I have been on again/off again nature journaling for the past five years, but mostly off! When I revisit a page, I think, why don't I do this more?  It is amazing how the nature journal can take you right back to that moment.  As I read other people's stories, I'm struck by the retirees' comments about living busy lives and not having time to create.  I am impressed by their new commitments to journal and also moved to make time to create at all stages of my life. I'm taking this class for three reasons:  1) get back on the horse 2) improve my watercolor skills and use watercolor in journaling which I have never done and 3) journal the everyday, but also record my hikes and travels (when this whole pandemic is over...) IMG_4368
    • Alisha
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      alishabirdie
      Hello there!  I was inspired to begin nature journaling about four years ago.  Having just moved from Toronto, to Ottawa Ontario, I was exploring some new hobbies including photography, cross country skiing, and nature journalling!  I took an EdEx course called Illustrating Natural History, which was wonderful, however I'm even more excited about this course as it will include birds!  Like many of my fellow students here online, I've had a lifelong passion for birds, learning about them, watching them, and enjoy bird painting/arts in my spare time.  What excites me most about the journalling is that it really helps one develop an eye for details, and appreciate the natural world so much more deeply!  I also look forward to this process helping me document, and identify plants and birds on my nature walks. I want to ensure my journal has a real blend of science and art.  I want to include lots of descriptive writings, and I also want to have sketches that I can reflect on later that are accurate, and aesthetically pleasing.  I'd like to observe and record any behaviours, patterns, things I notice.  I was really impressed with the journal of the spider/bee and the memory the writer had of that moment in time. I started a new mixed journal at the beginning of the Pandemic, and in it I included some backyard birds.  I would sketch, and fill with colour pencil or watercolour, and then add some descriptions that I'd learned through some simple web searches.  It helped me learn basics of each bird.  I kept 1 bird per page, and my goal had been to draw all birds I saw.  Sadly, my journal was not meant for watercolour and so the pages wrinkled :(.   Birding June 13 009Birding June 13 008Birding June 13 007 Happy journalling! Alisha
    • Meagan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Mayngrl
      I’ve always admired other people’s journaling with drawing and watercolor but thought it was completely out of my reach. We’ll see. I see so many beautiful things outside around my house, at camp, at outdoor events, on walks...At the same time I feel more and more like a consumer in the age of “scanning”...walking with headphones on, scrolling through online media while sitting outside.  I want to become more focused again. I’m hesitant to pick a journaling style because I feel like I will be copying someone else a la Pinterest, so I will sees as I work along.
    • Rachel
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      rvblakey
      Even though I work as an ecologist, I end up spending most of my time on the computer and I feel disconnected from the naturalist I was in my younger years. I hope that nature journalling will help me reconnect with my study areas and taxa and also the surprising and beautiful natural world of the megacity I live in, during these hard times. The journals in the short video were incredible, I have no artistic experience whatsoever, so it seems incomprehensible to me that I would be able to produce anything similar, but I'm excited to learn. Some of the journalers' reflections really resonated with me, I like the way they used their journalling to observe and understand animal behavior, I thought the habit forming approach was very cool (daily/monthly journal) and I really enjoyed the idea of having a record of your experiences to share. I also think nature journalling seems like a really great way for older people to fight depression and reduce the risk of dementia, particularly during this pandemic, so I hope if I can get the hang of this, and when I'm able to travel overseas to safely visit my mum again, I can share this with her. The picture I've attached is to give you all a laugh and show just how baseline my baseline is: zero art experience, zero journalling experience, here are the last pictures I drew of plants and animals I'm currently working on for the whiteboard where my wife and I keep track of the papers we're writing. Let's see what happens!IMG_8074 2
    • Rose
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mzrosed
      I have recently become interested in birdwatching in this pandemic. We live in the country and have lots of room to roam and view all of the more inland birds of Monterey County. Sometimes I see a bird and want to capture it's features quickly so I don't forget what I have seen while on a walk. Sometimes I sit and watch for a length of time and thought about sketching. I have also thought about dabbling with water color. I already keep a birding journal and started some rough sketching. I found this course and it inspired me to look into this more and hope it becomes a habit which helps to ground me in nature and life. I like the journaling aspects along with visual representations, more random and practice for me as a novice. Some of the journals are overwhelming to view as a beginner. I was an art major in college but switched to psychology and education. I want to return to the artistic side and create in many different ways.
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Joulesscott
      I am taking this course because I have recently been geeking out about fossils. I assigned my students to draw the six main types of fossils and some of my students' work was amazing.  I tried drawing some fossils that I found but my drawings were mediocre at best. The next thing I knew, this course showed up in my email. Bizarre right? Wish me luck.
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      katmaiDNA
      Zebra_Finch800 I’ve been an amateur naturalist since I was a kid, loving to learn about the names and habits of all the plants and animals around me. When I was in college, I spent most weekends backpacking in the mountains and every week day I could steal hiking in the redwood forest. My kids remember one camping trip to Canada stopping at every volcano or new tree species along the way. About 5 years ago, I picked up colored pencil with the goal of being a portraitist of birds. It took me months to complete each drawing. I’ve never studied art, but I decided I wanted to learn to draw. In January, I got an iPad Pro with an Apple pencil, and it made me a lot bolder in my drawing experiments. I started a journal with sketches. When my mother was trapped aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship with the coronavirus (she’s fine), I switched to drawing quarantine comics. During the pandemic, I’ve been walking the boundaries of our property in the Santa Cruz Mountains, observing all of the changes at a new level of detail. I’ve watched juncos, spot-sided towhees, California towhees, Wilson’s warblers, Stellers jays, quail, crows, and a stealthy pair of sharp-shinned hawks raise their broods. The SCU Lightning complex fire boundary is a half mile from us. During our month of evacuation, all of the birds except the rufous hummingbirds and the chickadees left. Even the juncos, who have always been here in abundance, were gone. Over the past 6 weeks, the birds slowly came back. I’m 59 now. The Western forests that have been my deep love and my delight are under threat, along with every being who lives in them. I want to celebrate and record all of this life. The different journal styles gave me ideas and freed me from the idea that my nature journal needs to be any particular way. I can try different ideas and discover what works for me and what doesn’t. All of the examples of partial or unfinished drawings are a great reminder that my journal will be its own journey. The drawing is a zebra finch from my aviary.
    • Cecilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Cecilia.V
      IMG_6933 I've always loved to draw and write. In grade school I was in pretty high demand for my realistic pencil drawings of the Beatles, done with the help of my Magnijector, which allowed me to project their photos on my wall. After getting a degree in English lit (and birdwatching when I should have been in class), I went back to a trade school for graphic design so I could actually get a job. I was amazed at how awful my drawing was when I started, it was like I was back in 5th grade. But I was also amazed at how quickly I improved with practice and observation and good teachers. I've always had an opportunity to do art of one kind or another -- Shakespeare costume design, poster design, quilting, but my drawing is back to 5th grade again. I am fortunate enough to live in a town (Arden, Delaware) surrounded by woods, and I love my daily walks, taking photos with my iPhone, often just details, like the patterns in a mushroom (see the photo) IMG_6915or frogs disappearing into their background. I would most like to express the beauty of our Arden Woods. Many, many thanks to the journal makers in that great sampler video. They were all inspiring. I loved Shayna Muller's boxes and it was inspiring seeing Margaret Corbit's drawing evolve as she captured the hummingbirds' hover. I could almost feel the wind beneath their outstretched wings. The journal that spoke most to me was Holly Faulkner's. I love her organization by day or month and her obvious love of typography, along with her exquisite drawings, of course. But the graphic design — the combination of image and text — I found that approach inspiring. But enough writing, and on to drawing. Today I opened my sketchbook and headed for my favorite autumn mums, but stopped before I got there and sat down and drew a single leaf from the hardy begonia on my porch. I am looking forward to learning how to use watercolor, because that would be so much better for capturing the color and texture. Also, I should sharpen my pencils.
    • amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      amykarst
      I think the finished journals are really cool, and they represent a very special time spent with one's self. I have always loved birds and my mother always had feeders and we would feed the birds in the winter months. I am an ESL teacher and try to teach my students about our state of Pennsylvania and, about 2 years ago, I realized they were not familiar with any of our birds. I designed a unit on Backyard birds and assigned each student a bird that we commonly see here. We spent days drawing them and writing short information about them. I was amazed at how much the students helped each other with their birds - the wings go more like this, or a second grader suddenly realizing the relationship of the beak and the eye and how they were located on the head. Drawing the birds was also very comforting and relaxing and the students spoke to one another and developed real friendships even though they were aged from Kindergarten through fifth grade. Students started coming into class telling me what birds they had seen after school or on the weekend and sharing what they looked like. We would look them up on this website and talk about them. I was so inspired by my students, that when I saw a class a few months ago I waited too long and the class was closed. When this one popped up, I jumped on it. I am really excited to start  drawing and journaling!Backyard Birds
      • Cecilia
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Cecilia.V
        Amy, I just read your post on exploring birds with your students. I tutored reading comprehension and also worked with my son, who had a learning disability. My main tool was the Lindamood-Bell program, Visualizing and Verbalizing, which you may be familia with. The thing is, I found that my students with comprehension problems had difficulty sorting information -- everything they learned in school kinda went into the Big Box of Right Answers, which was such a jumble they could never retrieve what they had learned and often gave very bizarre answers on tests because they would retrieve the right answer to SOMETHING. (Mammals have wings and lay eggs.) I found that any kind of sorting, any kind of close observation and the labeling of parts often just flipped a switch for these students, and they started recalling information, adding vocabulary. I had students sort a silverware drawer, sort buttons. But the best was birdwatching or identifying flowers and trees. When "bird" just means a big blur of flying things, a lot of other things are blurs as well. But when you start to see a cardinal, a robin, a house sparrow vs. a song sparrow, a pine siskin, the world comes into sharper focus. You see color, size, special feathers (outer tail coverts), beaks, behavior. You hear songs and calls that are distinct. Of course, discovering birds is a joy in itself. But the way it opens up learning is also quite magical. All the best to you and your students during this strange and difficult time. Cecilia from Arden, Delaware
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      BarbE7936
      I have always enjoyed drawing but have gotten away from it. I do need to learn to work with color. I love nature and taking walks. I think this course will give me structure and an incentive to get back to drawing. I liked how people use the journaling to observe and remember what they saw.
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Bnoel2
      The very first video gave me a sense of surprise and relief because it showed an easy way to give structure to a page. It showed boxes with sketches inside. I though, ‘Oh I can do that!’ Immediately my bit of anxiety at starting this new venture lowered. I also saw with surprise that the sketches were also breaking out of the boxes to provide some energy and movement on the page. As a very beginner who has limited experience with visual arts this gave me both a sense of the familiar and controllable (boxes) and the inspiration to break out of them. Another student entry before mine also mentioned how her environmental value to fill the page was important. This is true for me as well. I can see that the sketches can be small and leave room to write about what I was experiencing in the moment and about what I was noticing about my subject.The same student entry also mentioned how sketching plants might be easier at first and I that is a very good idea to start with. I also like her idea of sketching her garden and particular trees through the seasons. This is something I can also easily do. Another video mentioned using the basic geometric forms (as in the doves) and this is something else I’d like to focus on as I think it will be a good way to more efficiently capture the basic contours of my subject.
      • Barbara
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Bnoel2
        After reading posts from fellow students, I’m replying to myself as a way of remembering some of their good ideas. One said she wants to include pressed samples. Another student wrote that she wanted a way to capture her elation by drawing her emotion on the page. This reminds me of Holly Ward Bimba’s work that initially inspired me to even think I could start sketching. She gave me a calendar with sketches of items she had foraged in the Virginia woods. I love being able to include real items like this. I also like the idea in one of the videos whereby her sketches surround a month at a time. I think I’ll have to get a lot better at sketching to get there. As others have written, the pandemic and my sudden retirement hold a silver lining in that I now have time to slow down and  savor the minute details nature offers us so quietly.
    • Faith Celeste
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      CelesteArcher
      1. What inspired me to begin nature journaling?  I'm getting close to (if not already am) retirement age, and I've always been attracted to art and gardening.  I took a course at a local art institute - painting the flower as art.  The class was excellent, but as a beginner, taking a "non-beginner" class I floundered a lot.  So about 5 years later,  today, as a matter of fact, I happened to be out in my garden and took a look at a tree I have - a flying dragon.  I decided I wanted to draw or paint the tree - because I love the leaves in fall, and I love the bark which appears like a snake.  I sat down at my computer after breakfast and this course was listed as on-sale in my inbox...... and now I realize, I would really like to journal my garden through the seasons. 2.  I like all of the journals - being an environmentalist I prefer the pages that are packed full of drawings and notations -- this seems to be the best use of paper and space -- I also like when people preserve their errors, there is a lot of interest in the errors, and certainly the errors show progress in a "first time accuracy" kind of way - as opposed to just the final perfect picture.  I VERY much liked the "close ups" that one journalist used.  I also really enjoy colour -- and I loved the pencil sketches that emphasized the shapes and gestures - like the doves with the pronounced foreheads.  So certainly lots and lots of ideas from the journals that I viewed. 3.  The though of journaling is about 3 hours old to me at the moment -- so no, I have not thought it through much - with the exception that I would like to revisit the same plant(s) - throughout the various season rather than a one snapshot look at a plant.  I would like to also journal animals, but am currently not sure if my memory or speed will allow me to capture my subject -- perhaps a cell phone picture to assist me in the beginning...... but then on second thought, I feel like I would loose part of the experience by relying on technology.... so like others, I'll take my imperfections.
    • Rafael
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Rafael Navarro Leiton
      I ended up really enjoying Holly Faulkner‘s journals and her painting techniques 7EA661AE-D9F0-4DBE-9767-A6487002EB93
    • Lynn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Lkieffer
      I'm newly retired, a long-time birder and have always been visually oriented, having spent nearly half of my career as an art director putting pictures and words together. Now that I have the time, I want to get back to putting my own words to pictures, combining poetry (haiku) of my nature observations with illustrations. During the pandemic, I've found my own backyard to be full of inspiration, whether it's the many birds at my feeder and nest boxes, our small but active frog pond or the butterflies and bees attracted to the pollinator gardens I planted in spring. My goal is to sharpen my observation and illustrating skills to quickly capture the essence of what is see around me.
    • Steven
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      sstadler
      1.  I'm an engineer, so most of my time is dominated by the left half of the brain thinking.  There is much creativity that comes with engineering, but it is mostly analytical.  I also enjoy nature photography.  I enjoy learning the behaviors of the subjects I want to photograph so I can get better photos.  I think this uses some more of the right side of the brain, but I still think of these situations analytically.  I started reading "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain", but it didn't hold my interest.  Seeing how you draw nature in your journal looks fascinating to me.  I am interested in slowing down, experiencing the stillness of the mind, allow myself to quiet down and observe, and take the time to draw.  But, I don't know how to draw!!  I hope you can show me the way :-) 2.  I like the idea of no strict format, draw something in whatever space is there, add the date, time, weather, etc. and making notes to describe observations, thoughts, and feelings.  I like how the use of boxes with the drawings flowing out of them adds dimension to the sketch.  I also made a mental note about drawing as a means to remember the topics I am studying.  Many years ago I had signed up for the Home Study Course in Bird Biology, which I thought would help me be a better bird photographer, knowing more about bird behaviors and habitats and such.  I hadn't finished that one and have migrated over to the new course, Ornithology:  Comprehensive Bird Biology, and I'm thinking that drawing out what I am learning would be so helpful in remembering what I want to learn.  "Learning how to Learn" style. 3.  Capturing moments through photography is wonderful and fun, but doesn't require so much slowing down and writing down observations, thoughts, and feelings.  I'm sure I won't be leaving my photography gear at home, so I'll most likely capture a few photos, then attempt to sit down and take the time to draw and write.  Just thinking about doing this brings a feeling of relaxation throughout my body!  WoW!
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      hollidog
      Learning to draw different types of birds and getting colours and behaviours to help in identification and also build memories. Become more mindful of my surroundings
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      hollidog
      • 90646D66-7BD9-4E02-9A0E-76DEAB7E2A5EI’d like to improve on my field comments with color. Also more structure to my pages
    • suzie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      suziebirder
      Hi all My inspirations? My very part time business is collage card making. Improving observation and drawing, painting skills will be a plus.
      • My small city yard is a native garden habitat in which I see and am learning all I can to support pollinators and the environment I am a casual but enthusiastic birder. I don’t like to write in journals but I would be coaxed to draw, paint and jot if I paid money for a course !EE0182B1-5ABD-44A6-B24C-61BBC98463B4
      • Cecilia
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Cecilia.V
        I am blown away by your dragonfly, the patterns, the textures, the polkadots of your collage! I just started the course, and have only seen the videos of other people and their journaling. Haven’t started any journaling of my own. That will have to wait until tomorrow. But your dragonfly has really flown out of the box and inspired me. I hope you post more.  ~Cecilia
    • Anne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      franklinia
      I am a natural resource land manager yet never have time to observe, record and investigate nature in the detail that I would like to. I also have mental images of nature that I would like to capture in an artistic manner. And I would like to be able to draw better and capture the essence of the subject relatively quickly.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      JCharnley
      I have spent my entire life in the outdoors, hiking, camping, climbing, sailing, kayaking, bird watching, and many other outdoor activities. I began keeping a journal in college as part of a course I was taking on Environmental Outdoor Education. I’d read naturalist writer’s books and looked at examples of field journals. I just began sketching, never having taken a course on drawing or nature journaling. The ideas that appealed to me from the other journalers included keeping track of the date, time, location, and weather of where they were journaling. I liked the idea of zooming in on a part of a sketch to really get the close-up details. I also liked seeing the simple sketches, getting the general shapes of the birds, and sketching the same subject a number of times. I can see how this would help to build the skills and confidence to create more detailed sketches. DouglasSquirrel
    • laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      Vagabondgirl
      Hello! How inspiring it was to see various styles of nature journals. 1. What inspired me to start journalling (double "ll" is the British/Canadian spelling): I just started journalling while taking another Bird Academy course for teachers that focuses on citizen science. Taking courses during the pandemic is a perfect opportunity to a) get outdoors, b) enjoy solitude, c) explore new interests and d) develop new skills. I don't have an artistic background, but I have a long history of careful nature observation. Journalling  will help me chronicle and reflect on my observations and "encounters" and help to deepen my understanding of what it is that I am observing. 2. Which journalling approaches I would like to try: I like filling a page with words and sketches. I want to let go of the need to "finish" a painting/sketch. I appreciated the quick sketching of the hummingbirds, for example. I also want to embrace the idea that things need to be completed before moving on. The journal-creators' comments on the memories associated with the journals resonated with me. Likewise, the purpose of a given entry can be different than the entries before and after it. Sometimes I may focus on posture, other times plumage. Sometimes shape and other times movement. Considering the journal as a work in progress and an evolving style is helpful to reduce anxieties associated with perfectionism/incompetence. I really liked the idea of multiple entries on one page. This allows a feeling of a completed segment of either greater detail and/or reduced time. 3. What different journalling ideas do I have not mentioned in the video: 1) I've always been interested in taxonomy but never studied it. When species of flora/fauna or classifications of rocks/minerals are identified, I like to write down the common name(s) along with the latin name. The latin name is fascinating and often gives history, description and other information in its translation. This practice is something I will most likely continue to do. 2) I like jotting down a comment of something that is happening parallel in my life (son's new job, global affairs, special event) to give the moment context within my own life and how, even with other things going on, I found time to sit, reflect, observe and ground myself in nature.
      • amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        amykarst
        I like that, Laurie - relating something personal that is happening in your life when you drew the picture. Amy
    • Nicole
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      NicoleMahoney
      I've always wanted to draw and spend tons of time observing the plants and birds on my patio and figured this would be an ideal class to learn more! I still don't know exactly which style will work best because they're all beautiful! I think I'll try a less structured approach rather than use boxes at first. Thanks all for sharing your stories.
    • Dale
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Dale Naomi
      fullsizeoutput_6614
    • Nicole
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      nheaton
      I am inspired to begin nature journaling because I like to record things about my life and I like to spend a lot of time in outdoor spaces. I am a photographer and writer. As a child, I drew a lot. Drawing and writing were my earliest passions. Weeks after my mother died when I was in high school, I had a negative interaction with an art teacher, and I quit drawing after I was finished with her class. The desire to draw never left me, though. Although it has been more than 20 years since I gave up on it, I want to re-learn how to draw and enjoy the experience again. I look forward to this course helping me get back on track with that. I think my approach will be more about combining notes about what I observed and felt alongside my drawings. I do plan to give my drawings priority and fill in with words around them. I want to capture my experience of nature more than the technical details.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      lrclum
      I started nature journalling because I bought a book called Keeping A Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles Roth; I bought some colored pencils and started sketching; I was on an island and had a lot of time and I found it so calming and meditative and it gave me pleasure so I started doing it every day I was there. In particular, I liked Liz's journal because it had a lot of landscape in it and I spend a lot of time looking at landscape and the light on it; she also was concerned with texture and she used the word "beautiful" to describe a sunrise and sometimes I want to record the beauty I see. I don't have any journalling ideas from the ones shown; I find that it is now, as Autumn. approaches, a little too cold somedays to capture the sunrises over Lake Michigan as they happen. So I suspect I will use some photos and work from them later in the day.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Karen Watson
      My world narrowed somewhat during the pandemic. My walks in the park and my backyard observations of wildlife and plants helped me navigate these months. Each observation and sometimes a drawing or painting of my interest were like little vacations from the news swirling around me. I took the Identifying Bird Songs course and practiced on my walks. It was so rewarding to actually be able to identify a call or a song. I decided that as the fall approached I wanted to have some focus on learning. I found this course and The Biology of Birds course to help me through the winter months. I have a love for botanical painting which is a slow process. I want to be able to draw and paint birds from nature and sketches. I have done some paintings from photographs, but I really am looking forward to drawing and painting from nature. Now I just have to figure out how to keep the raccoons out of my bird feeder. The visitors to the feeder in the winter are a constant entertainment during the winter. I think it will provide me with many subjects to draw when the weather keeps me in.
      • laurie
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        Vagabondgirl
        Hello Karen. Yes, this pandemic has certainly impacted our daily lives and our social interactions. I noted this in my comment above. Instead of focusing on the obvious negative aspects of a global pandemic, we can choose to use the opportunity to reconnect with nature (and ourselves?) in a new way through nature journalling. I've also always loved botanical illustrations. I may never be able to emulate the artists who work at that calibre, but I don't need to. That's their fabulous role in this life. I am happy to fuddle-duddle my way through my new journal just to gift myself with some "down time" that is solely for me.
    • Johanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Johanna23
      I began keeping a garden journal 18 years ago, when I moved to a house with a beautiful, established garden.  There was so much to see, to keep track of and to do!  There were animals and birds too and I loved chronicling it all.  Now I live in a city and I want to try a new kind of nature journal.  I hope this program will help me develop some new observational skills and learn how to illustrate some of what I see.  The journals gave me some great ideas...jump right in and start with the drawing, look for the geometric shapes, think about the palette of colors, capture an interesting moment or behavior, think about how this scene or animal or plant makes me feel, ask questions, go back and find out more about what I have seen.
    • Janelle
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jmazariegos
      1.  I find inspiration in nature, but I don't always remember those inspirations specifically.  I want to be able to record my experiences in nature in a more effective way.   Also, I'm a 7th grade life science teacher, and I want my students to be intrigued and inspired by the world around them.  We made our own nature journals last year in our life science and life science/STEM classes, but I feel the need to broaden my ideas.  My students sometimes feel intimidated by the art part.  I want to get better at explaining that to them so they can feel proud of their own accomplishments.  Science and art are both about observation.  It's an advantage to have an understanding of both.
    • Andrew
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      andrew.david.white
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I kept a field journal the summer of 2009 when I was in school for landscape architecture. The memories of that summer (journeying along the Trail of Tears and then to Costa Rica) are more textured than more recent travels. My colleague Teri Nye, an avid nature journalist, has also inspired me with her work. I've fallen out of the habit, and would like to get back into it. Thanks to my mother for enrolling me in this course :-) 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? I liked the way the first journaler framed her drawings, but then allowed them to break out of the box. I think that animates the page in a way that I would like to try. 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? I'm going to try and keep a phenology journal of observations here in Atlanta. I do lots of work outdoors, and it will be good to record my observations of natural events in a notebook that is organized chronologically by week - so, one spread per week. This is something I can return to year after year. The images are from my 2009 field journal.IMG_20200926_185540IMG_20200926_185941IMG_20200926_185928
    • Diann
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      DiannMountain
      Hello fellow nature lovers! 1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling?  A friend shared the link for this course with me a week ago.  She is an amazing artist and I have always admired her journals.  I love to journal when I am traveling and filled pages with my words and recollection of each day of each trip I have been on.  I am taking this course to gain the confidence in drawing what I see/experience and to add beautiful images to my journal pages.  I am a naturalist and have a business guiding  folks at Mount Rainier National Park and have had the desire to write a book of my experiences.  Adding drawings to my journal will help add more emotion and clarity I believe.  I take lots of pictures and am excited to feel and see the difference in my connection to each trip through the act of drawing. 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?  I appreciate each of the techniques shared and had never thought of using a certain style.  I really enjoyed Shayna's style with the boxes and like the idea of going out of them as an expression of space and life expanding.  I like how the journals used different colors and had the swaths of each color used.  Perhaps this is part of the technique we will be learning. ?? I am completely new to anything like this and am soooo excited to gain the skills to add more dimension to my journeys and go beyond stick figures at age 59:)! Thank you for making this available!
    • Camellia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Camillabird
      Wow! I am so excited to learn to draw the amazing scenes, or details and bits I see in Nature.  I am captivated by even the smallest fungi and in awe.  I want to be a part of it and find myself taking photos, but it's not enough to 'feel' what's happening. This is what inspires me to journal. I want to share what I see, and somehow until that manifests itself into some thing to share besides my exuberance - I will learn to draw. Every person and their journal was great.  I enjoyed all of the styles and could certainly place myself in the scenes, that each observer talked about. It seems like the action of drawing it (the scene), puts the emotion into the moments captured. No-one criticized their own work, but used all the lines as reference points to discuss what they saw. That was my favorite aspect of all the journaling.  If I were to pick a style I like, or would even like to emulate (I dare say), but not copy, is the first 'journaler' that used boxes.  Maybe the boxes made a reference for the language or verbal observations for her to connect - but if that was a book, I would be attracted to the feeling it gave me, and want to buy it to reinvent that feeling each time I opened the book.  I want to learn to do that for myself and how I feel when I'm in Nature!
      • Barbara
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Bnoel2
        “It seems like the action of drawing it (the scene), puts the emotion into the moments captured.” I love how you phrased this. It truly captures one of the reasons I’ve signed up for this course.
    • Chari
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      norgardc
      I love to be outdoors and am an avid photographer (just for fun).  We recently moved to Arizona and I'm loving all the different cacti and birds.  We've discovered the Hassayampa River Preserve and have been there several times.  I usually just take photos but thought it would be neat to learn to nature journal, especially in that area.  Initially, I plan to keep my journal simple and try to get over the intimidation of a blank page and my tendency to perfectionism.  I enjoyed seeing all the journals and different approaches.  I'm not sure which style I will try so may just experiment initially.  I hoping to improve my observation skills which I think will also help my photography.
    • Sandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      sjessop
      I am an artist who loves nature and birds.   I get excited all over again whenever I see someone's nature journal, or travel sketchbook and want to be more intentional about my observations and recordings.  When our kids were little we took the time to stop and watch every ant, spider and bee and I want to feel that wonder again.  I'm trying to slow down while I find my balance between loose watercolor, and detailed line.   I'd like to add more words into my pages, and I love the way the boxes look, so I'm going to try that to unify my ideas.  Here is a page from last year - what I really like about it is that my dog walked on the book and left a pawprint.  It really looks like a smudge, but the note makes me smile and remember sitting there outside, drawing with my daughter, while our dog bounced around.   Pen and watercolor.IMG_2884
      • Margaret
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Margaret mackenzie
        I like to do nature journaling exactly like you have done above. It's simple and very effective. Beautiful. I like what you say about wanting to find a balance between loose water-colour and detailed line. Me too!
    • Marta
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      MartaOli
      Hello to all nature journalists! I'm new to nature journalism; I took a watercolor short course a couple of years ago and then started to draw in nature, but in non organized way. And without writing, taking notes, ... So, (1) I'd like to learn new techniques, and try them also in drawing birds (2) explore new ways of using the page (for now I prefer not to fill it in with lots of details; I like the idea of drawing in one side, and writing in the opposite page... although I admire Liz and those journalers in the video that draw amazingly and use so much of the space!) and (3) I sometimes use a separate sheet of paper to test the color (because I have doubts if it's what I'm looking for).
    • J Daniel
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      brauniesfather
      When I go out in nature I often take my camera.  While the camera allows me to capture the moment w/out much delay, it doesn't give me the wealth of detail that journaling forces me to notice.  I feel I get much more of what I see by journaling than by simply looking at something or by simply taking its picture.  I was most attracted by Shayna Muller's method; I believe I'll try to follow her example.
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      erinallen28
      I was inspired to start nature journaling by thinking about how I could unite my desire to explore drawing more with my habit of being outside.  I love how nature journaling can travel with you to different locations, and it is a hobby that can transition across seasons - it really is a little time capsule!   It piqued my interest that nearly all of the journals shown here had small "bite size" entries.  The entry was bite size in how it filled the page, in the time it may have taken to complete, or even in the skill that was being explored.  That was really eye-opening for me.  I am hesitant to dive entirely into my journal because I want it to "look nice."  But really I am doing a disservice to myself and my exploration - I can keep my entries brief and my self-reflection forgiving!   One additional journaling idea I have is to play with the orientation of the page.  Instead of always working with the same horizontal orientation, for example, you can work vertically or upside down!  Break the page into 3's or 4's.  Don't limit yourself to a standard orientation, because then you'll be taking what you see and trying to force it into that space or habit.
    • mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mdesbt
      hello! 1.I am an art major, but I work as a field biologist. A profession I randomly fell into. I love the outdoors and the natural world and I love art. I do not let my artistic side out as much as I think about and should. I am hoping this will motivate me to look that much deeper into my surroundings and capture the moment.  I also want to become better with watercolor-a medium I struggle with.  I paint mostly abstract with oil. 2. I like the idea of putting something on paper everyday. I have tried that, but life gets in the way. So maybe being more realistic with a few times a week. Really focusing on that time. 3. Adding feathers or pressed leaves or flowers. 04884C19-1407-4E6B-ABFD-C19767991B67
    • Beverly
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      BeverlyEvans
      I have several reasons for taking this class on nature journaling.  After my daughter gave me The Naturalist's Notebook for tracking changes, I started my own journal.  Like the last journalist I wanted to enter something every day but it was to difficult so I ended up not doing it at all.  I then started to paint birds with acrylics and have finished several nice paintings but what I really want to be able to do is sketch nature and then put it into my paintings. My second reason is to help me create a bird identification book for children.  I am presently working on Warbling Warblers.  Studying warblers was a Covid-19 goal because I could do it from my own yard.  I am hoping that I can learn to observe and listen more carefully and be able to draw the birds for my book. I am so excited about taking this class because it combines many of my interests in one class.  I love birding, nature, drawing, painting , and journaling.
    • Cindy
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      cduffy
      1. This was a gift from someone who knows I like nature. 2. I want to incorporate drawing with written comments. 3. I would hope as I get started my style will become unequally my own.
      • Cindy
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        cduffy
        oops mean to say uniquely
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      jigoe2
      Until I improve, I thing trying to draw something everyday might be good.  I liked color on the page, boxing and writing around subjects.  I'll need to remind myself that it doesn't need to be perfect.
    • lynn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lfruit
      I live in St. Petersburg, Florida. A favorite walk is Weedon Island which has boardwalks among the mangroves.  I've always had a little difficulty identifying red, white, and black mangrove.  A a former project manager, I constructed a spreadsheet and listed their attributes.  No wonder I can't remember which is which.  Drawings will be so much more fun!
    • Joanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      FurMama55
      I like Holly Faulkner’s approach with filling a page, or pages, each month. Nature Journaling is different than what I thought it would be, but sure I will enjoy anyway. As I was listening to both Liz and the other journalists, I jotted down some notes, some simple sketches, goals, and emotions or adjectives . Joanne F06F64EC-9F24-4362-ACC3-BA7D0C32CC79
    • joseph
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mjrkiss
      • Out of high school i wanted to be a science  illustrator but found at the time it was hard to make a living doing it
      • I turned instead to biology with a minor in art
      • I taught college biology at a junior college, but since work as a railroad engineer.
      • I have always loved nature and now find the time to feed this joy. I have done things still in the field of biology; owl prowls, nature walks and gardening.
      • I like the style of boxed in art with wording surrounding it.
       
    • Caroline
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      benjaminboies
      The pandemic has "forced" me to enjoy my immediate surroundings. I've never spent so much time in my backyard to observe nature (rather than plowing through a list of to-do's like lawn moving, and cleaning garden beds). My husband, son and I have spent hours walking in the woods trying to enjoy the moment, but also to identify birds, trees, shrubs, mushrooms.  We started buying books, then applications to help us in this journey. Then one day, my son asked me to paint a blue jay for him, and I was so pleased with the result, I feel that documenting this process that came naturally to us is the next thing for me. I absolutely loved the realness and movement of Holly's journals (both 2016 and 2019), her use of colour but also how she placed the dates beside each element in 2016, or how she used a gradient of yellow and green to write 'March 2019' in her second journal. Screen Shot 2020-09-07 at 2.45.04 PM
    • Adrienne
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Adrienne291
      I was inspired to begin nature journaling because I felt like it would be a way for me to connect to the environment and wildlife around me. I have dabbled in photography, mostly of birds, but I felt like if I was too concentrated on getting the perfect shot, I couldn't concentrate on watching the birds' behavior. So I feel like taking the time to draw or paint a bird (or plant or other animal) would allow me to connect with it more. I have started sketching without any instruction and I realized after watching the videos that I may have been sketching too many things. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get close to the birds (or they moved away too quickly), so right now I'm just trying to get the shapes. I'd like to get to the point where I can slow down and capture the subject from many different angles. Watercolor is also of interest for me, but I haven't tried that yet. I would like to try to capture the colors, though. With practice, I'm sure my confidence will build.
    • natalie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      nataliemoore
      1. I am more of a nature photographer, but want to expand my observations beyond a single image.  I think the detail of journaling will provide a more fulfilling experience. 2. I like the idea of boxing images after completing them.  I also liked the idea of the journal calendar, though I am hoping my journaling will be more detailed text to complement the image so that I am going beyond what my photography currently does for my observations.  I liked the idea of different angles of observations, like as the environment changes or the bird moves, adding art to match the evolving observation.
    • Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Annajv
      My favorite place to go has always been the woods, fields and anywhere outdoors, throughout my life.  I have an artist and naturalist personality and enjoy the process of creating, more than the product, although that is nice, too.  I like how the journaling is an ongoing process and that inspires my creativity.  The combination of sketching and words, and being in the present is appealing to me.  Nature tells me as seasons and time passes and whispers her majesty to us everyday.  I can’t wait to start my journal and listen to her whispers and record her creations.
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      kimmie06
      I was inspired to nature journal after installing bird feeders on our property and, having more time on my hands due to COVID-19, gave me a way to pass the time. Two days ago a baby fox squirrel fell from a palm tree, so here’s the image I drew to remember him since he is now recovering at a local rescue organization.  I plan on incorporating weather conditions and very much like the boxing idea for organizing.  Knowing that some sketches will be unfinished and mistakes will happen are also helpful tips. F37CA705-197A-4555-9D28-9ED64231BB30
    • Leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lwspencer
      I'm a naturalist, have been a nature guide in two different organizations but have relied on photo taking to capture my observations.  Recently I started studying drawing and watercolor, and I'd like to take these two disciplines into the field which should also enhance my observational skills.  I'd like to try the daily entry, paint in watercolor, and include in words my observations.  This I hope would help me to  be more focused and detailed in my learning about nature.
    • Lauren
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      tierneyl13
      I wanted to get better at visual journaling for work and also for outdoor adventures and day-to-day strolls. I like the daily/monthly approach.
    • Lumi
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      lumifox
      1. I already was drawing and painting various birds and animals, normally from birds in my bird or animal books, but almost never from observation, and thought it would be interesting to try a new way of capturing an image of an animal or bird in a different way. 2. I like the idea of bringing the drawings out of their boxes, because it seems like you are ‘freeing’ the drawing a bit more. 3. I like to add notes on my sketches, because if I think differently on a fact or even a photograph in one of my books (coloring off in the photo, a different observation that the book doesn’t cover, etc.) I can write it down, and it’s almost like I’m making my own field guide.
    • Kimmai
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      KimmaiNunnery
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I love to spend time outdoors, sketch and watercolor. I also took a class with csumb and teach middle school science where we nature journal in the garden. I also saw a talk with John Meir Laws that was very inspiring. 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? I really like the monthly 1 page or nature journals. To have a goal to keep working on art with a somewhat flexible goal. 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? I've noticed that I enjoy sketch, watercolors, to just colored pencil. When I write with my drawings, I feel like it takes away from my art.
    • Sara
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      saradonohoe
      As an landscape architect and artist, site sketching is my favorite way to experience a space. I love being outside and capturing my feelings of a place in my sketchbook. They aren't always accurate and I definitely take a "creative" approach, sometimes making up things as I go in order to capture the feeling. I hope I can learn to practice a more scientific or observational approach to sketching while still getting creative and capturing the moment. I'm really looking forward to adding my nature journal to my sketchbook collection.   sketchbooks
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Maryj91
      I really loved how Liz was able to find the answer about bird incubation without looking it up, just by observation. I really feels like a good motivator to keep journaling! Nature journaling feels like a really grounding activity for 2020 and a great way to pay attention to the beautiful things in our world.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      LinElin
      Hello fellow journal keepers. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about journaling and some your drawings in this chat box. Although I have kept a nature journal for many years, both during travel and in the backyard, I haven't mastered the art of the quick sketch to capture the essence of a subject. It is so much easier to sit with a plant than with a scurrying beetle or mouse. My goal for this course is to be persistent in skills practice to become a better sketcher and not such a perfectionist.  I am looking forward to joining you on this journey. unnamed
    • Martha
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Mswearin
      These past spring/summer months of 2020 have given me the time to explore my own backyard. The early visitors, their habits, their disappearance, the stalwart year round neighborhood birds and the persistent insects and even the hardy weeds have captured my attention AND my thoughts. Details emerge that were once overlooked. Putting them to paper will sharpen my observation skills. Dating each page and adding a quick weather note will give a time stamp that will be important years/decades later. Freeing up the hand on paper will give me the “flow” —-first impressions and organic thought aside from deduction will help generate creativity. Highlighting smaller details  that stand out, either box or circle form makes the pages cohesive. I may press a few small specimens from non-public spaces as this drying can bring out other details.
    • Cecilia
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Cyanocoraxyncas11
      I love Nature and this is a new way to enjoy and learn more. I like the different ideas and perspectives. I want to see more of this course to decide how to make my nature journal.
    • Jessica
      Participant
      Chirps: 27
      jmckenna
      I love spending time in nature and have always enjoyed sketching and painting. I am a K-2 STREAM teacher at an elementary school and began incorporating nature journaling a few years ago. I would like to do more of it with them.   I like the monthly nature journaling approach. I think it would be a nice way to track seasonal changes and document places I have visited. I would be sure to include the date, time, weather and then detailed notes along with my sketches.   I am apprehensive about the watercolors. I never thought of them as being easy to use while on the go but I am excited to give it a try.
    • Dana
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      D Mulder
      I really liked Shayna's journal layout with the subjects breaking free of the boxes.  That seemed like a really effective way of framing the subject and organizing the page, and also was playful and flexible.  I am an elementary teacher and outdoor enthusiast, I am looking to build my own experiences documenting nature through journaling as a way of holding memories.  Also, I hope that as I build confidence nature journaling,  I can better support my students document their experiences, curiosities and learning in nature journals.  I love the idea of mixed media nature journals and am inspired by some older nature books I've read that read like nature journals: Rachel Carson's "The Edge of the Sea", David J. Carroll's "Swamp Walker's Journal: A Wetlands Year" to name a couple.
    • Erica
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      eszey0569
      1. I love written journaling and I love art, nature journaling seems like a great way to connect the two. Also I would like to connect more deeply with nature and give space to notice subtleties. I tend to be a perfectionist, I am hoping that nature journaling helps me to loosen up my art a bit. 2. I like the idea of doing art while out in nature and using it as a way to document experiences in the moment (rather than looking at a photo reference later). 3. I really want to try integrating nature journaling and meditation. Not only documenting direct visual observations but also trying to communicate the emotional experience of connecting with nature or the behavioral personality of certain species.
    • dgolson
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      dgolson
      Hello fellow journalers! Journaling is a way for me to slow down and observe what's around me and to look at nature from different perspectives. I like the journals that show multiple views including the setting, but also present at the detail level with some labeling or explanation about the weather or other conditions. I like the idea of using pencil, ink, and watercolor. I've kept journals on and off and thought this class would be a nice introduction back into journaling again. I look forward to learning with everyone.
    • Bridget
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      rimuridge
      1. Reflecting on what I enjoy. Yearning for a way to grow my naturalist skills and document nature's gorgeousness. 2. I especially like the idea of documenting what was actually seen. To quickly, yet elegantly, show the subject, note behaviours and include other interesting snippets. I like the approach of lots of images and sections to accompany text. The pencil work in DJ McNeil's journal really inspired me. 3. I'm thinking about including natural material samples in my journal such as pressed plants and feathers.
    • Bonnie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      bjreimann
      I’m a professor and will be teaching a seminar course to first year students this fall and the theme for me will be about nature.  I’d love to have students nature journal but need to learn more about it myself.  I really like the idea of making nature journaling a regular process - I was intrigued by the woman who did a daily journal and then a monthly journal.
    • Nina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ncfoody
      I am still in high school, and am absolutely set on pursuing ornithology in college. I am also beginning to take up photography as well, but I think that a journal would be way more fun, and really help me connect more with nature, or even the subjects that I am trying to photograph.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      janetmacneil
      Hello everyone! I'm a science teacher and am excited about honing my nature journaling skills so I can share ideas with teachers and students. We use science notebooks at all grade levels. They are such a great way to inspire curiosity, creativity and learning! I love using Mod Podge, tape, or contact paper to add pressed leaves, bits of sand, flowers, etc. into my notebook. (A great, easily-accessible activity for kids too!)
    • Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      EllenHarrington
      Hello All.  My name is Ellen (there seem to be a few of us I see).  I have recently retired settling on the New England coast.  I spend a good deal of time exploring my new environment and wish to chronicle my sights and feelings.  I hope that by doing so I may inspire my children and grandchildren to take time to see more and and take more care of our natural world.  That being said, I am thinking I will take the approach of dating, weather observations and location hen add sketches and pertinent observations.  I want to go back and remember those moments that has me stopping to watch a bird or snail, see an unfamiliar flower and more.  So I believe I will incorporate ideas from the first and last journal examples.
    • Victoria
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      mvrestre
      I just started taking this course, I am a photographer and videographer and I spend most of my time outdoors recording nature. I also paint tropical birds in watercolor, but my painting are very detailed and I put a lot of time in them. I think this class would give me another perspective of what I see, and it will also give me the opportunity to take notes of my feelings or maybe to add some details that I might not be able to capture with my cameras.Andean-motmot
    • Fabiola
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      fabiola22
      1.  What inspired me to begin nature journaling was the John Muir Laws website and I took one of his classes.  I was hooked.  I loved the idea of documenting our experience in nature.  I would have hundreds of journals by now.  But, there is no time like the present!  2. I want to try to journal daily, even if it's a 5-min sketch.  I want to put my daily experience on paper and make it into art and inspire others.
    • Julie and M
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      M&Julie
      M (9-years): my mom. Mom:  I have two (2) goals: 1) my wish is to strengthen my bond with my daughter through a long-term,  conflict-free activity (nature journaling)  in a conflict-free environment (nature) that we can share through the ebb and flow of our relationship, and 2) to connect my daughter to her natural environment by engaging all of her senses (sound, smell, sight, touch, etc.) so she will eventually discover quiet moments of solitude without loneliness. M: I want my dates to pop out in blue just like Holly Faulkner's. M: Draw a chipmunk and add the moon cycle to my journals.
    • Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      ebwbridge
      Love birds, drawing, and learning more about nature. Nature journaling is the perfect marriage of the three!
    • Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      ebwbridge
      The last woman’s journal blew me away! The crispness and colors of her drawings made my heart leap, and I realized right away that I want to zoom in on these details as she did. I love the micro nature of her drawings and am now inspired to REALLY study not only nature but drawing as well. She is a wonder!
    • May
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      May-A-A
      Hello, my name is May. During my studies, I was introduced to journaling in general. Out of curiosity, I researched about it and came across fascinating journals that document so many topics. When I watched the Bird academy video by Instructor Liz Clayton Fuller, I liked the idea of nature journaling which resonated with my interest about nature. I've always collected leaves, feathers, stones and spring flowers to keep. Sometime I sketch them, add colour and write a note about them. I never thought of keeping a nature journal that document the date, time and weather, nor explain and write about them as the course shows. That's why I decided to join the course and learn about nature journaling. I’m glad I did. After watching the nature journaling approaches in the video in lesson 1, I was amazed of the ways we can document our observations. I can’t say that there is one specific journal that captured my attention to adopt its approach, as each had a process that could be looked at and combined with others then add few touches to come up with my own style. Below are the processes I would like to try in my nature journal: Shayna Muller documentation style of zoom and detailed drawings along with notations. Jewel Alston process of depicting different tones of colour. William Nnuro Jr process of capturing the moment. Margret Corbit of thinking about subject through drawing. D.J MacNeil process that tackled behavior by drawing simple shapes with few detail. Holly Faulknor style that evolved into monthly sheet that contained her observations. Instructor Liz Fuller organized journal that incorporated so many techniques that turned the nature journal into a nice documentation of visual experience. So I might try and give it a go putting it all together to fill the pages of my first nature journal. I haven't done nature journaling in the past. Yet, I have few drawings here and there. The thing that I would add to my journal is a sample of the flower I’m sketching. I attached one of my drawings that included a sample of the flower which I pressed and kept with my drawing as a reference to look at and observe the changings that occur to the dry flower! May-A-A-drawing
    • John
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      jcsouthall
      I am terrible at drawing and have avoided it since childhood. Almost fearful of it. I am going to give this the college try and see how it goes. I’d really like to be able to keep a nature journal, hopefully those skills are learnable.
    • Camille
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      crmeyers
      1. I've always loved observing animals and drawing, so nature journaling is a perfect mix of these two loves. I also love the way nature journals look in how they combine drawings, paintings, and writing. They can tell a story and capture a moment in a beautiful and informative way. As much as spending time in nature is relaxing for me, I have not been doing it enough lately. So, I'm really looking forward to spending more time outdoors while nature journaling. 2. I like the approach of making good use of the page by filling it with multiple sketches of the same subject from different angles or zooming in for more detail. I also like the style where the text flows around the drawings and makes notes on observed behaviors. 3. Since I am also a creative writer with a background in biology, I think it might be fun to add poetry to the journal pages.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      saraherter
      Question #1: What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I have always enjoyed art, but have never fully pursued my interest outside of a couple of classes. I realize now that one reason this interest went unfulfilled is because I hadn't found the right medium. The moment I discovered nature journaling, I realized that it combined my love for the natural world with sketching, painting, journaling, observing, reflecting, learning, and remembering.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      saraherter
      Question #1: What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I have always enjoyed art, but have never fully pursued my interest outside of a couple of classes. I realize now that one reason this interest went unfulfilled is because I hadn't found the right medium. The moment I discovered nature journaling, I realized that it combined my love for the natural world with sketching, painting, journaling, observing, reflecting, learning, and remembering.
    • Isabel
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      isabelanna4
      I have journaled for the past year- more of a travel journal and not necessarily only for nature. I would love to incorporate some of the movement and variety found in nature into my process. I love bits and pieces from each of the the journals shown- the broke boxes from the first journal to delineate and give space for notes, the color palettes from the second journal so you can mark not just the image but all of the colors present. I also really like the idea of a month page- where you don't have the pressure of a day to day, but can slowly add on to the page to build a memory for the nature moments you sank into in a particular month.
    • Kadi
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Kadibirdie
      Reading old journal notes of small, forgotten nature memories brings me so much pleasure. I signed up for this course as a way to gift my future self these moments of joy, as well as to honor all of the ecological tidings that I spend so much time appreciating. Thanks for setting up the course, Liz!
    • Adelaide
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      adelaide.johnson
      My sister and I wanted to do an art project together - in a remote way.  She is in New Hampshire while I am in Alaska. A goal is to develop a regular drawing practice. I would like to place multiple sketches on one page using graphics to capture an image of the morning. One new idea is to do a quick sketch each day to describe the weather with an illustration. For example, today the clouds and fog are obscuring Mt. Juneau...kind of a scruffy start, but thank you for this opportunity to reflect, learn,June 15 and improve!
      • Bonnie
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        bjreimann
        I love this idea of describing the weather each morning with an illustration!!
    • Jean Oliver
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Jean Oliver
      I want to instil a habit of journaling and thought taking the course, spreading it out step by step over a few weeks would help me do that. I keep extensive written journals when I travel. Those journals and the photos are invaluable, but personal observations are thin...sketches and carrying a field journal will help me dig deeper into what I am seeing and feeling, and also slow me down which is good for me. Watching these videos, I was inspired by the use of white space, and liked the idea of boxes, how written details seems to add to the "art" of the pages, various organizational tactics, and the use of shapes to quickly get details down. I also liked how the images sometimes crossed over two pages. My goal is to improve at quick studies, and can gain skills in capturing movement in the subject. Orn Lab covid skulls sketch
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Laura Schofield
      I have been inspired to strengthen my nature journaling skills. When I travel, I always have a journal, small watercolor set and colored pencils. When I look back on my journals, it's the pictures that I most associate with memories rather than the text. I would like to bring these skills into my middle school science classrooms...help students slow down, observe and make more memories from their environment.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      marynucci
      for me, it is trying to return to my love for just being outside.  at 62 i have spent much of my adult life working and raising children.  although i live on a farm, taking the time to just BE in nature is rare--always something to do.  i want to nature journal as a gift to myself--to allow myself to slow down and enjoy the wonder of the world around me. i particularly am drawn to the stories of the nature journalists.  i hope that i can create a bit of my own style while copying the beautiful work shared with me here.
    • Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      JFeldkamp
      I'm an outdoor lover and active birder. I spend as much time outside as I can. Since I live in the upper Midwest, it is highly seasonal how often I can be out. I actually wrote a nature journal in the '80s that my sister illustrated. Since then, I've seen a couple exhibitions with field sketches and botanical illustrations that I thought we stunning and wonderful. So when I saw this class, I immediately wanted to take it. Yet I've been procrastinating and feeling intimidated. I'm not artist, and I'm the type whose stuff should always be 'good.' So it will be a stretch and challenge for me to try this. But it will also be healthy and give me another reason to explore outside.
    • Roseann
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      roseann.millward
      I have been writing down birds in a journal for some time but have been very intimidated to incorporate drawings in my  because I can't draw. I was encouraged to find that some of the journalers did not have perfect journals. Seeing the different journalers gave me hope that I can incorporate images in my journal.
    • Tiffany
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      tlutnick
      6/7/20 1. I've enjoyed drawing since childhood, but don't do it as much anymore as it feels hard to make the time between the demands of work and having elementary aged children. I was inspired to start sketching while hiking and camping a few years ago, which led to an interest in nature journaling. When I did, I loved how it really solidified memories of that time and things I experienced. I felt like it enhanced the way I experienced a hike or camping with family in a way that photos or writing alone did not. However, I wished I had some help improving my drawing skills and learning to watercolor, beyond a couple of nature journaling books I have, so this course really interested me. During quarantine, I started drawing daily with my kids, which has been a great way to improve my skill, keep creativity alive & fresh, find some balance at the end of hectic days managing my kids' education and my work, and also to encourage my kids to be creative. We've also been taking walks around the neighborhood and, going the same places so often, have taken notice of the changes in nature as the seasons progress. As a result, I've been inspired to take a page from my kids' nature program and do a weekly "sit spot" in the same area in my yard and create a nature journal page of what I'm noticing that day. I think that could be a really fun record of the changes throughout the year to look back on. 2. I already use a similar style to the first journaler in the video with the boxes and partial boxes and text all around to note observations and questions, as well as a box with place, date, and weather information, so I plan to continue with that. I liked the color swatches another person included too. The last journal was inspiring with the regularity of the drawings (one each day or a month's worth at a time). I don't plan to journal that frequently and prefer more text with the drawings, but it was beautiful and I'd like to aspire to that level of illustration.
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      kelbrio
      Hi, I'm Kelly.  I read through many of the responses to the question and found that I share many of your interests. I love nature, especially birds.  I enjoy drawing and photography, and I keep travel journals to record my experiences. When I saw the course being offered, it felt like the right time to bring all my interests together and to express my outdoor experiences through a creative lens. I'm not sure what approaches I will take, but I am open to the process of dabbling to find what speaks to me. I can't wait to get started and see where this journey takes me!
    • Michele
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      uuandme2014
      fullsizeoutput_486 6/5/20.  Hello to Liz and All:  After I retired as a school social worker over 10 years ago, I decided to volunteer at a nature center.  I also took a sketching course at the East Lansing Community Center and got a wonderful teacher, Sharon Griffis Tarr.  Sharon invited me to take a weekend nature journaling class.  I was hooked.  I just finished my first book, but it took over 5 years.  I had never drawn before  but can attest to what a wonderful experience nature journaling has been.  You don't have to be a perfect artist but your artistic skills improve if you are inspired by nature journaling.  This class looks like the perfect opportunity to get out and appreciate nature, learn and have tons of fun.  I loved the idea of doing a monthly page of little thumbnails of nature around you.  For me, nature journaling imprints a lovely moment in my memory much better than a quick photo.  I look forward to every second I will spend in this class.  MLS
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        BirdShir
        Lovely story along with your lovely journal page. Thanks for sharing both.
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      patofvta
      6/4/2020  Hi! My name is Pat.  I recently retired 4/3/2020 and have from now to the rest of my life to do what I enjoy.  I have been a beginner birder for several years.  I am a watercolorist and photographer.  I remember how much better I see when I take the time to sketch the subject.  I had it on my bucket list to get more invloved in ebirds and this seemed like the perfect coarse.  It brings several areas of interest together and I am hoping will inspire my creativity, help me to better identify the species of birds, and provide a journal of my adventures. Pat
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      beckgard
      6/03/2020  This covid quarantine is lovely for us creative introverts.  I am lucky to be able to telework and my supervisor is encouraging me to explore some story telling projects that couple library research with artistic map making.  I work primarily on computer.  I am treating myself to this course as a way to disengage from technology and re-engage my skills as a draftsperson, artist, and observer.  I like the nature journaling format because there is no pressure to create a work of art (shiver) it allows for experiments, mistakes, and Growth! to happen. I will draw what presents itself.  My husband is retired and gardens and cooks and so there is amazing subject matter to draw right here in my own home.  We have two rat terriers who cavort and snuggle and will be wonderful models, plus we enjoy primitive camping, birding, and fishing and so I will incorporate some landscapes and observations from the wild in my journal too.  It will be a Life Journal. I appreciate seeing and hearing about the nature journals presented in the video.  The journalers could tell us so much about their observation; even the weird little wiggles had a story, thought, and attempt attached to it.  I do like the idea of setting a Rule for myself such as a drawing every day, or placing a box around my drawings...perhaps just starting with the date and location and weather!   Rebecca on her porch in NM: crickets chirping, wind calm, stars twinkling overhead, moths attacking my computer screen...better get drawing!
      • Caroline
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        benjaminboies
        Couldn't have said it better, Rebecca. I love that you said "creative introverts", and thank you for sharing your story.
    • laini
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Lainiforrester
      I have always been very interested in sketching and painting but I have never taken a class or learned from professionals. My grandfather is the one that pushed me out of my comfort zone to begin this course. He is one of the best artists I know. It is always good to get out and try new things. I'm hoping to learn a lot about myself and my abilities during this class. I was very drawn to the first journaling style due to the organization of her pages yet fullness. All her pages were very detailed so she could look back and be able to tell exactly what she was doing and looking at. That's what I hope to achieve in my journal. I do not have any different journaling styles to share but I hope to maybe create my own during this experience.
    • kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      kattykort
      My path to nature journaling has been a slow progression. I first starting birding about six years ago and for the past two years have dabbled in drawing. The first example of the journals really appealed to me because I always come back to the house and research what I have seen. It would be great to have a page dedicated to each subject, with research added to document my findings. Journal Class Notebook This is a sample from one of my birding journals
    • Heidi
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Meierdvm
      49A40457-2AEE-4A81-85E5-F690F3A27A95
    • Heidi
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Meierdvm
      I am very excited about this course. I have been doing independent nature journaling for a couple of years. John Muir Laws nature journaling was my inspiration. He has been a valuable resource for guiding me to look at nature more. My goal is to journal daily, in or out of the field. I would like to add more maps with keys, more drawing, more scientific data analysis, plots, and charts. I tend to just write and bullet things I’ve seen. But, transforming this into imagery would be great. I maintain several logs for bird migration, bird species count, butterfly, dragonfly, damselfly, beetle, frog/ toad, and wildflower on either a daily, weekly or when noticed in nature. Nature grounds me. I get so excited when I see seasonal migrants/ flowers and enjoy logging all my findings.
    • Joanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      JoannaLovett
      My goal is not the end product but the doing. To be free to experiment and learn new things. Change/not to be afraid to  make mistakes. Sometimes I know this will mean going a little too far, but how will I know if I don't try. Commiting to this I know , whatever the outcome,  that I will be giving myself the gift of seeing - something that happens every time I allow the time for a regular practice of drawing. I will begin to really see  all the wonderous details in everthing I see - throughout the whole day. Can't wait, and so encouraging to see the other journals and read the other comments of people on the journey too! thank you! Joanna
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        BirdShir
        Hi Joanna, I like your thinking. I feel a bit the same way. I feel perfection strains my creativity and natural ability to sketch what I see. If I wanted perfect, I would just take a photo or find a perfect with Google and print it. I find one wrong line is not the end of the world and is the beginning of my creativity of really making a sketch my own. Sounds crazy I guess but that is me. I am sketching and drawing so many other projects and things along the way slowing my course to make certain I am learning to apply the concepts as I go along. I am a bit farther along in the course than you as started a good while back. Right now I am to the adding color part and have really taken a break from the class just to try out watercolors and brushes I already have - I am finding them quite nice. I had never thought of sketching out my pic first and then adding watercolors. I had always just thought you created with the brush. I drew three intricate roses yesterday and instead of the usual colored pencils, I used watercolors. It went quite well ---hahaha...until I got to the background which I suspect I was supposed to have done a wash first before painting anything else. I flubbed it but that is okay....I scanned before adding color so I can do it again if I so desire. Probably not, though. Will just sketch a different kind of flower and give it another try. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I really think you are going to be very successful - remembering it's not about perfection but the experience. I like that! Sketch Flower Rose Last Day Of May Loves Watercolor
    • Carol & Shirley
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      birdykes
      A6AB62CF-0C6E-40EA-8A18-FEC4B1CD1FB2
    • Shirley
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      sandrews2525
      I love capturing the beauty of nature.  It's important to me to record the details.  It helps me to relive the experience.  Writing in a journal is a way to connect to nature.  Viewing other's journals have greatly inspired me.  I began tracing leaves and soon learned the identification. I tend to do more writing then drawing because I'm not a great artist but would like to learn to draw more and add color. The tracing of the leaves helped me put size into perspective.  I filled in the veins by hand, added color to some.  That was an encouraging way for me to do something that looked nice without drawing the full object.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      NancyChew
      1. I took an introductory art course a couple years ago and learned the basics of drawing and painting but have only done a little bit of painting since I completed the course. I feel painting in a journal may be less intimidating than a stand alone painting. Also, I started birding a little while ago and would like to be able to keep a journal about what I see -- not just the birds but also plants and other animals I may see. Nature journaling seems like the perfect opportunity to allow me to practice drawing and watercolour painting and improve my observational skill. 2. I want to try the combination of drawings, in a box,  and journaling about the experience or observation.I like the structure of having the date, time, place and weather in a small box in the top right corner. I want to try the idea of showing a magnification to show more detail.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      sarahklo
      I'm inspired to begin nature journaling because the drawings I have made that I really liked in the past have been of nature--particularly a few good bird drawings done from taxidermied specimens, when I took an ornithology course in college. I'd like to practice doing it more, practice drawing from life more, and mix it with the kind of idea gathering journaling that I use to inspire writing. I find that the style I like best is one that intersperses plenty of textual record with drawings, and I really loved the examples with boxes drawn around the artwork after the fact. I expect that I will be doing quite a lot of backyard birds and plants. I want to think about how to use a fountain pen or two in journaling, because I've seen writer friends do that in ways I would love to try out.
    • Sally
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      sally19
      Hi, my name is Sally. I really enjoyed watching the videos of the different journaling methods. I would like to start my journaling with date time and weather. I like the insert boxes that show magnified parts of the drawings. I will be using watercolor to begin with and I would like to use a nice script done in a very fine pen. I am a bit of an organised person so I am sure I wont be happy with my journal until I have a method of setting it out. I will probably use loose paper or another pad to jot things down in and to catch my rough drawing then tidy up in my art studio into a more permanent journal. That is just me.  I love nature and can think of no better way of enjoying it than to start a nature journal. I am always taking photos but in doing this I have noticed that I am actually missing out on really seeing the things that I photograph.  I never even knew that nature journaling existed until quite recently and I was thrilled with the idea of making one. What a wonderful way to enhance memories of thing that we see. I am very happy to begin this course.
    • Caroline
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      cwparks
      Hi, my name is Caroline. I bought this course as a birthday/retirement gift to myself! My retirement plan is to live and travel full-time in an RV and to develop my creativity and my ability to express what I'm experiencing in nature. I haven't done a lot of drawing in my life, and I've never really experimented with watercolor or colored pencils, so I'm really looking forward to exploring all these different techniques in the course. I really resonated with the way Jewel used her journal as a memento and a way to share her experiences with others. Also, one of my goals is to learn to distinguish the various colors in what I'm looking at, and to be able to represent those colors in my art, so including the color swatches on the pages appealed to me.
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        BirdShir
        Hi Caroline, Congratulations on your retirement. I wish you joy and many adventures on your RV tour and look forward to hearing or reading some of your exciting journal entries. Thanks for sharing.
    • Duane
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Purepenguin
      Hello Everyone, my name is Duane. I have to say Liz inspired me to begin this course. I am not sure how I came across the Bird Academy, but I started reading and watching the videos. I have been an artist all through out my life. I live in Alberta and love nature and all things found in it. Biggest part of my goal I have set out to achieve, is to enhance my drawing-painting skills with birds and nature. I have also never written a journal, I think this is fantastic. I feel this excitement to share this learning experience with everyone here.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lmosiecki1
      1. I was inspired to begin nature journaling because I have always loved birds and wildlife.  The last few years I have tried to be outside to get my "nature fix" at least once a day to relieve stress. I am trying to expand my skills with photography and watercolors, as well as remember the wonders that are outside.
    • Terry
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      livingsystems
      61196976038__52024A7F-08E9-4B22-8FFA-3E5CB8FD17EBHi my name is Terry and I took the course as a way to do something creative during the lockdown this summer and reconnect with my previous study of Goethean Science.
    • becky
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      bmeldorf
      Hi everyone my name is Becky. I have enjoyed reading the reasons others have enrolled in this course. I have kept written journals in the past, but I have never sketched or used water color to record the natural world around me. I’m hoping to acquire these skills.
    • Dale
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      DFarrar8
      I’ve always loved nature and have been taught by great uncles, grandmas and moms to see things that are hidden by slowing down observations. I love the idea of a scientific journaling habit that would also help me meditate. I’d like to try a journal with a couple of main pictures of the subject and smaller detailed “pop outs”. I think this would be most valuable to me if I write observations, behavior notes and a note about researched facts.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      kbarlow
      Currently, I paint wildlife from the photographs I take.  I would love to be able to quickly paint a sketch of what I see.  My block has been picking and choosing from all my tools in my studio...I cant take my studio with me, but can easily take a camera.  That has been my excuse.  My diary has kept the dates, location, weather, etc. for the photos I take.  The journal would do the same.
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      CPagel49
      I have been looking at this course for the last year.  I even bought all the materials and then did not enroll for a forgotten reason.  I just finished the beginning birding online class offered by this organization and after looking at birds in my neighborhood, came home and drew them.  My skill with watercolor is non-existent, so I decided to take this course to add splashes of color to my drawing and start taking my journal with me on my walks.  Social distancing has offered up opportunity for this kind of activity.  Walking alone gives me time to study things around me that I see every day but don't really look at.  I enjoyed all the journals and was thrilled to see that even with the different styles and abilities the results were so pleasant to me and so meaningful to the person creating the journal.  I look forward to starting.
      • Dale
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        DFarrar8
        Cheryl, I am thinking the same as you. My sketches are okay but I can really ruin them by adding watercolor. It makes me a bit nervous. I am doing this because of social distancing, too. I hope this journal can become more of a habit that I can look back at and enjoy.
      • Shir
        Participant
        Chirps: 29
        BirdShir

        @Dale Hi Dale, I have been wondering about that, too, re watercolor to my sketches. I usually scan my sketch before I add color as even with pencils sometimes color changes my sketch. I decided to print a couple of those and add watercolors. The sketches have detail of the feathering of wings, etc. but after adding the paints though they look nice, I have lost my feather detail. So am hoping to gain a bit of skill of how not to do that. Taking a breat from the instruction at present and as Liz asked us, just trying to get familiar with my watercolor and art supplies and play around with colors, etc. before continuing on to the next section. It has been fun so far.

    • Genevieve
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Meowwings
      I have always enjoyed being outdoors and learning about nature, but usually I was very active, hiking or biking. Now that I have small children we cover a lot less ground, and that gives us a chance to appreciate the details. I am interested in nature journaling for something to do while my kids are immersed in outdoor play and also to do with them as they develop the interest. There are so many wonderful nature apps (eBird!), but sometimes I find myself on my phone more than I like,  looking things up or taking pictures. Hopefully nature journaling will help me to stay present in the moment and also help model appreciation for nature for my children.
    • Rachel
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      racheldykeman
      I have always enjoyed drawing... it helps me to focus on details and to look closer at things. I am married to a knowledgable biologist/ ornithologist and we are both passionate about the outdoors and wildlife. I love recording our findings in my nature journal. I have been keeping a nature journal for a while now, but haven't focused on it lately and wanted to spark a little life into my artistic pursuits again.   I'm also hoping to improve my drawing skills, in order to draw more realistically.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      maryer
      I have been a lazy journaler and now have time and space to invest in paying attention to the beauty around me. I am fascinated by the little brown birds in the backyard feeders. I want to get close, to somehow capture who they are. Nature journaling as a creative discipline seems like the perfect solution!
    • ANDREA
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      barnea2
      I'm really going out on a limb here (pun intended) trying this nature journaling. My main goal is to enjoy the process and be satisfied with what I can do, not what I think I "should" be able to do. I really love the beauty of nature in all its forms and hope to be able to capture some of that beauty on the page.
    • radha
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      radhamoorthy
      I have a large back garden that I am trying to cultivate and grow.  In the past I was not particularly interested in gardening, although I grew up in a family with keen gardeners.  The past two years I have taken to gardening and it has become a labor of love.  I have watched the garden grow and change.  I am observing all the flowers, vegetables, berries, insects, birds and animals in the garden.  I want to record what I observe in a creative way and in a more conscious and active way.  Presently, I take a lot of pictures with my phone.  I like the time, location and weather stamping method.  I also like the boxes around my drawings.  I am hoping to be organized in my journaling, I am not particularly organized so that should be interesting.
    • Adella
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      adellamarie
      1. Hi my name is Adella. I love nature and watching behaviors of birds, enjoy plants, watching insects/butterfly.  I live in Florida and love the subtle change in seasons.  I love looking in bird field guides.  Love the photos and admire the detailed drawings.  I like helping with citizen science projects.  I never thought of nature journaling, but a friend of mine gave me the idea.  I do not have a talent for drawing, but would like to give it a try. 2. My favorite is Holly Faulkner.  I like the way she presented her pages representing each month.  I liked D.J. McNeill's sketches. I liked Liz journal.  It reminded me of the way a children's book is layed out. I would like to try a combination of my favorites. 3. Not at this time.
    • Cathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      biocrt
      1.  I have always wanted to nature journal but never believed I could draw anything that would ever be recognizable to me let alone anyone else.  I, therefore, took up photography and have used it to create shutterfly books of memories of all my international trips.  But with Covid 19 and more time as well as no options to take my next international trip I thought this is a great time to try and develop this skill to add to the word journals I do when I travel. 2.   I want to mix my words with my drawings and then add in the background I can look up when I get back inside if I don't happen to know that background already. 3. Not yet but I think the more I journal the more personal the style will become.
    • Andrienne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Duranella
      I am Andrienne. I have been doing nature journaling or at least nature drawing for many years. I have an associate of arts degree in studio art from Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, MA,  and I have also studied art at many other places. I am not  a professional artist really but I regard art as my avocation. I call myself a civic artist, by which I mean I participate in local events in Fitchburg, MA where I live, which invite artists to draw scenes of Fitchburg. And the works are later displayed in a public place. What inspired me to do nature drawing is that I love gardening and I enjoy bird watching and watching squirrels and whatever other wild animals come into my back yard— yes, even skunks. I have taken nature drawing classes at Tower Hill Botanic Gardens in Boylston, MA. So when I saw this class offered by Cornell School of Ornithology, I just naturally signed up for it. Of the different artists who showed their journals in this first lesson, I really liked the journals of Shayna Muller and Holly Faulkner the best. I like the way they interwove their comments with their drawings and especially the way Shayna drew rectangles around her drawings in a way that seemed to create unity, but I derived some inspiration from the other artists as well.
    • Henrietta
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      hmdahlstrom
      I'd begun nature journaling before this pandemic, but rather haphazardly, with no real plan or schedule.  Several friends were doing it, and encouraged me.  I watched a number of John Muir Laws videos and really liked his approach.  Now that I have more time I decided to take this Bird Academy course to encourage myself to sketch every day.  I've been walking in the woods near my house every day for the past weeks, recording the birds I see and especially noting the new ones arriving as they rest during their migration.  So since I'm outside already, I'd like to use some of the time to sketch in my journal.  I also have a small journal where I've been sketching all the different warblers, noting their markings in hopes to learn them better, but I'm doing all this from books.  Now I want to be able to draw directly from what I see outside.  Gesture drawings are something I really want to practice and get better at.  I like the combination of drawings with written observations and questions.
    • Priscilla
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Priscilla Taylor-Williams
      Like many of the folks who responded I have joined this class during Covid-19; a nature journal seems like a good way to really be in the world and present to it, while still social distancing. The idea of sharing my observations feels challenging and yet absolutely critical as a way to reach out to others; a way to share the world. Since I retired about 4 years ago I revived my interest in describing the natural world and asking questions about my observations. At that time I began to learn to draw and work with watercolors as well. It seems natural to join learning words to describe what I see (from natural history and gardening) and drawing. I suspect putting both words and art to a page will help me "see" much more. All of the journals in the video gave me ideas for my own journal as did the beautiful examples of other respondents. Having tried to journal before I will be loose about the when of my observations-so the idea of a month of contributions and a record of how things change in the month will work well I think. I like the idea of boxing images and key ideas after writing/drawing. One of the things I loved from the videos was that people went back over their experience of drawing and observing and gained new insights. I would like to take a page each month for a reflection on what I have already drawn or written. I loved the description of what the spider was doing and liked the idea of adding specific notations on behavior where possible. The journalists seemed to both work out the colors and "how to draw" along with how to observe and what to observe. This is exactly the juxtaposition of art and science I would like to try out in a journal.
      • Laurie
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Laurie HGibb
        I enjoyed reading your note.  I, too, am trying to find ways to get out of my house in socially distancing ways.  I usually love camping but am not sure how that will be possible at this time, especially in more natural areas.  I've decided to begin right where I am, in my tiny back yard.  I have a feeder and want to try to use the quick sketches of birds to show behavior and posture.  Also, I suddenly have two baby squirrels coming often.  I think I've always taken them for granted.  But as I watch them I see how delightful they can be.  I want to try to do quick sketches to capture some of their antics.  As flowers bloom I want to do sketches with dates as a way to keep track of what's happening.  With climate changes I can see doing this over the years as a way to document changes.  Hopefully, I'll get to be in nature and can do more "wild" living things.  I've made some attempts in past but would like to be more intentional and consistent about my nature journalling.
    • kitten
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      starkap
      I love being in nature.  I try to  catch as many specifics in my surroundings.  I also love feeding & watching birds.  I saw the course offered on the Cornell site & thought it would be a good way to learn more about my surroundings. I am retired & started journaling about my daily activities, thoughts, feelings ... I also took a watercolor class at my local Art Museum school & I thought the combination of nature journaling made sense. All of the journals were unique & interesting—I really liked the organization of Shayna’s, her use to study with it. I really want to try the idea of a daily or monthly journal os sketches, observations, & specifics/details of what I see. I do not have a specific idea for my journal yet—that will come.
    • Maria
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      mariacordell
      1. I’ve been doing some drawing and painting for fun, and have even taken a painting class, and nature journaling seemed like a great way to combine the fun of drawing with really paying attention to nature and capturing (or attempting to, at least) its beauty in a really personal way. 2. All are really interesting. I liked the inset/boxed-in images approach, and also the attempt to draw one thing per day (though that would be really challenging!). I’m sure I’ll end up with some mix of all these approaches, and it’s probably good to vary and try different things, too. 3. Not yet, but I’m sure I’ll end up with my own style at some point.
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 43
      CBMac7
      1. I've always loved being outside in nature, exploring, hiking, listening to the sounds of nature, enjoying the smells & sights, as a child, with my parents & grandparents. Nature journaling will finally give me an organized place to keep all the memories & older items, (pebbles, dried leaves, twigs, & the old feathers of birds), that my parents and I would watch for. 2. I think that I will be inspired by Shayna Miller (use the boxes for the drawings), Jewel Alston (add a watercolor key to some of my drawings), D.J. McNeil (use simple behavior drawings), & Holly Faulkner mostly (incorporate a monthly drawing, using both watercolors & pencil), but I've learned lots from all the journalists. 3. Surprisedly I do. I live on a 5-acre parcel of land that is bordered by my husband's family farm on 3 sides & the National Forest on the 4th. I grow lots of Native flowers & trees and I have pressed flowers, petals, & leaves that I hope to add some 3 dimensional texture to my journaling pages.
    • Carolyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Carolyn Albright
      1. My daughter inspired me to begin nature journaling. She and I share a love of birding, and she told me that nature journaling was awakening her creative side. I also feel that "nudge," so I signed up for the class. We live on 38 acres of wooded property. 2. I would like to use my nature journal as a record of observed species, and to practice my drawing/watercolor techniques. It will be fun to review my journals and notice seasonal patterns. 3. I might also record how I am feeling about the animals/plant life/fungi I'm observing/drawing. Being out in nature is a stress reliever for me.
    • Carree
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      TytoFurcata
      I really like Shayna's use of the boxes to separate the images from the text in an elegant manner.
    • Sally
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mandosally
      Enduring the Covid-19 pandemic, I've been trying to find ways to be creative during my time at home. Last month (April), I wrote a song (or sometimes a "song-let") each day. This month, I decided to sketch daily. I have a wonderful book on nature journaling (John Muir Laws' guide to nature journaling) and I'd signed up for this course awhile back, so I thought this beautiful spring morning, May 2, 2020, was a wonderful day to start my next 30-day challenge. I took my sketchbook outdoors and observed a few things in my backyard. I'm looking forward to the days ahead, learning and practicing and, hopefully, developing a good habit.20200502_NatureJournal
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Jennifer63
      I have a keen interest in nature and spend many hours alone enjoying the woods near my home.    I do not have any art experience at all but wanted to explore that side of myself.   This course seemed like a good way to combine my interests. I really like the idea of a monthly page in my journal.     Where I live is very seasonal and it would be fun to capture the monthly rhythms with art.    We’ll see how it goes!  Jenny
    • Geri
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      cooperhawk2
      I just joined today (April 30th) and haven't read through all the replies but empathize with us all for reaching out for focus, art, and observation.    I am an avid bird watcher, sometime artist (when I don't get distracted) and garden person.  I enjoyed all the journals - about how they can be a process, don't have to be a final product, can be focused on shape and pattern (D.J.), beautifully rendered(Holly), enthusiastic about color and shadow (Blue Footed Boobies and rocks - William), organized and synergistic with illustration and writing observations(Jayna), and observing and playing with color and palettes (Jewell).  I also liked Margaret's pondering about the hummingbird and stages of observation.  Onward! Geri
    • Quentin
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      CaribouQ
      For one sketching is just cool. I really like looking at other people's sketchbook. I teach and absolutely love having students practice their sketching skills. Of course, many think they cannot draw and once I get them started, I am always amazed at what they end up doing. I am convinced this is a healthy exercise not only for the study of natural sciences, but also to keep balance in our fast-paced world. Journaling is an obvious bridge between art and science. I want to improve my observation skills and eye/mind/hand coordination to represent on paper what I see. Choosing one journal was really difficult. I like Jewel's humbleness, Margaret's study of hummingbirds, and Holly's determination all stick out. I overall preferred D.J.'s spider entry. His taking the time to properly observe behaviour and sketching it is closer to what I want to accomplish.
    • Kayla
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      wagn0562
      Journaling my thoughts and feelings have always been therapeutic for me. Due to COVID-19, I decided to finally decided to try a new hobby: watercolor painting. This course seems like the perfect way to blend the two. I am a recent graduate of wildlife biology so I would love to use this practice to enhance my field skills and continue to be curious about nature. I liked Shayna Muller's and Holly Faulkner's journals. Many people have mentioned how Shayna used that zoom in approach, which is something I would like to try. I tend to become hung up on layout (blank pages can be intimidating). So I would like to jump in and make it more collage-like and random. Which brings me to my goals for this class. I get caught up in the notion that art needs to be perfect. My goal for this class would be to let go of all expectations and allow myself to feel the simple joy creation can bring.
      • ANDREA
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        barnea2
        Great plan! I too hope to let go of all expectations and allow myself to feel the joy of the process - not something I'm very good at, so this will be a challenge for me.
    • Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      odonnee6
      My friends and I decided to do this course together. This is great because it gives us incentive to stay on track. I have wanted to keep a nature journal for awhile but don't think I can draw that well. I am excited to try and I have come up with a goal which really excites me. My son and I have started beekeeping and I am an avid gardener. Now I am wondering what pollinates all various plants around me. I think it will be fun to observe my garden closely and find out the answers to this question. I like Shauna Muller's journal keeping style because she keeps information in a way I find attractive and logical.
    • Azurekat
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Azurekat
      I like the idea of putting similar thoughts on one page, expressing an idea on one page through these pictures rather than a making it a memory of a single trip or visit somewhere. I hope to use this type of journaling to gather and organize my thoughts, and perhaps to express sentiments. I know most people seem to be using this type of journaling to capture a memory, and maybe I'm way off mark, but that's my plan. I used to draw a lot when I was younger, and in recent years have tried some watercolor and acrylic but was really pretty lost about how to go about it. In the last few years, I have been working on my garden, planting natives and butterfly and pollinator plants. I have registered my garden as a Monarch Waystation, and a Pollinator Garden. I have had so many little visitors I was in awe! And now I want to capture my guests, my feelings, my little patch of the world through this journaling and maybe share it with the world. I hope this course will give me some direction and insight on how to make this a reality.
    • Nolan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      nolrich829
      Hi, my name is Nolan. I'm excited to begin nature journaling because it will be a fresh new way to express my love and fascination with the natural world. I enjoy birding and identifying plants, and I think journaling will enhance these activities. I like the first journaler's journal. I want to have a fun and creative fusion of drawings and text to help remind me of these experiences and for knowledge retention. I'm pretty stoked.
      • Azurekat
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        Azurekat
        Hey Nolan, I love bird and plant watching also, I just have such a terrible memory that once I identify something, I can never remember what it was and have to look it up constantly. I never remember. Maybe if I get good enough at this journaling, it might be a way to remember names and features of particular animals and plants. Thanks for the idea!
    • francisco
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      staffanell
      I have been retired from government service: case worker, case worker supervisor, probation officer, psychiatric social worker, and finally correction's counselor. I have been restoring my health for the past 5 years: I changed my diet.  I used to keep a large garden before I got ill.  I am looking forward to growing a small garden soon. Grew tomatoes, garlic and onions plus lettuce, carrots and peas. At this stage of my life a Journal will help me organize myself in preparation for the day that will surely come. thumbnail
    • Michael Kaproth
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mtk5
      1. To Journal like this allows me to revisit the trip, the experience, and those days. I am looking forward to using the combination of the scene and setting, the artistic details or subjects, and then adding notes and observations, or tiny maps, to be better able to conjure up the moment again. 2. The first impulse I have for a direction on a journal style: I think I would be adding pages to the journal as brief pencil and pen sketches with added notes, observations and speculations. I will try to add watercolors of special images, or do color swatches to remember images.  Jayna's description of zooming in for a detail or a color swatch sounds interesting, and will be tried first.
    • Stacey
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      S E Wilson
      Inspiration: I have alway been a keen observer of nature but have never tried recording what I see artistically--I can see where this would be very helpful in learning species--plants, animals, insects etc...I was interested in the course previously...now with some extra time at home ( there is only so much Netflix one can watch...), I decided to take advantage of the generous free offer and give it a try. Journal Style: All the journals were beautiful and interesting...I really liked the idea of using a "zoom" image for details..I liked the including the date, time, weather, location idea...I like including both observations in detail, quotes, and images--I also like the idea of organizing some pages with boxes  while others may be more free formed... Journalling Ideas...I have played with art journalling a little, I may also add some other paper cuttings or images into the nature journal.
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      LauraStovel
      1. What inspired me: Lately, during the COVID 19 epidemic, I have been going into the nearby forest alone and observing, drawing and journaling. I was amazed at what I was learning just by paying attention. I also started to sketch the birds I was seeing, memorizing what they looked like, then returning home to identify them, learn their songs, and sketch them from photos.  I want to continue this rewarding habit and sketch more and more directly from nature.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      jirwinromo
      I saw this course on the website and gifted it to my sister (free!) then decided to buy one for myself. I never had art in school - all music and books for me! But I took a water color class at a community center decades ago, before marriage and kids, and now have some time to try it again. My mother instilled in my family a love of nature and the outdoors. She passed away last year at about this time. Thinking of her and now having to slow down with Covid-19 restrictions have inspired me to give this a try. Without being able to travel, I think it’s time to appreciate the environment I have the privilege of living in, the northern suburbs of Chicago close to Lake Michigan. The elements of the journal examples I think I could re-create are the notes and info on place, time, weather, etc. Some of the talented artwork will be daunting! I am still waiting for my art supplies to be delivered - purchased online, I guess they aren’t an essential service. It will be fun to get those paints out!
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      SusanBallard
      This course is a gift from my children and their spouses for my 65th birthday. My family knows of my love for all things nature (especially birds) and the course will help me capture memories and the wonder of nature. I want to leave a journal & sketches for my family to enjoy.
      • Cathe
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        cchatter55
        Happy medicare birthday! Mine was also a gift from my biologist son for my 65th birthday. I am looking forward to this journey!
    • Kimberly
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      kcollingwood
      I have wanted to take this course for awhile, but I am a very busy teacher of 8th grade and college.  I finally have the time to do it!  I also have some burrowing owls across the street from me who always have their babies in May, so I thought I could capture some of their antics.  I really liked the monthly journal or the journals from trips that people made.
    • Les
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      Lesbrandt
      My inspiration for taking this course is my lifelong love of nature and a desire to learn to draw and record what I see. I think I was born with that desire but it was put on hold many decades ago when I was nine or ten and I was trying to draw a deer jumping across a log. My teacher looked over my shoulder and told me I shouldn't try to do that anymore because I couldn't. So I have motivation!  I also want to use what I learn to show young people all the things there are to appreciate in the outdoors and that drawing and painting does not have to be frightening and intimidating.  Love the ideas on how to compose pages and information, and to look at my journal as an experiment, not as something that will be judged, not by me or anyong else. I want to learn and have fun.
    • Amanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      agaskin
      Watching my daughter take her online art lesson at home due to Covid has reminded me that hey, I used to do that.  I had many wonderful art teachers over the years in public schools but over time, I stopped creating with pencil and paper.  I have never stopped making some kind of art; it just hasn't been on paper.  I do sew creatively.  For example, I make my kids' Halloween costumes, quilt, and do all kinds of needlework (embroidery, cross-stitch).  My oldest son and I are both into nature photography and we take mostly bird photographs.  Recently, I took up ceramics but that is on hold now due to Covid.  Animals have always been a large part of my life as pets and as subjects for observation.  I volunteer as a naturalist for a local Audubon Society and that has rekindled my love of bird-watching which I have alway participated into some degree but there have been highs and lows to that.  I guess I have a bit of short attention span and like to try new things!  Yesterday, my son and I participated in backyard bird count with our local Audubon Society and we counted 22 species.  Not bad for not leaving the house!  We were supposed to go to Peru and the Galapagos this summer.  That may now be on hold.  Regardless, I would like to try my hand at depicting some of the nature I see at home and perhaps in these wonderful wild places.
    • subadult
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      subadultwheatears
      1.) I've been drawing for as long as I could hold a pencil, and I've loved being outside, but I never really connected those two things entirely as a kid. I've been wanting to become a better nature journalist but haven't had time will being a student. These journals (and journals I've seen on social media) have inspired me! 2.) I like the idea of creating bounded boxes for works. I struggle with space and placement when journaling, and I like the look of the boxes. I think it will work! My work has often been an afterthought of birding. I predominately work in colored pencil which is difficult, if not impossible, work do in the field. I'm hoping this course will help me branch out of my comfort zone and explore my home with COVID rages on. mecklenburg
    • Kirsten
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      kirstenlissa
      I’m a Texas Master Naturalist and love exploring and learning about our beautiful world. I also started water coloring local flora and fauna during the recent quarantine. It’s been such an enjoyable experience so I wanted to learn more.  I thought I could incorporate it through my volunteering as a Master Naturalist but also to keep record of my experiences and travels (I lead global insider trips, but those are all cancelled right now). I most resonated with the first and last nature journals in the video. I loved the mix of watercolor, sketches, and blocking with details. The last one was just beautiful and inspiring more as an artistic approach to nature journaling. Looking forward to this course. Thank you!
    • cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      c.e.anderson
      This course is my gift to myself as part of a year of learning to celebrate a big birthday. I hope that once it becomes easier to travel again as COVID wanes, I will have had practice in my yard and neighborhood and can sketch as I explore new places. I am trained as a landscape architect and look forward to developing interpretation and representation skills that I really never grasped in school. The journals where impressions and experiences are recorded in little vignettes and text really appeal to me. I am awed by the beauty of the sketch a day/page a month journal, but also took valuable lessons from the fact that many journalers had drawings that were interrupted. One of the approaches that I think I'll adopt is capturing the colors present in swatches - even if I didn't get everything thought through on paper, those colors would help spark memories. For me, I hope to make my journal a collection of memory triggers that brings me back to the experience of the place and time.
    • Marjolaine
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      MergeMerge
      1- I have developed an interest for birds in the past few years and sometimes I sketch them on the field to document my observations and identify the birds back home. So I have actually been journaling without really acknowledging it... But the drawings I have done so far are awfull!! I hope to get better at drawing my observations after doing this course. (a photo of my horrible drawings attached) C56196E5-034B-4887-96ED-31FC495DF1B3 2- I am also very curious about the vegetation that I find in the woods and I usually use photography to keep the memory of it. But I love the idea of drawing it instead. For this purpose, the first journal presented in this video is the model I would use to start. A square around the drawing and lots of notes. I like the scientific approach of it. (I attached a screen capture of my Instagram page on which I post my nature photography under the name 1xparjour) ACC23E7F-72E7-4EDD-BBC8-4BE3019EFC0D 3- I would like to start a herbarium as well, maybe as a side project to pair with my journal.
    • Christa
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Christa Dillabaugh
      I've been wanting to improve my field notes and field sketching for years and this course came to my attention when I was in the Amazon rainforest in March.  Two of my fellow travelers were enrolled in the course and their journals were amazing.  I really like filling a page with a balance of notes and sketches in a blended sort of way.  Not too formal and not to loose.  Excited to get started!
    • Dora
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      DoraZarzavatsaki
      I am a nature photographer. I have been occasionally journaling in the past. I find exciting to capture the mood and impressions of a day's exploration in nature. I would like to include material from journaling to nature books and exhibitions. Drawing feels to me is like a meditation. The sense of time is other.
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Blueskyberg1
      A friend gifted this course to me after we spent time in Maine tracking lynx.  What a sweetie! Each afternoon, I would come back to our cabin and I would write down my observations for the day.  No sketches during the day, because of the cold.  I would like to spend more time journaling outdoors, as I usually take a photo and then get to painting it later. I want to slow down, notice the details and describe them. Be present to the moment and capture it quickly. I also want to notice how I feel when I am out there, what messages come to me.  What else do I notice while I sit there using my senses.  Like what birds did I hear or see while I was sitting drawing skunk cabbage.  Maybe a poem will come, or just a little phrase.  I like the idea that the drawing will help me remember the moment, but I also want to notice how I feel and to record that.
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jmheldenbrand
      I want to move from the thinking about creating a nature journal to the actual work of journaling. I've dabbled here and there, but didn't always get the results in my drawings that I wanted. I so enjoy closely observing the world around me, it seems nature journaling would be a natural fit.  Observing the work of these journalists, I found bits and pieces from each journalist that I'd like to try - Shayna's drawing causes thinking causes writing cycle and her "zoom in" sections in her drawings, Jewel's it doesn't have to be perfect, but feels like a sacred text, William's picture on one page, text facing page, Margaret's easy style of pencil with multiple attempts to go after the details she wanted to portray, D.J.'s concentration on impressions and behaviors, Holly's lesson to use smaller brushes to get the details she wanted with water colors, and Liz's combination of large scale using contour, and intimate scale using details.  Liz's style is most natural for the approach that I'd like to take with my journal.  I like the way images and text enveloped each other. She has a way of capturing the essence of the day or experience.  Hannah Hinchman's journaling style is another one that I enjoy.
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      JHMason
      A peer in my Master Naturalist chapter suggested this class.  I want to become much better at sketching.  Also, I'm hopeful that the close observation sketching requires will translate into helping me identify plants more easily.  Also, I've never used water colors (although I paint with oils), so I'm excited to try a new medium. I really like the idea of recording the date, location, time of day, and subject of each sketch.
    • Dorothea
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      dsotiros
      I am eager to learn to identify more critters, and I am sure nature journaling will be a big help. And I have always wanted to spend more time drawing. I want to use my nature journal in the field to help capture memorable sights.
    • Lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      lisamac88
      • My daughter was kind enough to give the course to me as a gift; however, I completed my first watercolor class at a local community college this past fall, and we share a love of birds and the great outdoors making the gift not only thoughtful and appropriate but timely as well during COVID-19.
      • I appreciated all of the journalers' styles but was particularly struck by Shayna Miller's and Holly Faulkner's journals. I gravitate toward outlining my art in black as in Shayna's journal, but I also love the crisp, artistic quality of Holly's pages. With that said, I also think something could be gained and used from each of the journalers' styles.
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      kballantyne
      Like many others I decided to pick up this course while I'm sheltering in place because of COVID-19.  I drew so much as a kid and it's a habit I have been trying to re-establish for years. I'm an avid birder and nature lover so I figured this was a good way to merge several things I enjoy.  I really liked the example of the journaler who had the daily and then monthly spread.  Daily is definitely too ambitious for me but filling a page per month seems doable.
    • Stefania
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Stefiex22
      1. The fact that I wanted to connect with the nature in a creative way.  I am a lecturer on Innovation and Creativity and the recent radical change has given me time to reflect upon my life and to plan to write a book. 2. I have noticed that everyone has a structured way of journaling. All of them have changed their styles during the learning process. Clarity needs time. 3. I like taking photographs, I would like to add them too.
    • Gena
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      genathompson
      This course was a gift from a friend during this COVID life that we are living. I was inspired to begin nature journaling because I have always enjoyed watching animals. I am an elementary teacher. Trying to get my students to try something, even though it seemed so foreign to them, has always been a challenge. Understanding that, made me realize that even though this course is a challenge, it should be something that I try because I have this interest in drawing and nature even though I also have a belief that I can't do it! I liked the journal that used more shapes to talk about how to draw. My college art professor taught the same way. It was the first time in my life that I could actually get something on paper that was remotely identifiable! She talked about using lines and shapes for everything that we are attempting to draw. I also like the journals that included writing about what they saw. I think this will help with the journaling by adding a hook into the memories of that day. I am so excited to try nature journaling!
    • Bonnie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      PierceCC
      I love being outdoors and am an avid birder and although I have made a couple of brief attempts of self expression related to the natural world, I never pursued it.  After documenting my goals for this course and thinking about the approaches I appreciated in the journals we saw, I realized I have a lot of ideas but they go in many directions.  I'm looking forward to see where in the world this course takes me.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      archr1
      I am a longtime nature observer and lover, and a retired cartographer. And I keep a personal daily diary, so I am practiced at writing. Before my hand began to shake, I could draw straight lines with ease but although I have dabbled in drawing and painting ... I have animal painting in my family heritage ... I do not feel confident of my ability to capture natural forms. This course will help me to turn my observations of nature into a record and I hope to learn to create simple drawings and paintings. I liked Shayna’s style for its combo of text/thoughts with image and I thought it was very rich in ideas in both elements and they were successfully integrated on the pages. I would like to emulate that. I purchased the course some weeks ago but have been waiting for spring. It is still a little chilly outdoors but as everything else is on hold while we isolate, this seems a good moment to start. I have been collecting “earth treasures” for many years and I am wondering if it will be possible to include some bits in the journal ... they would need to be flat, pressed leaves or flowers or perhaps spores or feathers, little bits of reality alongside artifice.
    • Chad
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ChChad
      <p style="text-align: left;">Started getting serious about birding this year, but have always love the outdoors, whether it's hiking, fishing, or bird watching.  I've also flirted with art on and off over the years and even went to college for it, LOL. I think it would be cool to combine the two and create some lasting memories, but I'd also like to work on cleaning up my style a bit and doing more realistic illustrations. I liked D.J.'s simple pencil drawings and Holly's clean, isolated subjects the best. My wife surprised me with this course for my birthday. Pretty excited to get started. I should be working. (shhhh!)</p> cardinalnewttree-study
    • Bonny
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      OvertheRainbow
      Just as I was bemoaning how poor I am at drawing and beating myself up because its so hard for me to identify birds, a beautiful huge bird flew by and came close enough that I could clearly see he was a bald eagle. I think maybe he winked at me.  Greetings to other COVID shelterers.
    • Lena
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      lena.gibson
      I enjoy sketching stuffed birds at the Slater Museum of Natural History. I also enjoy sketching flowers from my yard. This seems like a good way to pursue these interests. I have had a life long interest in sketching and I have plenty of art materials. The idea of adding the writing is new to me but seems useful.
    • Amie
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      windflower3
      My sketches tend to be from photos and I always feel the need for them to be perfect. Although I have always loved art this need for perfection leads to it being stressful.  So,  I have decided to put these goals on the inside cover if my sketchbook. Perfection isn't necessary,  just relax and enjoy. Draw what I actually see, not what I think I know. Learn more by taking time to really see and then research later. Record so I can be reminded of God's beautiful creations and happy moments.
    • Cory
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      CorShaw
      1. When I bird I always have a camera, sometimes I think I miss out on experiencing the bird and the other birders because I'm focused on taking a picture.  Slowing down and really looking at the birds and the landscape is something I'm looking forward to. 2. All the journals were so different, it was good to see them and have the person tell you what they were thinking and what they captured with their sketch.
    • Dorothea
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      dsotiros
      I am working on a naturalist training course, and I want to be able to draw my observations to help me remember and learn more about them, and because drawing can be go gratifying! So I will be using my journal on outdoor outings.
    • Julie
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      geekscruff
      I liked the style of the first one, that felt quite me, but I also like the bird drawings which focussed on capturing specific details rather than the whole bird. I started birdwatching around 18 months ago, as something to do on dog walks, and I quickly started to notice a lot more than just birds by slowing down and spending time looking - I'm seeing insects, butterflies and plants that I have walked past a thousand times, but never notices. And a few months ago I started drawing birds that I'd seen, once I got home, or just birds from pictures online. And I'm really enjoying both, so combing the two into nature journalling really appealed to me.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      birdloverone
      Holly's colour filled pages appeal to me as well as her determination to produce something daily. I need this inspiration to help me reach my goals. Saturday, April 11, 2020 (Covid days in our world)
    • Auwal
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lugga001
      I was inspired to start nature journaling in order to share my views as well as inspire others on the beauty of the mother nature. I like the journal by Shayna Muller the most. Also, I am motivated by Margaret Corbit that I could be a better nature journalist with time.
    • Alicia
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Aliciatrow
      I've just recently started drawing again after not really doing any art since high school. I'm working from home with my two daughters, and we are doing this course alongside my boyfriend's mother (who is an amazing artist and person). I am hoping to become better at sketching live things versus drawing from an image, and I am also looking for my daughters to gain a deeper connection to nature and the world outside around them. One of my daughters wants to be a game warden or work in nature somehow so this is right up her alley. We all love to hike and take walks through the woods, so perhaps this will help us slow down and really take in everything around us.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      walkingwoman
      I enjoyed seeing and listening to each person's approach, style and comments on their process.   I also liked the tips on how to draw using shapes to illustrate birds.  I plan to use the drawing/watercolor  first with observations on the same page , making my own type of field guide.  I also like the the idea of the daily monthly approach for a possible future project. I am inspired to get started.
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      carolrasowsky
      Tried to attach this
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      carolrasowsky
      I first saw this course last fall, and experimented for a few weeks with nature journaling on my own. But with so much free time during this strange “new reality”, I gave myself the gift of registering for the class – and am so glad that I did! What an inspiration! What a treasure you have created with this course... So much information and so many valuable ideas. Thank you for including the discussion board, and for allowing all of these resources to be available at any time.  I’ve been blogging about birds and nature for 6 years, and am hoping the structure of this course will help me transition to more journaling as well. My goal is to gain the motivation to make nature journaling a consistent habit. Tried to attach one of my early nature journal pages from last fall, but it didn’t work :)
    • Line
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Bline65
      I enjoyed keeping field notebooks in university. I'm hoping to combine my interest in science and love of drawing , I'm keen to add color to my journals, and to develop a journaling habit. I like the idea of showing a larger image of place combined with more focused (smaller?) studies. Now that I am so much at home, it seems like a great opportunity to start this, even if its just in the yard.
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lbfawks1
      I began a nature journal several years ago, but never got into the habit and stopped sketching. I miss it and really want to get into it again. During this stressful time of social distancing, I think meditating on the beauty of nature is exactly what I need to feel more positive. I was really blown away by all the journals! I will be incorporating elements of all of them I'm sure, such as "zooming in," focusing on shapes to help with my sketches, dabbling in color, etc. In the past, I liked to focus on sensory descriptions such as hearing and touch, rather than just focus on the visual.
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Winter Owls
      I've found myself for years, stopping on walks to look at bark, fungi and other bits of nature that are easy to miss. I've taken photographs which I've later sketched, but I love the idea of recording extra information in a journal, where, when, how, why etc. I looked at this course for several months but now having been stood down from work due to Covid-19, I have time to do it and really immerse myself in it. I find drawing very stress relieving and it's really helping smooth the edge of anxiety about the current sad situation. I teach art to adults with mild intellectual disabilities. Just before we got shut down, I had introduced them to nature journaling, which they really loved. I'm hoping to send them home a package so that they can continue their journals at home until we can see each other again. I think it will be a lovely activity to compare our journals when we return. I loved looking at all of the journals and will probably take bits and pieces from all of them. I'm also thinking of having some theme pages, such as mushrooms or feathers not all found on the same day, but dated as I find them.
    • Tracy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      bmadison
      I have, in my adult life, been doing some sort of nature journaling in each of our 35 family trips (my late husband, my two daughters and a variety of friends) to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on the Minnesota border with Canada. Since completing the Master Naturalist class offered by the University of Wisconsin Extension over two years ago I as motivated to become a regular chronicler of the world around me which is rural at my home about 25 miles northwest of Madison, the remnants of a farm settled in the mid 19th century by my late husband's family. This year, with more time on my hands and being a perpetually curious person I decided to attempt to make nature journalling a habit. I am drawn to a blend of Liz's style and Shana's, but more toward Shana's. I am more interest in the record of the observations than in the art of the form. I will likely develop my own style as my journal evolves.
    • diantha
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      diantha54
      i would like to establish a practice of seeing, observing more closely.  in order to know that is happening, it will be good to have a record of the journey.
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      mcoravsky
      1. I was inspired to begin nature journaling as a way to develop art skill like sketching and painting. My husband and I spend summers in SE Alaska and there is much opportunity to explore nature. I wanted to have more than just photos. 2. I really identify with the way Liz has kept her journal. It is more than just a book of sketches. Each segment is attached to a memory, recording a time and place of meaning where she may have spent a considerable amount of time or felt a closeness to what she observed that she wanted to preserve.
    • Kristen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kmmattson
      I am a naturalist and educator, but have the great fortune of being exposed to an art program with a lot of focus on nature. I have worked a few times on nature journaling in partnership with the art instructor and have really been inspired by her work! I'd also like to use it as a way to improve my observation skills, slow down, and direct my learning about what I see in nature. I tend to prefer the nature journals with more images, less writing, and collages of different sketches on the page. I love beautiful lettering and more impressionistic sketches.
    • lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lisa.jespersen2015
      What is the Art Watercolor Album for?
    • lisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lisa.jespersen2015
      Thank you for the free Nature Journaling Course!  The sample journals are inspiring.  I can’t wait until I’m as good as them.  Patience is a virtue.
    • La La
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Lalawalt
      I have recently started watching the birds at our feeder, sometimes spending hours, noticing small things and thinking I should jot this down. I saw this class in my inbox and thought this would be a great stress reliever and also a way to re-spark some creativity and enjoy nature in a different way. I noticed that I liked something from each person... the way the date was painted, the notations, detail expanded And not worrying about mistakes since it is part of the process and capturing a feeling or memory. I can’t wait to get started.
    • Daniella
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      BozzoneDaniella
      I just got started with this today. I have always been bird watcher and hiker, and I am also an illustrator and it just seemed like the perfect combo of interests. Plus, we are in the middle of the corona quarantine, the weather is gorgeous, I can only go to my house or outside, so it seems like the perfect time to do it. I suspect a lot of my "field" in my field journal will be in my front and back yards. That's alright though -- we have all of the spring blooms and critters getting into action now. Plus we have tons of trees and the birds around here really like our yard. I suspect my pets and husband's vegetable garden may get featured occasionally in spite of their fully domesticated status.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Gags will
      Just completed participating in the Feeder Watch Project.  My husband and I like feeding and watching the birds.  In addition to bird watching, I used to draw growing up and took a lot of art classes.  I've done photography over the years, but now that I'm retired, I'd like to get back to drawing.  This seemed like a great way to combine my love of nature with my love of drawing.  I haven't used watercolor before, so I'm excited to try!
      • Priscilla
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        Priscilla Taylor-Williams
        Hi Nancy, My husband and I have been participating in the Feeder Watch program for about 5 years now. Luckily, thanks to Cornell we can go back and see some of the changes in our own yard.  I have not drawn much ever until about 2 years ago, when I retired and decided to learn. Like you I thought this would be a great connection to the two aspects of my new life. I am encouraged to think that others are also experimenting with making connections and learning from our journals and observations. So it is nice to "meet you".-Priscilla
    • Giuliana
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      giulianacpferrari
      I'm a biologist, a frequent fieldworker and have always loved to be outside in nature. Would love to explore and learn how to merge my love for watercolours with my love for observing the poetry of every-day tropical life. I'm interested in sketching from landscapes to the animals I see and work with, to be able to have treasured memories for the years to come
    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      rstaker
      Question 1:  What inspired me?    Well, like millions of others I am social distancing.  I am a middle school teacher in rural Colorado and there are only so many hours you can spend in front of the computer screen so I decided to try to enhance my journaling abilities while at home. Question 2: I want to give the "zooming" in aproach a try.  I like this broad/detailed approach.  I have always used colored pencils in my journals in the past, so I am looking forward to working with water colors.
    • Lauren
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      cokerpelli
      I used to have a small field journal to sketch my bird observations. I haven't done it in over a decade, but when I look back at those journals it transports me back to the time and place. I can picture myself in that location with certain people who are no longer with us. Now that I am working from home due to Covid-19, I wanted to take some time to immerse myself in the nature that surrounds me. I am convinced that by taking the time to truly observe the natural world near my home and the daily changes that are occurring here in early Spring, it will help me through this extraordinarily challenging time for all. Thank you so much for offering this course - the timing is perfect.
    • Sally
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      ssmaida
      I've always been interested in birds and have tried a variety of ways to take in and experience their presence. I'm planning to do more birding, which I've always done informally, and want to be more intentional about learning and experiencing nature. I liked D.J.'s basic sketches which really capture the beauty, shape and positioning of the birds.  And Holly's illustrations were beautiful. While I doubt I can even aspire to that level, her goals and practices of noticing and enjoying part of daily nature walks is something I feel confident I can incorporate into my life.
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      EatingOnTwoWheels
      I've had my eye on this course for a while now, and finally asked for it for my birthday. And? Here I am!  I am outdoorsy and a wanna-be naturalist. I love photographing nature (so proud that one of my photos is in use by my local Audubon Society!), but sometimes I feel that photography reduces, rather than enhances my observational skills. Sketching seems to be not only a practical and creative way to improve one's observation and identification skills, but a beautiful way to "honor" the natural world around me that I love so much. I am a bit nervous. I hope that perfectionist-me can find a way to derive richness and meaning from this activity without being perfect. Or even... good. Thank you.
    • Sonja
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      savena
      1. I am inspired to nature journal because I now have a structured way to get started--thank you! 2. I really liked the journal that had the many pictures on one page, and they were all done in a month. I like the idea of reflecting back on that time in your life. It would be good for just every day.
    • serena
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      serena bakx
      I want to remember everything I see and I love drawing nature.
    • Shir
      Participant
      Chirps: 29
      BirdShir
      I guess my journaling is a bit different as some days it is nature and other days it may be a weather girl or something. My daily nature journaling all started when a friend from church had to leave her home and go to another state to be near her son thus moving to assisted living. several years ago. I have sent her a note everyday since she left. It always starts with a sketch from a recent experience and then a story or note about the sketch to bring life into her room besides thinking of being unhappy there. I know I could just put a photo of my bluebird but it is important to me that it be a personal sketch. My goal is to make her smile, laugh or relate to something from her former days. I do not get feedback from her or return notes. I never give up though. It might be a new green with white spots bug I saw running down the street or a bird that was on my feeder and as I mentioned - today it was me as a weather girl being blown and swirled with leaves by the wind. Over time, I also send this to 5 other people that I feel need cheering and inspiration in their day. So my day starts with a sketch and a note not about how they are doing but a story or experience to brighten their day. I also print my sketches as wallet size prints and share them with children at church and all of the adults want one, too. I was interested in the course as it is so me. It is what I do, take nature walks, watch the birds, get excited over the tiniest bug or flower and have a wild story to go with each. I felt perhaps I would learn some hints on how to better my skills. I sketch with a black pen so no erasing and my marks that go astray make my characters take on a charm or character of their own. I will tackle sketching anything I see knowing good and well that I can not do it. However me and my magic pen somehow am able to do it. I amaze myself each time. So that is a bit about my story and my desire for nature journaling. It helped to see other journals and realize that journals do not have to be formal and can be ongoing - like at first a sketch book and later going back and adding notes. I was impressed with the work. I especially like when the page is more about the sketch so far as space and the writing is the minor part that meets the eye. Thank you for sharing.
      • Laura
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        lbfawks1
        The way that you share your sketches and stories with others is so heart warming! Thank you for the kindness and joy you spread!
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      kfoh57
      1-Have a collection of things I’d like to sketch, shells, twigs, very small skulls. Hopefully this course will help me, inspire me, to discipline myself to achieve this. 2-The journal examples are all very nice, each in their own way. I’m not going to pressure myself to do a daily sketch. To learn observation and documenting.
    • Martha
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mrmcalister
      I was inspired by my love of nature and enjoyment of drawing and painting.  I want to use journaling as a means of learning more about the world around me as Shana does by using a straightforward approach to observing nature, drawing and asking questions in the field and researching books and online guides at home.  I like Holly's idea of drawing every day.  I like the look of her pages.  They look refined, with good color and lots of detail.
    • Liz
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      lizberg
      1. I was actually inspired to start nature journaling by reading a book "Planetwalker" By John Francis. He spent years walking and painting/sketching his surroundings. I have always loved the outdoors (particularly birds) and I did some of my own nature journaling back in college. Now that I'm on a Sabbatical I'm excited to jump back into the practice for my own enjoyment and self-discovery. 2. I like the writing interspersed with drawings. I was more drawn to the less organized journals than the ones that were more formal. I also liked the journals with no lines or grids. 3. I would love to incorporate poetry into my journal as well even if it's just a few lines. It could be my own poetry from that moment or a line or two I'm reminded of while sketching.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      shamby
      I've always loved and been fascinated with nature. I also love crafty, creative things. Nature journaling is the perfect combination of all that I love. It is creative, educational, and a lovely way to record memories. It doesn't take up too much space or require too many expensive supplies. I've never felt like I had any ability to draw, but I've started practicing and after just a few months, I have learned so much. I'm still not good, but I feel like I am beginning to understand the basics of drawing. Patience seems to be the important thing. I found all of the journals impressive, but Holly's was particularly appealing to me. I love that she did a drawing every day one year. Her drawings were so skillful and gorgeous. I can see why she didn't continue it for another year, though. I don't think I'll be that ambitious, but I'd love to reach her level of skill someday.
    • Tsao-Chi
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      q6712084
      I really love birds, especially their behaviors. It usually takes me one or two hours to watch a bird  preening, taking shower, foraging... I recorded these views by taking pictures before, but it's hard for me to think deeply about the birds. After access to the nature journaling, I believe its really a good way to record all of the nature. By the way, I also want to record all things about my pet pigeon. I'm wondering if I draw my pet or draw something in the camera without going out, is it still called "nature journaling"?
    • Barb
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      sbejohn
      I thought it was great to see a variety of journals. I’m hard on myself and this helped me realize it is time spent observing and recording that imprints things into my mind. The sketch may not be that great but if I take notes and sketch even something quickly, I will remember the experience vividly. i have always loved recording notes about nature and sketching. I am not very consistent however. I liked the idea of doing a page a month and adding bits throughout the month.  I also would like to do a better job of recording when I’m traveling.  I’m excited to take the class and make this  a habit for myself. I find it is a great way to learn and be more observant.  It is also calming for me to spend time observing nature and sketching what I see.
    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Rhutchings
      Not very outdoorsy but I like bird watching. this is a great opportunity to enable me to ID birds. I want to learn to be a better observer. Not sure of the best approach for me is - I am a bit of a scribbler, so we will see how it turns out. Sent free course to 4 friends/relatives --Looking forward to challenging each other to keep at ti.
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      kclimis
      1) I have been creeping up on this for a number of years.  I have bird watching journals, for more than a decade, but they are mostly lists.  I want to be able to illustrate my bird lists in a more meaningful way. I had a one day bird drawing class a number of years ago, but I haven't continued to practice.  I think committing to a course will encourage me to continue to practice, because I know that's the only way to improve. 2) I really enjoyed seeing all the journals from the students. I hope I'll be able to have an exciting trip some day, too. I liked the tiny daily entries on the first page of Holly Faulkner's journal. I like the idea of "just one thing I see today."
    • Regina
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      ReginaMcn
      I've always been interested in documenting my travels and adventures. I make scrapbooks when I return from trips and journal just by writing each evening of a trip. But I wanted something more. Even though I feel that I have no drawing skills whatsoever I want to give it a try. I want to include landscapes as well as plants and animals. I like the idea of date, place, time and weather.
    • Felicity
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Felicity2020
      I have always loved nature and I enjoy drawing.  When I heard about this course I thought...this is the perfect activity to take up while confined to home during this terrible spread of CoVid 19! I actually kept a type of journal, identifying wildflowers, when I was in my early teens.  I dug it out and here's a picture from it.  I was probably 12 at the time. I think I like the idea of small sketches with details, questions and observations noted on the page. I'm very excited to start this course! IMG_3037
    • Rose
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      RoseLouise
      I want to title my journal Nature in the Time of CoVid 19.  I need the beauty and continuity of nature to offset the fear and chaos of this pandemic. I have been able to go outside to walk and sit in peaceful, beautiful, and healing places. Now I want to create a story from these experiences.
      • Jill
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        jbarrows52
        This is almost exactly the same reason I decided to take this course now.
      • Sonja
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        savena
        Yes, me too! Since I can't really go anywhere further from home, I can still go outside my house where I live, and take in the things of nature that have been there the whole time. The world is forcing us to slow down, and I want to take it in while I can. I know I will regret it if I don't.
      • Sally
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        ssmaida
        I love this perspective and hope it can bring us all joy!
      • Sarah
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        cantienne
        Oh, me too. It gives me a reason to pay attention to my garden and really appreciate the growing cycle.
      • Julie
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        geekscruff
        Me too! I have been thinking about doing the course for a while, but now seems perfect when the world feels like it has slowed down and given me time to stop and look at things.
      • Kay
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        rkmoss
        Thank you, Rose, for expressing exactly the hope and fear we all seem to be feeling. Perhaps nature journaling is just what we are needing to allow us to slow down, look closely, appreciate the beauty around us. I look forward to see all of our drawings.
    • Leah
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      imchickadee
      I was inspired to begin nature journaling because of my passion for both art and wildlife. Though I love taking photos, making my own is a fun experience, and a new learning opportunity. I think all of the approaches for great, depending on what you are doing, and how you want to personalize that moment yet cherishing it at the same time. Yet I don't have a different journaling idea, I will likely come up with some along the way. I cannot wait to start my path as a nature journalist!
    • Arwen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      amohun
      Watching a pileated woodpecker while hiking this week was the most immediate inspiration.  I wanted to somehow capture what I was seeing and also have a way to look more closely but didn't think taking a photograph would be very satisfying.  With more time on my hands because of the COVID-19 crisis, I've decided to try to recapture some of the skills and ways of being, particularly my artistic side that have atrophied.  The way some of the journals use watercolor is particularly appealing to me.  I also love the mix of text and images, especially the use of partial boxes with text.  One of the people who wrote in comments suggested combining poetry with images.  Challenging myself to write a haiku for each image is appealing.
    • Teri
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      tcmbigsky
      I’m excited to begin a nature journaling habit for a multitude of reasons, but primarily to make a habit of creatively documenting my time in nature to the point where it feels as natural as walking and talking.  I’m now choosing to dislodge all the excuses living in my head - it’s too hard, too cold, too windy, too hot, too much hassle, etc.  I really liked the magnification idea and enjoyed setting goals, such as a drawing a day or filling a page a month.  I, too, chose to take this course as a result of the pandemic.  My husband were evacuated from Zambia while in training for Peace Corps and had rented our house out.  We will now live in our tent trailer out on public land for the foreseeable future and will have much time to observe and draw in nature.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Nancr
      I am looking forward to starting this process and it will be a process for me.  I have never journaled before and certainly never drawn animals before.  But my scout leader was a wonderful artist as a young person and I far as I could tell never continued to draw and paint after she married.  But she did teach me to love to the natural world around me.  I spent most of my time outside when I was growing up and loved observing birds, bugs, animals, plants and trees.  I never thought to create a written journal of what I saw and wouldn't have thought I had the talent to illustrate.  But at 68, it's time I tried both.  I want to take this course to improve my drawing and to learn to use watercolors.  By learning to see and interpret more realistically, I hope to connect more with nature.  I want to be able to leave a very special gift for my grandchildren to cherish.  I need to feel the beauty of nature slip through my fingers onto paper for others to enjoy as I have enjoyed creating it.    It's time.
    • Deborah
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      dtfoise
      I really like the idea of sitting down and observing nature for as much time as I want.  There is so much flora and fauna that can be appreciated more when you really look at whatever it is.  I also like to have a "scrapbook" of impressions from where I've been.  The idea of using watercolor in a nature journal sounds like alot of fun. I am taking this class while we are all off on coronavirus watch and really need a focus.  My art classes have been cancelled or ended and I need to be productive while I am off.  Art is one of the things I would really like to enjoy in my retirement (which I am in now).  I will have to be patient with myself, since I like to be good at the things I do but don't have a natural artistic talent.  I find that I need to draw/paint regularly in order to progress so the consistency of this class will help me do that.   Deb F.
    • Ginny Prytherch
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      bigredbear
      This class was a Christmas present to myself, along with 2 courses for my husband (a lifelong birder).  I started jounaling in Feb. while we were visiting children and grandchildren in southern California.  It was good to get back to drawing, which leads to seeing and feeling nature differently and more memorably.  In the Coachella Valley I had trouble finding native plants to draw in our residential area.  Desert plants are amazing and I wanted to learn more about them.  Now we are home in Iowa, we have only had about one sunny day a week, but the plants are bursting forth and birds are very active.  The cedar waxwing flocks are beautiful and entertaining - -my drawings of them I hope to improve.  I am feeling more at home with the journaling concept and feeling better about using the page more freely.  This is fun, and provides a lift to my spirits in these uncertain times.  Thanks to all for sharing your thoughts.  On to the next lesson.  Ginny
    • Patrick
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      anderick
      1. I was given a nature journal by my daughters for Christmas in 2010 and really enjoyed keeping the log of my outdoor adventures. I had no real guidance other than my own ideas so I am really looking forward to more specific directions in this course. I have also worked with a couple of land trusts conserving private land and have always enjoyed being out in nature. Those projects required an attention to detail similar to what I anticipate in my nature journal.  2. I like the idea of keeping track of not only date and time, but also weather and any other factors which may be affecting the natural setting. I also like the idea of drawing a magnified part of the subject. 3. In the past I have supplemented my drawings with some photos I took at the time, especially if my time was limited. I tried to observe as much as possible in the time given. I would then use the photo and my recollection of the encounter to create the journal entry. This allowed me to record the encounter and preserve the memory.
    • Shannon
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      sciencepup
      I like that you showed a variety of approaches and skill levels. I am a bit intimidated because I have no training in art. But, I hope that this will become a nice way to track my improvement. Another reason I want to start a nature journal is to create motivation for more stillness in my life.
    • Larisa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      larisawags
      My interest in journaling has always existed, being home, not working during COVID 19 has given me time to be outside, walking, spending time in my yard and surrounding neighborhood - I thought it would be a good time to get into the habit of sketching and drawing nature and maybe later incorporate it with my special ed teaching.
    • sherry
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      sherlee00
      This is the first image of the yellow warbler that I drew.  As you can see from the date it was a while ago.image
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      AmyThornton
      1.   I spend a lot of time outdoors on hiking trails and I think nature journaling will grant a new way to see and appreciate the beauty around me. 2.  I enjoyed hearing from and seeing all the different styles of journaling!  Shayna’s approach appeals to me most because I like the structure of the  info box, the drawings and annotations.  Great idea also to “zoom” in to record small details that otherwise may be lost/ forgotten. 3.  No, not yet.  I will be learning as I go : )
    • Roxanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      rjackman
      1. I have always attempted to journal in nature, but found myself limited by my skills. 2. I liked the idea of setting a frequency goal.  Once a week, or once a month.  Once a day is more than I would be able to sustain.  I also liked the idea of boxing up certain components of your nature sketch, but being willing to let your work escape out of your boxes when necessary.  This gives me enough guideline to remember to include drawings, observations, close-up details, and the basic where, when, what information.
    • Montana
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      mvasquezgrinnell
      I have taken a PD course at the NY Botanical Gardens that featured a lot of nature journaling, and I loved it. I haven't done it in years and not with animals so I want to re-visit and re-learn these techniques and bring it to my students and to my own family. I spend a lot of time in the woods, hiking with my own children and want to work on their observation skills in the field. I love the drawing and writing with boxes. It makes some clear separation while also giving space to write and draw. I love working with pencil so I may do more pencil/shading rather than a lot of water color or perhaps sketching in pencil, copying it, and then coloring it later just to have the comparison.
    • lois
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Renunculus
      Listening to the various people describe their journals I am reminded of just yesterday when I was younger.  A friend gifted this course to me and so I begin. Now on this day where the world has shifted and fear is everywhere, I am sitting in my backyard, watching the wind move through the silvery grasses and thinking about using this journal to create a refuge. Along with drawing, mostly done in my backyard, I will include feelings and poems.    
      • Kim
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Tomkin
        "Using this journal to create a refuge."  Thank you for that image.
    • Suzy
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      slyttle
      1. I have been photography nature for some time now. I have always liked it as a creative outlet and to challenge myself to show the details of nature that people may miss if they are just walking by. I have wanted to get better at sketching and watercolors so this seemed to be the perfect outlet that can still play on what I love about photography. 2. I love the zoomed in views in the journals. It is interesting to record different behaviors but also try to capture one specific detail in a subject. 3. Not sure if I have a journaling voice yet, but I am excited to find it!
    • Sara
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kieferdog
      My interest in nature journaling comes from my past experiences working in field biology and taking notes in the field.  I was always BAD at my sketches and relied on my notes around them to know what I was trying to convey.  So, lessons in how to journal and some motivation to practice sounded like a really fun idea. Seeing others' journals, I'm inspired to get out in nature to observe.  I'm sure it will force me to look at everything differently and I'd like to capture a record of different places as some shared as well as maybe record a place through the seasons. I may even go back in time to some of the places I've been through my photos and journal some sketches and memories of those places I've had the fortune to visit.
    • Juan
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Juancho73
      Without knowing it specifically and with this name I realice Nature Journals since childhood. Next to the house parents in rural area next to the city of Buenos Aires we had a field with fruit trees, grasses, herbs, all very neglected, the one are visited for a lot of insects and birds. Used to run away after lunch with my notebook and pencils to draw and take notes of the trees, fungi, wild herbs, bones, snails. With interruptions more or less prolonged throughout my life I always kept this activity, since I am very curious, enthusiastic and almost everything interests me. A few days ago I discovered this Workshop at the Birds Academy at Cornell University and I decided for the first time in my life to do something formal about it. With this world situation due to the covid-19 I find myself confined in my house and it is the great opportunity to attend this course. I also have many incomplete pages of my diary and many other photos to catch up on drawing and writing. A big hug to everyone from Argentina
      • Cynthia
        Participant
        Chirps: 24
        Mea Lea
        I have no image to insert at this time, but I am inspired by every one of the artists profiled in the video. The seven points that struck me were to make a goal to draw regularly (actually our teacher's idea), but not make too ambitious a routine; to record not only the date but the place/setting, weather, and time of day; to use a box so that the figure "pops" from the drawing page; to indicate a "magnification" of an area within the drawing; to consider geometric shapes to get the drawing down quickly; to make a palate of colors on the page to return to if the bird or other object disappears or you must go away from it; and to identify and study the bird at another time. I also saw the idea of adding a map that one of the responders on this set of notes, Kirstie, offered.  Thank you, Kirstie! I too am quarantined, in a section of Philadelphia, PA by the Covid-19 virus, but right now have the good fortune to live where I can find times of day when there are few enough people to walk on trails at a nearby nature center.  So far the birds have eluded me, but at my home there are some regulars at my bird feeders right now. While camping in the wilderness with my husband, I have always loved drawing little figures of the plants or animals we came upon. My journal of trip notes was very small due to backpack considerations.  I have always been fascinated by botanical and zoological artists' work too.  I believe this class is just what I need to make some progress in my goal to become a more skilled artist, though I am definitely a beginner. I am grateful to have this space to share our experiences.
    • Terry
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      terrylynnbird
      I looked at the course last week, before the coronavirus pandemic changed life as we know it.  As I reflected upon how much we take for granted, and how much we rely on technologies - that we have lost a connection to the natural world.  Of course, this is a wide spectrum of dependencies - but, I felt fortunate in that upon my retirement in 2015, I fell in love with birding, which got me out first thing in the morning with some purpose - out into nature and the beauty of the day.  I have photographed over 50 percent of the birds I observed and have that documentation and I ebird almost daily -wherever I was (Hawaii, Texas, Costa Rica and my personal favorite - my backyard.)  But in an effort to slow things down, this course has a definite appeal in just watching my subject, for as long as the bird will let me! So, after watching the video on the different styles of journal-ing, I think I'd like to go back to the beginning of 2020, with a study of my own photographic journey of birds in Costa Rica in January, Texas in February and Western NY in March (though Western NY is pretty much all the time.)  I will sketch and color my photos as a primer before I start to go out into the field once the weather gets a bit nicer.  Included with the sketches will be what memory serves as the place and time I saw "life" birds.  I think that creating a journal to recreate these memories will be rich and wonderful, then I will build them more spontaneously when I go out in the field.  I can't wait to draw a skunk cabbage! 203441601 ornate hawk eagle  This is an ornate hawk-eagle seen in Costa Rica.
      • Juan
        Participant
        Chirps: 9
        Juancho73
        Hi Terry! how beautiful your story! I get around a lot. Like much of the world I am also in quarantine inside my house taking this workshop. I am very sensitive to your story. I wish you the best of luck, a big hug from Argentina and take good care of yourself. I would like to keep in touch with you, excuse me my bad English. I leave you my instagram in case you are interested in sharing our drawings @juan_de_souza_natura. I loved the photo of the crested eagle! It is an incredible bird and you are a very good photographer.
    • Shea
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      runnerboy13
      I have always been an avid birder, birds have been a part of my life since I was about three years old. I love drawing our feathered friends, and want to get better at it, but I would also like to keep track, which is how I found nature journaling. I want to try to go out in nature, sketch birds and take note. And I do not really have any journaling ideas, would like to learn techniques to help get better.
    • Paula
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      pgiaquinto
      We are inspired by other people (Thanks for the video with journaling examples- very inspirational) and love being outdoors and art, so this is a great combination.  ..... looking forward to the beach this summer when we can practice outside.  It's still wet and cold here in New England, but we are drawing all sorts of "nature" that we can find!
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      lizroyer01
      1. I love hiking, backpacking, bird watching, and just going for really long walks. I've never journaled in any form but I want to try something that could be fun while writing/drawing it and also fun to come back to. 2. I think I'll have to let my drawings go wherever they want to because I'm not an artist and would like to allow myself the ability to restart over and over. I like the idea of coming back afterwards and penciling in some bounding boxes to make it appear a bit more organized/intentional. I may utilize the zoom idea and I definitely want to capture a few salient thoughts about what the day was like so that I can transport myself back to that moment when I'm looking at the journal at a later date. 3. I might incorporate who I'm with or who I was just with or will be with that day - sharing nature experiences with people is very important to me and I'd love to have this journal as a way to remember all of the nice times I had enjoying nature with my loved ones.
    • Lynn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Prosenteach
      I am inspired to begin nature journaling because I want to be more mindful. I notice things and want a way to record it other than with a camera. I really do not go back through my camera rolls very much. I think a journal will allow me to connect and reflect on what is around me in a different way. I am also a elementary science teacher and I hope to bring some of the techniques I learn back to my students. I need to give myself permission to enjoy the process and and not focus on making the end product "perfect". I need to remind myself that it takes time and practice and patience to learn a new skill. I also am inspired by naturalists and scientists (past and present). Journaling is the way to document what you see and really take a closer look. Connecting the hands to the mind by drawing.... The process makes memories and makes connections with a place or thing.
    • Kirstie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      KirstieWillean
      1. While driving between family visits and listening to a public radio interview with Obi Kaufmann a few years ago I was completely captivated by Obi's story of his connection to nature through his art, and I was feeling incredibly reconnected to the Bay Area I had grown-up in and so deeply explored and loved in my youth.  I stopped at a nearby bookseller and purchased, Obi's The California Field Atlas and later I went down the proverbial internet "rabbit hole" which lead me to John Muir Laws website.  I was hooked and began studying Jack's techniques and experimenting with my own nature journaling.  Jack's website and the Nature Journaling Conference in Asilomar has continued me on this path of learning from other nature journalers... which lead me to this course. 2. In the examples of nature journals from this first lesson I found several approaches to illustrating birds, recording dates and details, and zooming-in for a closer look of what I am observing... wonderful examples, thank you! 3. One journaling idea I've picked-up is to include a map with some of my observation records.930F0808-7B44-479B-A60A-E4AC51802BB1_1_105_c
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      MsMikeRSD13
      1.  I enjoyed seeing the variety of journals and approaches.  I've always enjoyed sketching in my travel diaries.  They are my son's favorite parts of the books.  After teaching high school science for 32 years, I am now teaching K-6 science and outdoor education.  I want to incorporate more nature journaling into my work with children, modeling for them and sharing the joy and knowledge that can come from observing nature closely. 2.  Although Shayna's technique is what I am most likely to use, I think DJ's advice and technique may work best with younger students.  Doing shape observations and outlines noting key positions and features with short notes will appeal to them and not overwhelm them.
    • David
      Participant
      Chirps: 21
      David Santos
      The idea of nature journaling is not new. I used to have some descriptive field notes but I lost track where I store them. I keep trying to discipline myself in give another go, so another type of approach to field notes is a fresh start and probably will keep me motivated to do it more often. Looking at the journals style, the I identify better is the first one (Shayna’s journaling style). Even if I don’t like too much about the boxes to write. To my view the journal has a lot of text, as a flow of mental notes put on paper, that helps to not lose information of a journey outside. The zoom of the draws is a pretty good idea I’ll probably take for my journaling style.
    • Marla
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Marlalee
      1. I love going bird watching or walking thru the vaious nature trails around me. I live in the piedmont of NC and back to Duke Forest. I've always wanted to start drawing again. When I saw this course came up I thought it looked like it could be lots of fun. 2. I like the approach of telling a bit of a story that I might have seen. For instance, the 1 journal had noticed a hurt moth and found that she described it and drew an image. I enjoy photography but like the idea of staring at a tree and noticing all the different colors in the bark or leaves. 3. I see a lot of different kinds of butterflies and moths that I could journal and keep my own little field guide with me. I think I'm going to try to use the water color approach.
      • Beth
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Bikingbeth
        Hi Marla, I spent a lot of time in Duke Forest as a forestry student years ago and just had a chance to hike there again a couple of weeks ago. Enjoy your time out there and natural journaling. Beth
    • Stan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      stanmoon1948
      I have always liked reading and viewing others journals and being outdoors.  I have been learning how to watercolor and now I want to combine the two to improve my skills and focus my energy on nature.  I like the journals that have the larger painting and drawings with sparse tetxt that flows around the objects.
    • Jon
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Jonv54
      What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I worked in natural resources for almost 35 yrs and I am drawn to natural settings.  When I retired I took a drawing class with the thought of eventually learning to paint, which I have always had an interest in, but never really done. I now have taken a watercolor class and most recently did a class on "30 portraits in 30 days" to get over some of the "fear" of drawing people.  Then this class popped up and seemed like a good next step.  I love the mix of art and thoughts / observations  and how each can stimulate the other and this seemed like a good way to explore that.  I have yet to develop a daily habit of art, and classes seem to be a good way to encourage me to work on art.  Most of my work is from photographs - usually what I have taken, so some work in "plain aire" mode would be good.  Writing notes has always been a good practice for me to better remember things, and I am intrigued by the role that art might also play in that process.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      sarahggrant
      I work almost entirely in text but I've been getting into bird watching in my urban neighborhood quite a bit lately. I started with some amateur photography but I've also been reading quite a bit about "drawing to see" in my discipline. As I develop new projects on climate change and precocity, I've been thinking about how valuable nature journaling can be as a method. I'm stoked to see so much text interspersed alongside the illustrations. I think that mix will help me transition (as someone who falls into that category of "I don't know how to draw...at all...seriously"). I also like that the "mistakes" are present and there and serve a purpose. It all feels so embodied and processual.
    • Polly
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      PollyMcGrath
      1. The idea has been floating around in my mind (as a means be outside, draw, and learn), but crystallized when I saw a fellow birder in Costa Rica drawing in his journal.  He recommended this course. 2. Lots of good ideas illustrated in the various journals.  The most important was that if you have paper and a writing/drawing implement, you can create a journal entry.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      franklinsl
      I've been taking a drawing class, and drawing regularly for the first time in decades. I like drawing birds and flowers, and thought this class might help with that.
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      RedKatSC
      I volunteer at a National Park, and I want to have a record of how the park changes during the year as well as the different species of plants and animals. The structure of the broken boxes was really nice, but I also liked the more repetitive  drawing of the birds as a way to learn more about their behavior and anatomy.
    • Koen
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Nahtur
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? When I bumped into this course  a couple of weeks ago , I realized that my relation with nature has been fading away for a too long time.  Upon browsing through the introductions and videos, vivid flashbacks from my childhood popped up.   At that time, way back in the sixties, I spent my summer holidays at my uncle’s cottage  in the middle of a large marshland reserve. There was also bird ring station where I helped him with catching, ringing, and registering the migrating birds. My uncle taught me the names and calls of the local birds and I remember how he encouraged me to make small sketches to memorize their identification features.  And so, a new life long bird watcher was created… Not only  the  adventurous birding activities, but also the natural abundance and magic atmosphere of the marsh wildlife connected  my soul with all living beings.  Later on, as life became very busy, I  dedicated my limited free time in nature on short walks while  taking pictures of plants and birds. Eventually I found my way into  Miksang  photography.  This is  a meditative practice through taking pictures  based on a direct and unbiased observation of pure forms and connections.  (https://www.miksang.com/) . Now I am heading for my retirement, it is time to resurrect that dormant inner child. I look forward to  embrace nature more intimately through a direct dialogue, free from technology and I believe that the pure act of drawing  is a perfect way to accomplish this.    A drawing hand triggers an authentic interaction of my body, and my heart with the land and all living beings around me. However, there is a small practical problem: The last drawing I made was more than forty years ago… So, there is a steep way to go  to develop my drawing skills and that’s the place where  this course comes in… Let’s go for it!   2. Which ideas or approaches do you want to try? 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, I  recognize that  boxes are very helpful to provide or a more clear layout. On the other hand, I  also attach importance  of  harmonious  empty spaces on the pages. Unlike drawing, I  have been journaling for several years by writing (haiku) poems or contemplative pieces of prose.  So, it is quite evident  to combine them with my sketches.  They will be  a great source of inspiration for other artwork such as so called  ‘haiga’.  Haiga is from origin a Japanese art form where  a haiku, calligraphy  and a  picture are combined.  Both picture and poem complement each other in expressing an experience triggered by an observation in nature. This condemns me also to a course in  calligraphy .. Whatsoever, my journaling style will be fluid and evolving just as nature does.  Only the present moment will tell me which technique I will apply.  So I guess I will experiment with a couple of styles and I will just let my style evolve as I become more skillful and mindful.
    • Koen
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Nahtur
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? When I bumped into this course  a couple of weeks ago , I realized that my relation with nature has been fading away for a way too long time.  Upon browsing through the introductions and videos, vivid flashbacks from my childhood popped up.   At that time, way back in the sixties, I spent my summer holidays at my uncle’s cottage  in the middle of a large marshland reserve. There was also bird ring station where I helped him with catching, ringing, and registering the migrating birds. My uncle taught me the names and calls of the local birds and I remember how he encouraged me to make small sketches to memorize their identification features.  And so, a new life long bird watcher was created… Not only  the  adventurous birding activities, but also the natural abundance and magic atmosphere of the marsh wildlife connected  my soul with all living beings.  Later on, as life became very busy, I  dedicated my limited free time in nature on short walks while  taking pictures of plants and birds. Eventually I found my way into  Miksang  photography.  This is  a meditative practice through taking pictures  based on a direct and unbiased observation of pure forms and connections.  (https://www.miksang.com/) . Now I am heading for my retirement, it is time to resurrect that dormant inner child. I look forward to  embrace nature more intimately through a direct dialogue, free from technology and I believe that the pure act of drawing  is a perfect way to accomplish this.    A drawing hand triggers an authentic interaction of my body, and my heart with the land and all living beings around me. However, there is a small practical problem: The last drawing I made was more than forty years ago… So, there is a steep way to go  to develop my drawing skills and that’s the place where  this course comes in… Let’s go for it!   2. Which ideas or approaches do you want to try? 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, I  recognize that  boxes are very helpful to provide or a more clear layout. On the other hand, I  also attach importance  of  harmonious  empty spaces on the pages. Unlike drawing, I  have been journaling for several years by writing (haiku) poems or contemplative pieces of prose.  So, it is quite evident  to combine them with my sketches.  They will be  a great source of inspiration for other artwork such as so called  ‘haiga’.  Haiga is from origin a Japanese art form where  a haiku, calligraphy  and a  picture are combined.  Both picture and poem complement each other in expressing an experience triggered by an observation in nature. This condemns me also to a course in  calligraphy .. Whatsoever, my journaling style will be fluid and evolving just as nature does.  Only the present moment will tell me which technique I will apply.  So I guess I will experiment with a couple of styles and I will just let my style evolve as I become more skillful and mindful.
    • Mudito
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      Mudito
      I love to paint and draw, especially outdoors, but have never kept a journal of those times as such.  Thought this would be a fun new project.  Stay tuned for results
    • Beecher
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      billygrose
      I hope to use nature journaling to calm focus and engage my mind.
    • Koen
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      Nahtur
      1. What inspired me to begin nature journaling? When I bumped into this course  a couple of weeks ago , I realized that my relation with nature has been fading away for a too long time.  Upon browsing through the introductions and videos, vivid flashbacks from my childhood popped up.   At that time, way back in the sixties, I spent my summer holidays at my uncle’s cottage  in the middle of a large marshland reserve. There was also bird ring station where I helped him with catching, ringing, and registering the migrating birds. My uncle taught me the names and calls of the local birds and I remember how he encouraged me to make small sketches to memorize their identification features.  And so, a new life long bird watcher was created… Not only  the  adventurous birding activities, but also the natural abundance and magic atmosphere of the marsh wildlife connected  my soul with all living beings.  Later on, as life became very busy, I  dedicated my limited free time in nature on short walks while  taking pictures of plants and birds. Eventually I found my way into  Miksang  photography.  This is  a meditative practice through taking pictures  based on a direct and unbiased observation of pure forms and connections. Now I am heading for my retirement, it is time to resurrect that wondering  child. I look forward to  embrace nature more intimately through a direct dialogue, free from technology and I believe that the pure act of drawing  is a perfect way to accomplish this.    A drawing hand triggers an authentic interaction of my body, and my heart with the land and all living beings around me. However, there is a small practical problem: The last drawing I made was more than forty years ago… So, there is a steep way to go  to develop my drawing skills and that’s the place where  this course comes in… Let’s go for it! 2. Some ideas or approaches I have now I  learnt from the examples that   boxes are helpful to provide or a more clear layout. On the other hand, I  feel that  a harmonious  distribution of  empty spaces is also important. Unlike drawing, I  have been journaling for several years by writing (haiku) poems or contemplative pieces of prose.  So, it is quite evident  to combine them with my sketches.  They will be  a great source of inspiration for other artwork such as so called  ‘haiga’.  Haiga is from origin a Japanese art form where  a haiku, calligraphy  and a  picture are combined.  Both picture and poem complement each other in expressing an experience triggered by an observation in nature. Whatsoever, my journaling style will be fluid and evolving just as nature does.  Only the present moment will tell me which technique I will apply.  So I guess I will experiment with a couple of styles and I will just let my style evolve as I become more skillful and mindful. Koen D.
    • Kathy B.
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      KBelletireArt
      Hi, I'd like to respond to question #2. I was delighted by the varying  levels of the students art abilities in the video; how being a beginner wasn't a factor in determining the importance each student's journal had for them personally. What was important was the memories and learning their journals recorded and recalled. Kathy B.
      • Kim
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Tomkin
        That's what struck me, too!  I love it that there was such a variety of styles and ability levels (and that the students were generous and brave enough to share their personal efforts with the rest of us!).  Thanks!
    • Mechtild
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      MikaMaus
      What inspired me? I love to observe nature and often spend time in my garden taking photos.  Journaling, observing and sketching strikes me as a more intimate activity, and it will force me to slow down and get grounded. I have a crazy job that often feels like a time-warp. Communing with nature will shift perspective to things that are truly important. In any case, the course popped up in my email and the reaction was visceral - this appeals to me. What will my journal look like? As I have no sketching or drawing experience, it will probably be more script-heavy with its-bitsy drawings until I develop the confidence to try something bigger. I appreciated all of the journals and the different approaches. I'll give my style time to develop and will focus on enjoying the experience. What is exciting is that the journey will be memorable!
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      KatMThCn
      I decided to take this course for several reasons. I have been trying to learn the birds in my backyard and realized that many are very similar. Careful observations are required to discern similar species such as Down and Hairy woodpeckers. But I've also been taking drawing and watercolor classes recently. I think that combining this all together in nature journalling will strengthen all of those skills: my ability to identify birds, my ability to sketch and my watercolor techniques. Observing nature will make me not take everything so seriously -- quick sketching and lots of it will help me get better as opposed to treating each attempt as the Sistine Chapel!
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 23
      whipporwheel
      • IMG_2319I've been journalling for years, but usually when I get home from the field. I've usually worked from my photos of the subjects.  I love the nature journals shown in these videos, especially the gesture drawings of birds moving.  I hope to learn how to do that.  I'm showing a photo here of a page from a nature journal I began while on a trip to discover the natural beaches of Old Tampa Bay, Florida.  I decided to incorporate  the two shells just for this photograph, to give the drawing a 3D look.
      • adriana
        Participant
        Chirps: 13
        adrisnchz
        Your drawing is so beautiful! I love it
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      elizabethgibbs123
      I've always enjoyed drawing natural objects. I like to document changes in seasons and nature with photos, but I don't feel that I do it often enough or with any consistency. I'm hoping to establish a regular practice or drawing and writing. Seeing the journals in the video was very inspiring. They range from having great style to being very practical. I like both the ones that are finished pieces of art and those that are full of studies and sketches and notes that show a thought and observation process. I'm going to try several of the approaches and see what works best for me. I would love if one day, Like DJ, I could submit drawings to iNaturalist.
    • Jenny
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Jenny
      I am a lifelong observer of nature.  I spend a lot of time hiking, birding, canoeing and walking wherever I find myself.  I want to be more attentive to the details of what I see and develop ways of bringing together my observations with study.  The course will give me a framework for getting started.  I enjoyed seeing the various styles and approaches to journaling.  Each one had elements that I'd like to consider.  I am committed to allowing myself to make mistakes!
    • Sim
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Sim202
      I love to draw, and want to keep challenging myself with more complicated drawing. I think I like the last journal set-up in the video.
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      colleencc
      1/ What inspired me? Well I have to admit that when I signed up for this course I wasn't exactly sure what constituted a "nature journal" and after this lesson I have a much better idea and am much more inspired! We bought a cottage a few years ago and I have had more time to spend there kayaking and hiking and love observing the amazing nature and seasons as they change. At the same time I recently signed up for some beginner art lessons but found myself frustrated as I felt uninspired and unsure of what exactly I wanted to draw or paint. I DID know that what they were teaching was NOT what I wanted to learn and gradually realized that I had more interest in learning to use art to capture plants and birds around me and thus decided to sign up for this course as a way to learn more about how I could do that.  We also enjoy travelling (most recently to the amazingly lush rainforest area of Costa Rica -- our fourth trip) and I want to be able to use art to allow me absorb and record what I see when we do.   2/ It was wonderful toto  see a variety of other journals and approaches to nature journalling in order to understand what it is, and also to see a range of skill levels and art abilities so beginners like myself are a little less intimidated! I appreciate the idea of recording place, time and even weather as well as some observations in print (not all has be visual!) as a reminder of the day.  I was amazed at Holly's journal -- that is goals. One day I would like to be able to draw in such detail!  I appreciated and would consider making a "month at a glance" type picture-journal to record the changes that seasons bring (we have very noticeable seasonal changes where I live!).  I also will cut myself some slack and allow some less-than-perfect or incomplete sketches to exist as records of what I saw, as the woman with hummingbird drawings and the gentleman with bird sketches.
    • Aaron
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      sidquan
      I work as an ecologist and spend a lot of time in the field in pretty cool places. This year, I want to challenge myself to beef up my naturalist skills, and I think nature journaling will help me get to know the flora and fauna in my backyard and in the places I’m working. I imagine my journal will mostly be a catalog of plants and animals that I see both in my neighborhood and in the environments in which I work. I am particularly fond of plants. From the examples, I think I’d like focusing each page on a single specimen with both a sketch and some notes about the species and where I saw it. I have often journaled when I travel and I am excited to add a visual element and a more daily routine to my journaling exercise. Since I’m often gawking at the natural world, a nature journal seems like a great idea.
    • Mayumi
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Torichanoide
      Drawing something would make me pay attention to detail and deeper learning. I was hoping to learn and identify birds better by drawing them. It is intimidating to look at different journals. I am hoping to establish my own idea and style about nature journaling little by little over time.
      • Jun Li Niktaris
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        831junli
        Absolutely true!
      • Aaron
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        sidquan
        I agree, it’s super intimidating!
    • Joan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Joan Krohn
      My friend is section hiking the thousand mile long Ice Age Trail here in Wisconsin.  I am walking some parts with her.  When our legs start to tire and our goal seems still far away we make up Haiku.  Haiku distraction.  I would love to be able to compile some of those Haiku and add illustrations for her as a gift when she completes the trail.  Feeling a little skeptical about learning to draw and paint but excited too.  Thanks for all of your thoughtful comments - they are very encouraging!
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Cedrica
      1. Last summer I began spending more time outside on our new deck, intentionally. I started finding bugs and leaves that were interesting to look at, and I decided to try to draw them. I inevitably had questions about them, as I spent time drawing, and ended up googling info about what they were and why they looked the way they did. I was surprised at how much I learned just by observing — and waiting for questions to emerge from my wondering. I was also surprised at the feeling of satisfaction that I got from delving into questions that came to mind. At first I was going to keep a scrapbook of all my tiny scraps of paper with drawings of bugs and leaves. But I guess I could just keep them all bound in a journal...except my big worry is that I make a lot of “first attempt” drawings that are total fails. I’m not sure I want to have them bound in a journal along with the drawings I might be satisfied with.  I like to remember my successes, not my failures. Haha. image
      • Colleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 7
        colleencc
        I think the key is to remember that it is YOUR journal -- and not to worry about sketches that you may not think are "perfect enough" because they will still trigger memories. Besides, no-one said you can't use an eraser sometimes! I was actually really inspired by the journal of the older woman about half-way through who had a series of sketches of a hummingbird she had watched -- she clearly had several sketches that she admitted she was not that happy with, but each was a progression to the next and they improved upon each other as she went along and she saw what needed correction. She pointed out things in some of the sketches that she had been "trying" to capture but didn't quite get right but they all formed a memory for her and were part of her progress to a better artist in the end.
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      Lindabeekeeper
      I've been fooling around with nature journaling for years but have not really been regular enough at it to develop a style or a habit.  I appreciated seeing the various journals and way people approached them.  I am hoping to be able to record scientific observations but hope to record some beautiful memories as well. I really liked the images that were popping out of the boxes that Shayna had.  The drawings seemed more immediate and alive that way.
    • Jun Li Niktaris
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      831junli
      It didn't inspire me much about the journaling about nature. Well, it did in the sense that I can always go to the nature and 'jour" a little bit. And also, about my personal life, family stories, I can also use the journaling method. It does not only apply to nature but also spirituality, life, work, anything you like. Draw it down and start writing about them. It provides a memory and a solid ground to remind you that you have been through a lot and you are wistful/wise. I guess it's a therapy too. It shows you can get something done.
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      clairehaas
      IMG_1544 This is an ecological phenomena that I came across in Georgian Bay (part of Lake Huron) on a canoe trip.  It was 2011, just about the time I began to draw and paint, so I was just taking photos of cool things like this.  This is on an island in Georgian Bay and the pool was made by wave action working small stones in a pit which I imagine were most effective during the winter storms and similar to ones I had seen in rivers were the current was accomplishing the same job.  The stones scoured out more and more of the base stone and could be seen in the bottom.  As well, the pond above in the picture contained frogs, being just the right environment for them.  The pond was no doubt the result of rain water being contained in a low spot.  I visited this place in subsequent years and noticed that due to lack of rain that year there were no frogs.  I often think about this place and wish I had been nature journaling earlier in my life!
    • Jim
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Jim Chandler
      I have always enjoyed learning from nature. I have just recently added sketches and watercolors.  I have often used photographs and video as a way of capturing the moment.  However it does add another level of observation when I uses sketching and watercolors.  I also want to increase my skills in scientific drawings and painting.  So I want to journal with sketches to deepen my understanding of nature, increase my skills as an artists.  I also want to learn how to create a drawing while observing nature directly and not just from photographs.  In looking at the different styles of journals I like combining both text and images including rough sketches.  I also want to take some of the favorite subjects and use my observations to create a detailed drawing including watercolors.  I might do the first level in the sketch pad and create more finished paintings in the album format.    I also like using a nature journal to serve as a memory album for a trip.  I did a little of this on a trip to Alaska this  summer.  One of my drawings is included below.  I may also use it to grow my observations for a particular theme like life in a natural aquarium I am keeping in my house using organisms from area lakes, or a study to study the birds (esp blue jays) at my feeder. I also like drawings that tell a story.  In my drawing I found it  interesting that the Sandhill Cranes and Canada Geese freely intermingled and flew together at the site of the Sandhill Crane Festival in Fairbanks Alaska.   IMG_9441  
    • Miriam
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      MiriamRohr
      I love the outdoors and am fortunate to live near the Wissahickon creek and gorge.  I am a regular hiker through the park and am becoming more involved in conservation of the watershed.  I realized that I am not as familiar with the native plants, trees, birds, geology and mosses  as I would like to be.  Taking pictures or trying to memorize a name is just not doing it for me.  When I heard Liz speak about the process of observing, drawing and asking oneself questions, I thought it was a brilliant, rich way to learn and to record a moment in time.  In addition,  recording my experiences and trips appeals to me as I often feel most open and connected while hiking or traveling.    I am also hoping to reconnect with my love of drawing and creativity that was left behind in my younger days.
    • Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      Suzy64
      This is my first nature journaling experience. I raise African Violets and other plants indoor, have extensive outside gardens, and I love to draw and paint, so combining my two passions seemed like a great idea. I look forward to capturing my flowers and plants as they move through the seasons, so some of my journal will be the same plants at different seasons. I like all the journals for a variety of reasons and will seek to find my own style as I move forward.  Since I am a retired English teacher, I imagine that I will include  the words of  H. D. Thoreau in my observations along the way.
      • Jim
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        Jim Chandler
        I love the idea of combining drawings and poems.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Sarah46
      My short time at journaling has mainly been philosophical, reflecting on my parent’s lives and my extension of them.  They instilled in me the love of anything outdoors. My extensive hiking adventures have been recorded with narrative and photos but no illustrations. In addition, I have recorded quotes from a wide range of books that have appealed to me. It is my intention to learn to capture what I see in nature with pen & pencil and maybe attach a certain quote that I  have found meaningful.
    • Laura
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      lwangerin
      I've always kept a written journal, but haven't done any sketching since my teens. I have also always been an avid amateur naturalist (and a licensed collector for my university's natural history museum), but I hate using a camera because it makes me feel removed from what I am observing. Nature journaling seems like a way to blend both passions, and keep a visual record that will spark memories of the moment being observed, in a way that demands you to be a part of that moment. Maybe it is the difference between looking and seeing? One of the journals was so beautiful, and reminded me of a book I came across as a teenager (The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden). But I think I want to meld my written and sketched journals - adding birds at my feeder, what I see in my garden, the katydid on the window screen, mushrooms gathered on the most recent hike, etc. will add another dimension to how I process the events of the week. It will be a fun way to make sure I remember to slow down and look around me, and it won't matter much if there is not much skill to start with.
    • Deanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      dcmartinezonline
      Comment on Question #2 - "...which ideas or approaches do you want to try?"  I loved the gorgeous use of color in some of the journals.  It was intoxicating--so I want to try that in my journal.  (I am new to journaling.)  I also noted that not trying to use up the entire page with drawing(s) or text was better.  Leaving clean white space allowed the drawings to really jump off the page.  I noted that some people used somewhat sloppy printing.  I think that after making a beautiful painting, the quality of the printing should be on par with the art work--but maybe that takes too much time...I'll soon find out! Comment on Question #3 - "...have a different idea that you like to share?"  I think it might be fun to try to incorporate 3-D pop up images occasionally.  It would be fun to try it.
      • Laura
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        lwangerin
        Your idea of pop-up images is brilliant!
      • Jim
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        Jim Chandler
        How would you do a 3-D popup?  I am intrigued.  I saw a mud-dauber's nest (made by a wasp) on a rock outcropping. I took a close up of it thinking I might paint a water color of the wall and then add a sand, 3D mud dauber nest adding rust to color the sand. mud daubernest
    • Penny
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      PanamaPen
      It is amazingly coincidental that it was a trip to the Galapagos that inspired me to start painting and journaling!  One of the other passengers was an artist who sketched and painted quickly while the rest of us were clicking away with cameras.  While admiring her work and discussing her process, I came to realize that she was seeing things so much better than the rest of us were as she noticed textures, colors, shadows, etc.   I have since taken a few lessons and now travel with my Peerless paper watercolors and a sketchbook and the sketches bring back much richer memories than photos.  I am inspired by the videos to try more animals even if they don't want to pose for me!  I do love the ease of my Peerless paper watercolors and would encourage others to try them for the vibrant colors and portability!
    • Brian
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      BKSullivan
      1.) I have dabbled with sketching most of my life. Every summer I try to do something new and about seven years ago I decided I would try to keep a nature journal. It was about the same time that I also got reacquainted with the outdoors. I have spent most of my life sitting in offices staring out at neighboring buildings through windows. I decided to make a concerted effort to return to the outdoors as much as possible. When I was a child I would never go inside. At first I focused mainly on butterflies and a few messy landscapes. In time, however, I shifted my main focus over to birds. Even though I have pushed on for seven years, I am still not overly satisfied with my efforts. A large part of this is because I tend to take photographs when I am in the field rather than sketch. nut_hatch1982.) Holly Faulkner's style is probably most like my own. I tend to catalogue birds or animals I have seen rather than report about a specific outing that I have taken. I do like her style very much, but I would also like to try to tell the stories of trips into the forest the way the other journalers did. I would like to get more focused on creating reports from specific trips. Have done some of this, but oo often I will jot down species I run into in a small notebook to log them into eBird later on. I rely too much (probably) on photography to help me identify birds I see in the field.
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      heathermikles
      I have never drawn a thing in my life aside from elementary school art classes and I've always dreamed of being some type of artist. Finding myself with a lot of extra time these days I wanted to try something new. Spending time every week participating in Feeder Watch, this sounded like a nice accompaniment. Art classes keep being put off but I am reminded of advice I once read in a silly newspaper advice column where an older student asked a question - I really want to become a doctor but med school will take 4 years and by then I will be 35. The response was something like "How much time will have passed in 4 years if you don't do it?" It stuck with me because time passes regardless of whether we follow our dreams.
    • Mary
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      thechubbywoman
      I am a certified California naturalist and I keep a "digital" field journal on my blog (https://chubbywomanwalkabout.com/) with type-written text and photographs.  I'm taking this class because I'd like to get more hands-on with my observations, and learn to focus more on details rather than big-picture images.  I'm hoping that once I get more comfortable drawing in a journal, I can pass what I learn onto my naturalist students. Hard-bound art journals seem too confining and limiting to me, however, and they can also be bulky and heavy, so I've decided to start with small sheets of watercolor paper that I can carry with me in a pack with some watercolor pens, pencils and permanent markers. That may change as I continue on this journey, but it's where I'll start. I also really liked the verbalized notation in one of the videos that mentioned submitting images drawn in the field to iNaturalist.  I thinks that's an awesome idea  and a great way to inspire others and let them know that their nature journals are IMPORTANT to science and USEFUL to others. Here is what my current digital journal looks like:01myonlinejournal
    • Judy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      jmcchesney
      I was inspired to take the nature journaling course as a primary teacher. I have bird feeders outside my classroom in New Hampshire. By taking the course I can refine my drawing and painting skills. Then I will feel confident to teach my students how to nature journal using watercolors. In the past the students have had nature journals but the drawing were rudimentary. To start my challenge is to draw the  birds at the feeders when they are moving.
    • Rhoda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      rhodareynold
      I have been nature journaling for many years but have never really thought through the process of what makes a journal interesting and a good reflection of the day or hours spent outside. I'm looking forward to the techniques and discipline of staying the course.
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      kheiss
      I love to draw and paint but never quite made an actual nature journal. I think my intention is to draw and paint more often. I’m starting to become interested in birding and I saw this course and felt inspired. A recent trip to Belize where my friend and I birded also inspired me. I liked all the journals that were in the videos. I think my style will be some text describing the subject I’m illustrating. I loved how the one journal used interesting graphics for the month and date text.
    • Juan
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      Juan Jo
      1. Recreate the biomes and creatures in my sketchbook. 2. The water colors, having so much details in the drawing and observations/ 3. Patience
    • deborah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      deborahhiser
      I love to be outside and observe nature. My desire to journal is to learn how to be more in the moment and to develop drawing skills. The  style of dating the page and location and started with shapes makes sense. I like the drawings with descriptions of what people are seeing and thinking about.
    • Terry
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      tgf0809
      I love nature, especially birds.  I feel I have an artist in me and this would be the best way to discover my talent.  The process seems to be relaxing and low-key.  Journaling can be done anywhere.  I am analytical by nature, so I like the blocking technique with sketches and information about the sketch arranged on the page.  I'm sure over time I'll develop my own technique.
    • Daria
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      DSockey
      My goals in learning to do nature journals are two: to get back to the drawing skills I had when I was younger and/or improve them. 2. To acquire more accurate memories of my walks and hikes or just the times I sit at the window to watch traffic at my bird feeder.
    • Margina
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Margina Shaylene
      I liked the thought of capturing my walks and journeys in a nature journal. I have recently been introduced to painting with water color and have always journaled, so I was excited to take this course to help guide me through this and motivate me as well. i loved all the journals and there uniqueness, I got several ideas for the start of my own.
      • Jim
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        Jim Chandler
        I used to run an outdoor learning center.  One technique I found useful was to keep folding a piece of paper until you have about 16 little squares.  Then encourage students when they go on a walk to find a little detail that would remind them of something that caught their eye and make a little quick sketch or put in a few words that reminds them of something they found and try to fill as many squares as they can find.  It is amazing how this technique makes even a very short walk into a very rich experience.  This could also be done in a sketch book by drawing 16 squares on a page.  The most interesting ones could then be used to inspire a more detailed sketch and watercolor.
    • Vicki
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      VLRose
      I purchased this course because I find that having spend money on something obligates my follow-through.  I have many journals and sketchbooks from various periods in my life.  I'm not sure that I ever reached the 66 consecutive days mark.  According to the link in the Getting Started section to Gardner, Lally, and Wardle (2012), "missing the occasional opportunity to perform the behaviour did not seriously impair the habit formation process:  automaticity gain soon resumed after one missed performance."  Well -- for me, automaticity is elusive.  So... for this course my goal is TO DRAW/SKETCH, PAINT/ADD COLOR/ AND WRITE IN THIS JOURNAL EVERY DAY FOR 10 WEEKS IN ORDER TO FORM A HABIT.  I enjoyed the journaling highlights from the naturalist team.  I've done some journals similar to the one Liz shared of her trip to the Galapagos Islands.  The one item not mentioned that I will incorporate in this new journal is a photo of the subject of my entry.  When I paint en plein air, I almost always at least finish drawing and painting from photos, but I've never added a pic print to a journal.
      • holly
        Participant
        Chirps: 23
        hollysnuts
        I like the reminder from you and the other students in Fuller's class that, "...the habit formation process...can be resumed...".  I'm famous for starting projects and not finishing them, but classes definitely help.
    • Lynn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Lynn_Moore
      I liked the progression of start with a drawing, think, write what I am thinking, draw some more, write what questions are arising - it's dynamic, evolving.  I also liked telling a story (hummingbird hovering, spider capturing, securing, and eating prey) and recording colors, sounds, impressions, light, habitat sketches.
      • Jim
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        Jim Chandler
        I very much like telling a story.  I have been studying geology and fossils and I am intrigued how little bits of evidence can help tell a story.  Next to artists I find that geologists are one of the most observant people I know.
    • Kelly
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      kelly.zaug
      I live in NYC and want to find ways to connect with the urban nature around me. Also one of my teenage sons is a big walker, and I'm hoping to connect with him through his explorations of our neighborhood. He's promised to share his favorite nature spots with me. :) I'm a novice to nature journaling and sketching in general, so I'm a little intimidated by the expertise I see, but I remind myself that we all have to start somewhere! I do wonder though, when doing watercolor and sketching, which comes first? The paint or the pen/pencil?
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      Nancy JS
      IMG_9739
    • Colleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Colleen Sharp
      1) I have been a photographer for years..dabbled here and there with sketching. I loved the idea of capturing birds and nature through another media. 2) I definitely appreciated all of the journaling styles and I think what spoke to me was the style that not only is sketches but information about the subject of the sketch as well.
    • Georgeann
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      GeorgeannD
      I've been an amateur nature photographer for decades, and really worked at developing my photographer eyes. With film photography, every shot was an investment, so time spent seeking the best angles, noticing the tiny details in the subject, the lighting, and the overall composition and exposures was a critical part of the practice. Digital photography allows me to take hundreds of shots and choose later the one that appeals to my eye. I want to recapture the sense of composing the image, so what better way than to create the composition by hand?
    • Deanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      whobblet
      This course is both daunting and exciting at the same time. For me, nature journaling, I hope will help me develop my sketching skills and remind me to slow down. I'm not sure what my process or style will be.  I respect the different styles and journals we've been exposed to and I think I will just let my style and process evolve as I go. This is all very new to me hence the daunting part since I am a total beginner and have no drawing skills whatsoever. It will be fun, I think to see how I progress over time and it will be a nice record of just the neat and precious little things that I will see and experience over the days, seasons and year(s), if I manage to keep it up. I'm really looking forward to beginning this and seeing where this leads to.
      • Kathryn
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        Waxwing2916
        I agree with your feelings, I'm a beginner as well and feel a little daunted by the wonderful journal examples I've been seeing.  I love being out in nature and look forward to developing some skills to record what I see and experience. I too relate to your comment about being reminded to slow down, a big deal for me.
      • Janet
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Sonerila
        It is daunting to me, also, because I've never drawn a thing, but as the saying goes, "Learn from those who have gone before us."  So, with that in mind, I will begin the process of learning & know that I will end up more knowledgeable & sensitive to my environment.  I am outside daily with my birds, gardens, forest & ocean & now I'll be seeing details more clearly & attempting to transfer the images & my thoughts onto paper.  I raise Monarch Butterflies and watch the process from mama laying her eggs to the metamorphosis of the fully developed Monarch emerging from the chrysalis & slowly opening its wings.  Now I'm hoping to  learn to draw these beautiful endangered creatures.
      • Candace
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        candybee
        I totally relate to your comments and feelings.  I am new to drawing and journaling also.  I love nature and want to learn how to interpret what I am observing in a more meaningful way and I am hoping that by learning observation skills and paying attention to details through drawings, I can better appreciate the beauty around me.  I have no idea what style I am or may develop through this course, but I am sure this will help me to reach deep within myself and express the world around me.  My goal is to develop a new set of skills that I can carry throughout my life and share with others.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      Nancy JS
      I just love nature and recording the beauty I see around me. I particularly love how when you create and image and look at it even years later how you are brought back to the place and memories of that day.  The journals here were great to see.  Thanks for sharing them, I saw a number of things I really like and will try to adopt and incorporate into my own journal.  I like the boxes and how the images came outside of their respective boxes.  I liked the magnification of certain details.  I likes how one person did a drawing each day, how she spread it about on the pages, the variety of things that she drew and how she numbered each page.  Everyone did such a great job,   Thanks for the inspiration !ED02398F-DA55-46DE-8381-D2C5935CCB6A   E21330AD-EACB-4309-9569-6525EC90C775
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      lindaloubird
      I want to slow down and be more observant of my surroundings outdoors and nature journaling will be the perfect way to do that.  I also need to be better at identifying plants and birds which this will also help me with.  Several years ago I was pretty good at sketching but have lost my touch and need to start over.  Looking at the journalers here, I hope to become as great as they are!  I like the tip to think of the fundamental shapes in nature such as circles and ovals which is an easier way to start sketching.  I also liked the patches of color that the journaler used on the pages to show all the colors in the place that was being observed.
    • Michael
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Quadrabird
      As I do landscape watercolours for myself already...and love being out in nature...I think this course will inspire me to examine things in more detail and do quick sketches while I move around. I love the suggestions of using boxes, both for text and for framing pictures ( even when they grow out of the frame!). And the Zoom makes so much sense. Then living where I do on a remote island and not having taken art courses before, the opportunity of taking this course by internet is such a great opportunity... I am excited.
    • Rachel
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      thedyrdas
      I want to try at the top or bottom to do the weather, the time, the day, and the location. I'm going to try and get in one picture anytime I can. And do a close-up where I zoom in on something interesting. If I can't get a great part in. Stella (Age: 7)IMG_0018
      • Janet
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Sonerila
        What a beautiful job you've done, Rachel!
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      nstevick
      When I was younger, I took a nature journaling class from Claire Walker Leslie and loved how it helped to focus my observations or the natural world. When I began to teach middle school science, I used her teachings to have my students keep nature journals. I drew and recorded my observations to share with my students, but seldom found time to nature journal outside of work. Now, I have retired to Costa Rica, and I have still not made the time to keep a nature journal. I spend a great deal of time hiking and birdwatching, but rely on my camera to document my experiences. I am hoping this course nudges me into drawing and recording more detailed observations. I enjoyed all the different journal styles in the video, and will incorporate ideas from them all. I love how Shayna's drawings aren't actually contained in her boxes, but like the loose compartmentalization of sketches and descriptions. I want to make quick sketches to capture movement and behavior of birds to help me remember all the new species I am encountering here. I am struggling to remember field marks and identifying features of Costan Rican birds, and I hope to make my own personal field guide with drawings and descriptions of my own. I have not used watercolors with any success, and I am hoping that this course will improve my skills. I am amazed and inspired by the paintings people have shared here. Thank you.
      • Jim
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        Jim Chandler
        What a beautiful place to retire.  I look forward to seeing your field drawings.
    • Beth
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Bethbrindo
      I find the graphic ideas of others very interesting. A goal of mine is to revisit my  journal finding the information and design pleasing.
    • Cyndee
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      cbatzler
      IMG_6426 2
    • maryanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mezzie10
      i really like the idea of building a month by month observations of what you see around you with the goal of completing a full year. I also liked how there were many sketches of a subject (bird) from various angles, some complete others just a part of the bird.
    • Bailey
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      wrightbaileyv
      I have always loved the aesthetic of field drawing. A good friend of mine gave me a book a few years ago filled with watercolour sketches of shorebirds and I was hooked ever since. I find I'm not very good at that style because I focus on the details too much. I am hoping that with practice, I can loosen up and just enjoy what I see instead of focusing on finding things. The idea of viewing a nature journal like a journey definitely appeals to me.
    • linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      linda smith-codispoti
      These are very impressive journals..I feel a bit overwhelmed. I think I am not so focused on technicality of the subject, but more on the connection...dare I say the essence, the spirituality of things, if that doesn't sound too weird?
    • joyce
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      BlueJz
      image
      • joyce
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        BlueJz
        I left some boxes empty to remind me to look up the name of the items. I think the tree is a Cedar Elm? joyce
    • ELois
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Rev.Eleanor
      38FE1C17-AA09-4FAB-A8BF-2A07FF431324
    • Karla
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Pikagirl
      I am a 5th grade teacher and often get a lot of parents screaming "STEM" as loudly as they can and pushing of arts education as I find myself saying, "STEAM" in response.  Trying to make students understand that they need to accurately describe what they see through a microscope or through observation using drawing and words often are lost in the screaming.  I refer my science kids to Audubon's work and then lead them to James Gurney's "Dinotopia" and Tony DiTerlizzi's "Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide" to show them how science journaling works.  My classroom has several Ed Emberly drawing books, some of Chris Hart's manga books, etc because my boys tend to be more comfortable in that cartoon realm and then moving into the science realm.  I now have some books on architecture after a Frank Lloyd Wright unit which has some of my students thinking about the marriage of art and engineering. As a person who has never been brave about her art, I have been meeting up with a local Urban Sketchers group and learning.  I am now ready to leap beyond what I do and learn more to inspire my students and start doing more storytelling with my own art/observations. My big question as I watched the others was: how do you capture moving creatures. The birds helped a lot (capturing shapes, etc.) but when you look at the frog, it's not like it's going to sit there and let you draw it, color and refine your thoughts and work.  Do you snap a quick photo and then work, using the photo as a reference?
    • BJORN
      Participant
      Chirps: 39
      suzukiawd13
      I am inspired by bird and nature music. I like the song, Golden Bird, and Free Bird. So I have gotten into experimenting with art/music, that is bird related/inspired. I like birds, especially, because they are different from all other animals. I also like, and studied, Praying Mantis.   My favorite birds are, Green Heron/Ibis/Osprey.
    • Maribel
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mrandonian
      My backyard is a rich nature sanctuary. We routinely have a Great Blue Heron who visits our koi pond (!) and a red-shouldered hawk who bathes and drinks from the waterfall flowing into the pond. I feel so fortunate that I only have to walk out the door to begin sketching. I especially like the thought of adding sketches to a monthly page. I think I'll try that.
    • Meg
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mgoliver22
      1) I used to be fairly artistically active, but haven't sketched or drawn regularly for years. It's a habit that I'd like to bring back into my life and this seems like a fun way to do it. I'm also hoping to transition into a more creative career in the next few years and need to exercise the right side of my brain more. 2) I admired different aspects of all of the journals. It was interesting to see how people formatted their journal pages so differently and did fewer very detailed sketches (like, wow detailed) or more quick sketches that just captured the overall shapes and feelings of the moment. I think doing a combination of quick sketching and sitting longer with subjects to capture more detail will be beneficial for me to not only improve my observational drawing skills but also trying to remain in the moment enjoying what's around me.
    • Irene
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      irenemary
      Over the past two years I have visited two local birding sites in Alberta on a weekly basis (mostly) during the spring summer and fall,  making notes on the birds I have seen.  My goal was to observe changes over time.  Now I want to take my notes and photos and create a summary page (or two) of each year's observations with paintings of those that stood out for me.  I want to use a similar journaling method for my yearly visits to Vancouver Island.  There is always something new to observe with each visit. I found the nature journals in the video fascinating and took away lessons from them all.  I was particularly drawn to Holly's journal with its very fine watercolour paintings because I too use that medium. The challenge for me now is to not only make notes and take photos on my excursions but to also sketch in the field.
    • Jeff
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      JeffPollitt
      Ever since I was a kid in England and Canada after we emigrated, I have enjoyed doodling.  Once I had kids of my own, I would draw various things for them....trucks, cars, airplanes, and especially faces and eyes and cartoon characters.  My Aunt, who has lived in Ashland, Ore. for 20 yrs is an amazing artist who also started very young and has made a living of it.  My uncle also "dabbled" with paints and was an amazing self-taught artist. Having said that, a few yrs ago, at the ripe age of 65 and retired, I decided to take a college course, Drawing From The Right Side of the Brain. It really opened up a lot of ideas and development of how we see things. I have always been attracted to birds and the many species and diversity of colours.  I love the sound of songbirds in the morning.  Walking through wooded trails is always a delight for mindfulness and observation.  I am excited to get into this as my wife got me into Cornell with a Christmas gift coupon.  I am excited to see where all of this leads.
    • Bettie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      BowBettie
      I have decided that I want to be more mindful, observant and in the moment in all aspects of my life and since I enjoy being outside I figured nature journaling would be a good start. I also feel as though it will help me learn more about nature. I enjoyed seeing the different journals and must admit I am a bit intimidated as I really do not draw well. I am not exactly sure how I want to pursue this but I am very intrigued with doing a monthly journal of what I see at a certain spot over that month. I am fortunate enough to own some acreage so my plan is to start on my property and observe in a certain spot for a certain amount of time and go from there.
      • Mechtild
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        MikaMaus
        Bettie, I'm in the same spot as you. I have a large garden with many beautiful plants, birds, insects and other wildlife that I love to observe. Have never drawn anything outside of elementary school art class, so will have to see how that goes. I am intimidated by the blank page and all I see outside right now is a heck of a lot of snow, so I suppose I can just pretend for a bit longer.... My plan is to get outside and start observing the first buds and insects that show up. I figure I'll start small, and work my way up to birds and other things as I gain confidence. We  really are our own worst enemy.
    • Geri
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      gerbear
      I hike frequently and love to observe trees, wild floowers and birds. I find that I have a lot of questions about what I am obseving. The idea of a nature journal is very appealing as a means of documenting what I see and then researching more about it.
    • Laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lmluvsart
      1. A few years ago during a local art tour, an artist showed her nature journal to me.  It brought tears to my eyes which seldom occurs unless there is a deep sense of connecting to beauty. 2. I like the combination of a sketch with color and notes that highlight the moment and the fascination of the encounter.  The sense of wonder that you are immersed in and want to capture.
    • Gail
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Gcoffeywriter
      I appreciated the different styles of each journal and has motivated me to add a new dimension to my nature journaling.  My nature journal is usually inspired poems or prose based on my experience in the natural world.  I usually write a poem and then do a drawing.  I have focused mostly on trees, mushrooms, acorns, the forest floor-leaves, pine needles and twigs and a few landscape drawings.  I have taken some nature art lessons so I understand the basics of drawing and illustration. I like the idea of adding some scientific observations mixed in with illustrations.  I was just out in the woods doing some animal tracking and came across moose tracks.  I tried to draw them, but they lack depth so need to learn some techniques to make tracks look three dimensional. I spend so much time outdoors and have a deep spiritual connection to the natural world so love spending more time observing nature when I draw- it really makes me appreciate the incredible beauty, textures and richness of where I am.
    • Sara Jayne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      SJCole43
      I am an avid birder and enjoy birding with friends but recently I have been searching for an excuse to "be still" and enjoy the experience. The practice of Mindfulness has become a way for me to deal with stress after my husband died and I see this nature journaling as an opportunity to be out in nature with some purpose and time to be mindful of what I see.  I have enjoyed other Bird Academy classes and look forward to this one.
      • Bettie
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        BowBettie
        Hi Sara Jayne, Sorry to read about the loss of your husband. I have come to the decision to start a nature journal as a way to be more observant, mindful and present. I enjoy birds and begin out in nature. I, too, have taken other classes from Bird Academy and have really enjoyed them. Bettie
    • MELANIE
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Chickadee333
      I like the whole idea of creating a story about a hike or a trip that will include details about the adventure and will show the things that i thought were remarkable and meaningful to me in context of the entire trip. I can't wait to start using the watercolors.
    • Zack
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mox411
      I want to be able to draw what I see well. I want to spend more time outside focused on individual entities, instead of just plowing through the trail just to get back to the car. I want to pay more attention to the structure and form of the plants and animals that inhabit my habitat.
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Rebecca_Houseman
      I think I selfishly want to develop my drawing skills but, looking at the amazing journals presented in this section of the class, I decided that I really want to learn to be present with nature. I realize that journaling is about being with the moment. I think I want to use drawings as a way to ruminate and meditate about the subjects that I encounter in my life.
    • Kit
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Kitterianne
      I have done a little nature journaling in the past and every time I look at those few pictures, it transports me back to that wonderful moment of awareness and the beauty I was lucky to be witnessing.  I am intimidated by that blank page sometimes, though, and wanted to see how this course helps with that issue.  I enjoyed seeing how each person in the video approached their journals differently with the desire to see and understand the natural world more deeply, which makes me feel freer to use my own expression in my journals.  I am intrigued by the concept of making a page a month to fill in all I see - January may be a bit empty, but it will make me look around more during each month!
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      jennbollich
      I have always been inspired and intrigued by naturalists and their field records. I can pore over drawings, paintings, photographs, and writings for hours, as well as spend countless hours reading biographies, writings, and even children's books about famous naturalists and conservationists. My children and I would often sit outside when they were younger and observe nature, read books, make up stories about the creatures we saw, and make nature journals. I still have some of my children's early nature drawings. I definitely would like to keep a record of date, time, location and weather. I think it is important. I am inspired by the goal of a drawing a day but I think I may need to make it a page a week. That will be my new year's goal. I'm fascinated with a purely observational study but I'm also considering a more imaginative interpretation. Perhaps in a separate journal, perhaps mixed together. I often imagine a fanciful world of anthropomorphic animals and fairy creatures interacting. I am interested to try journaling these ideas. Perhaps it will inspire me. My art skills are somewhat lacking but I've made the resolution to be content with what I have and keep persevering. Who knows? Maybe I'll improve with practice.
    • Betsy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      BetsyWier
      1. I have been nature journaling for a long time without calling it that or really structuring what I was doing. I love to paint, draw, etc nature subjects and I love to find and collect things like shells, bones, rocks, etc. I was inspired to take this class to put some more structure or intentionality behind journaling so that could have more of an overall product to share with  others. 2. I really like the journals that have different views of the same thing on one page with notes, it's really interesting to look at visually. I also realized while looking at these journals that seemingly mundane observations are actually fun to read if you werent there - so I need to be more confident about sharing what is on my mind in the moment. 3. I like to draw/paint images from dreams as well when they involve animals, forests, rivers - nature subjects. For example, I had a dream once that I was a fox running through the forest - I could see my paws and whiskers! So, I like the physical reality of nature journaling and observation, but also journaling about our other experiences with nature that are felt and experienced differently too.
    • Lita
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      LO2020
      1. I have always enjoyed and appreciated the beauty of the natural world, but I have not drawn anything for many years. Now that my kids are older (12 and 15), I not only have a bit of time at the end of the day to draw, I also find that I am NEEDING more time spent on meditative observation. I am really looking forward to this class holding me accountable. I also want to show my kids that while technology is great, it is important to disconnect and use your senses to appreciate the real-life, not virtual, beauty around us. 2. I am going to be patient with myself and my growth through this course, but I would love to get to the point where I can share my work publicly with others. I absolutely love the final journal highlighted in the video! It would be fantastic to get there. But to start, I like D.J. McNeil's approach to use the journaling and sketching to make the best observations possible, even if I do not complete each sketch. My main goal is the act of careful observation.
    • Debra
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      naturgal
      I was inspired by a book about creating mixed media pages about nature and also by following someone on FB who does nature journaling. I love nature, hiking with my dog and photographing what we see, writing narratives to go along with the photos. I am striving to reduce stress and anxiety, and to be more mindful . I never seem to  make time for art. It seems to be a luxury.  So I think nature journaling would be something wonderful I could do that would bring more peace to my life as I reflect on the beauty of nature through art and writing. So, my approach would be to do a combination of art and reflective writing ,along with research. Seeing all of the styles of journaling was very inspirational.  I would use pencil, ink, watercolor crayons, and watercolor .
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      sci_storyteller
      I teach teachers about how to make science and nature alive for their students K-12, and one of the methods I use is science and nature notebooks/ journals. I would like to be better about nature journaling myself, for my own benefit, but I'd also like to be better able to guide my teacher candidates in the process, including why doing it can help you learn. I love looking at the watercolors- I have sketches in mine but haven't taken that kind of time to create watercolors. I look forward to giving it a try! The monthly entries that Holly Faulkner talks about could work well for me, even if my drawings are not at that level.
    • Robert
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      robbirder12
      I have kept note books with my bird and wildlife sightings with some pencil sketches and some watercolours for over 30 years but over the past 5 years my photography has taken over and I’m now keen to get back and start drawing and painting to illustrate my notes and improve on my very rusty skills! In answer to the second question, the drawings and paintings shown over a month were excellent and I love the concept of putting subjects in context with plants, trees, leaves flowers etc. I like the idea of having multiple sketches that show the subjects behaviour or stances, with some just pencil drawings and notes and others in watercolour. The sketches below are from notebooks 10 years ago! E975A77C-B4BC-42C6-9E4C-2EDF9C1565B1383E2D4E-998C-4C8D-B89A-C4C1DA6AC4FC
    • Renee
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Renee Fancher
      I love to doodle and sketch in travel journals we've kept over the years. Plus we spend a lot of time outdoors, and wanted to try nature journaling to develop a greater awareness of earth's gifts. I also want a better way to remember time spent outdoors, other than photos taken with an iPhone.
    • Mike
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      mhoneyman
      1. I'm an avid bird lister, but I'm keen to slow my pace down and take more in from the point of view of form and behaviour of birds but also other flora and fauna around them. I have always enjoyed sitting and just being 'in' nature and have dabbled a little in art in the past but always convince myself I'm too time poor. But there are plenty of things I can drop off to make the time for some journaling so I'm keen to give it a go. I've also found the books 'Looking at Birds: An antidote to field guides' by John Busby, and Edward Wilsons 'Birds of the Antarctic' enjoyable in the way they capture the essence of birds behaviour often in partial of loosely formed sketches. 2. I like the idea of having a daily or monthly routine. I think as a beginner it would be good to build some discipline. Generally though I liked the relaxedness of the approach. Try something and see if it works. Keep it (and iterate / improve if it does) but don't be put off and just try something different it it doesn't.
    • Adrian
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      TinyDonkey
      1. I do a lot of wildlife recording and usually have a camera (sometimes with a macro lens) and take a lot of photos of the various insects and plants. This is great but once they have been viewed on the computer screen invariably they are hardly looked at again. Also taking a photo and moving on meant not spending more time to study a  particular aspect of the insect or plant. I thought taking this course would help to slow down and pay  more attention to behaviours or the finer details of flowers/plants. 2. I like the idea of having the date, location and weather recorded for the each day or session. Will probably try a couple of the styles and gradually end up with my own particular style as this course and future journaling progresses. 3. Will still take photos as this would help remind me of the colours and shapes as may end up finishing the sketches at home, at least until my journaling skills improve. May also print out some of the photos and attach them into my journal.
    • Casside
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      casside.blake
      What inspired me to begin nature journaling is that I love to draw I've always been good but I'm not the best at capturing scenery I'm more of a cartoon artist but I thought it would be good and fun the learn more and improve on my nature art. I really liked Shayna Muller's nature journal I think I might do something similar to her's.
    • Maggie
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      maggiewuts
      Finding this course inspired the idea to nature journal.  I hike everyday and photos that I take are disappointing. They are what the camera sees but not what I see.  I've been sketching rabbits for two years now and it's only been through practice that I've developed a style.  I don't know where nature journaling will take me but just like sketching rabbits, I feel that if I just start, I will develop a style that satisfies me.
    • James
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      Jim Fuehrmeyer
      1. Initially, I signed up for this course because it's the only Cornell course left for me to take! But I used to write in a journal when I started going on retreat to a monastery in Kentucky thirty years ago. I only did it there and it was usually after spending hours outside sitting alone in the woods or by some small lake. I learned a lot about myself from those entries and I want to get back to that. I'm retired now and spend as much time as I can "out there with the birds" and need to start writing down some of the great thoughts I have. 2. I like the idea of using boxes to highlight thoughts and questions and even sketches.  I can't draw - my stick figures are even pathetic but a couple of the journalers did not look like they were Norman Rockwell's descendants so perhaps there is some hope for me as well! 3. I had an eye-opening moment this past summer on a vacation trip to Moscow (Viking River Cruise) where I noticed some behavior by local birds called Fieldfares that really made me think about people - humans in general. I'm going to try to gain insights from the birds I see and how they live by including bigger questions in my journal - questions that likely don't have answers just more questions.
    • Diane
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      dianebeaulaurier
      I kept nature journals many years ago in college natural history classes and loved doing it. Now that I am retired from workaday life, I finally have some time to get back to it. I like drawing but don't have much experience with painting, so I think using watercolors is a simple way to start painting to enhance my nature journal. I will definitely include date/time/weather/location info to document the reference information of my journal entries. There was a great variety in the journals in the videos. I think as I progress i will learn what techniques are most suitable for me.
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kate.jensen24
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I love sketching and do not do it very regularly, the idea of a nature journal seems to put a few of my loves all together with more awareness on time as well. I work with kids and have them keep nature journals, or work on drawing different aspects of plants and trees thus I'd like to be able to better teach and serve the youth with this practice as well. 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? I really enjoyed the first woman as she had the boxes for writing and drawing and then transitioned to drawings coming out of the box. The mix of observations, questions, names and drawings really struck me as something I naturally do as well. As for timing, I think starting with one or two entries a week feels do-able, perhaps progressing to more as time goes on. I also think I might try in the winter months to draw plants/shells/pinecones/feathers I have indoors as well. 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? I'd like to include the moon phase in the data entry, as well as a few gratitudes in writing, or perhaps drawing, and an overall feel to the day/moment. I enjoy communicating with the plants and animals as well thus recording any messages or teachings I receive would be nice to practice as well.
    • Alanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      lannabelle504
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? Becoming a Master Naturalist inspired me to begin nature journaling, but my best friend buying this course for me has rekindled the flame. 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? I would love to try the stylized layouts of the last journalist featured. I loved her use of color and layouts! 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? I'd like to adopt two styles I learned from this video. I loved the monthly layout idea with a highlight of illustrations and then going into more detail like the first journaler with detailed information. I also loved her style of the partial boxes and how the images seemed to jump from the page. I think I'd also like to integrate more charts and tables in my journal. Also, in addition to the time of day, date, weather, and place I'd like to add moon phase to my box on the top of my page. Also, playing around with the boxes location (Top or bottom horizontal, left or right vertical, maybe even a small box for each corner and then moon phase in the middle of the top or bottom left or right).
    • Melissa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      MelissaElizabethC
      1) My friend Debra inspired me to begin nature journaling! My husband enjoys birding and bird photography and I usually accompany him on his photography outings. He holds the camera and I'm there for support, though often times I'm there just observing either with my naked eye or with binoculars. I don't mind at all. This is especially fun during the summer as to me it's no different than a relaxing day at the beach. Upon a chance meeting of a lovely new friend Debra and her husband who were also birding at one of the spots we visited over the summer, I learned that Debra had recently begun nature journaling. She explained to me that she began journaling as a better way to remember and explore the birds she was seeing when out in the field. I was so inspired by her enthusiasm in getting back to sketching and drawing! I hadn't sketched in years but thought this would be an adventurous idea for me and she was so encouraging recommending this course! Thank you Debra for recommending this journaling course to me! 2) I really liked Shayna's approach to journal set up where she jotted down what she saw but also gave herself little 'magnifying glass zoom in' spaces where she could point to and draw the smaller intricate details in the object as well. I can see myself doing this to show the texture of the features on birds or the patterns in the leaves of a plant... even the markings on an insect. I loved the journalists' approach in always adding dates as I think this will finally be a way for me to remember what we saw when and where! 3) I don't have additional journaling ideas yet but I'm kind of a 'get the ideas once I put pen to paper' kind of person so I'm looking forward to what ideas seem to come up! :)
    • Annette
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      gersmehl
      Drawing Lesson_9116Drawing Lesson_9117 My journaling activity began in June when I started carrying a sketchbook in the field. Here in Waukegan the bird migration has tapered off by that time and birding is pretty slow. I had bought a set of watercolors a few years ago and found I needed to draw something from life rather than photos. Flowers are less challenging than birds. They are easy to find and generally sit still. By looking at other journals I can see things to do that will make my journal more useful and interesting. I loved the color swatches in one of the journals featured. I have been fascinated with watercolor pigments for a while. I plan on including swatches where appropriate. I have tried boxes on the page and it isn't working for me. My goal is to try to record more information than the illustration includes. My past journaling is weak in that area. My choice of mediums is varied and I require a smaller format book than is recommended here. I have a small (5 x 7.5) loose-leaf binder that fits into a generous pocket. I fill it with a selection of papers. This is time-consuming but it helps me to learn the different mediums. I am learning a lot about the importance of opacity and transparency of watercolors by using black watercolor paper. Probably not a choice for many paintings but fun and instructive to work with. Another paper that is interesting is toned gray or brown paper. Winter here is gray-everywhere. Sketching the gulls on gray paper helps the whites and blacks show. Inserting a photo in my journal is not out of the question, if it is pertinent to the record I am trying to make. I will add tracing paper in case I find a leaf or feather that I can make a rubbing from. Finally the most important suggestion is to jot down questions. This will give life to my observations I'm sure.
    • Michael
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      mdjewell
      2BA50E5C-CA5A-4DE1-80A4-AEC5AF96E07C
    • Doria
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      DoriaWare
      A few years ago, I took a class led by Claire Walker Leslie, who has written several books on nature journaling. Maybe I'm a little intimidated because she is such an accomplished artist and her books are so captivating. I want to take a seasonal approach to nature journaling and since I live in the Northeast I can take advantage of observing the changing of the four seasons. I don't want to be too rigid in my design of my sketchbook. I understand that it will be a process of discovering my own style. That being said, I'm excited to use drawing and painting to capture the essence of what I'm observing. Here's to a great class! Doria
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      ktfromlv
      What inspired me to begin nature journaling? earlier this year I took a course to become a certified Nevada Naturalist. We had to keep a journal. I had already been practicing drawing from photos I’ve taken so the journal part of the naturalist course seemed easy, but then I thought I should try to draw while in the field. Yikes! It’s a challenge. I like all the different journals that have been presented here. I am not sure what style I will use, but a daily journal seems a bit tough. Maybe I’ll start with journaling One bird while I am out exploring the state and federal parks in my area while bird watching. It’s always nice to be able to stop and reflect on nature’s beauty.
    • Dorothy
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      ettajames
      I wanted to start nature journaling in order to further my understanding of the art of it. In other words, what are the actual colors I am observing, how is nature made up of shapes, what details might I see that I would not have seen before. I also wanted to use nature journaling to increase my identification skills of birds, and butterflies. After seeing others' journals, I would like to use some of their ideas. I will do many shape drawings, ovals, circles etc to begin my pages. I will not worry if a drawing is not complete and I will have fun with the whole process! i definitely want to try different mediums on my pages. I would like to see about using colored pencils vs water color and why not use collage style as well?
    • JiSeon
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      ihnj
      Hello everyone, my name is JiSeon and I have been fascinated with and  enjoying botanical illustrations for a long time.  That has led to my current interest in learning to nature journal.  I love being outdoors in nature and often see images and scenery that I want to capture, but taking a photo sometimes just doesn’t appeal to me, and that is what peaked my interest in learning to draw details as well as landscapes...colors really draw me into what I am seeing. I am a very beginner, and I really enjoyed looking at the various journals;  I don’t know what my style will be yet, but I am drawn to start with plant closeups using watercolors. Look forward to learning and sharing will all of you!
    • Tracie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Tracie L
      IMG_7008 1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I have long been an artist that kept journals with doodles, art ideas, small sketches, but rarely a true record of my day or observations with my art. Most of my art is abstract, but I can draw realistically when I want to. Sketching quickly from nature is a gift that eludes me. I started plain air painting with talented friends and discovered that I am terrible at it! It is difficult for me to see the "big picture." I would usually wander around, take pics of birds with a telephoto lens and then go home and paint the birds I photographed, sometimes several on a canvas. Still, this was not as satisfying as what my friends were doing: making a record of a moment in time outdoors. I want to be able to sketch birds and items in nature outdoors while I am enjoying it. I visited Massachusetts last month and drew these leaves I collected from the lawn of the Norman Rockwell Museum later that evening. It is a special drawing to me that brings back that day I spent with my family and the beautiful lawn and bright orange leaves even if I didn't add that color to the sketch. This is not part of a current Nature Journal,though I probably will use a combination of pen with watercolor in my nature journal. I love nature, birds, animals of all kinds. I am excited to learn more about nature-journaling and learn from those who do it professionally and those just starting into it. I have a deep admiration for Scientific Botanical Artists! I have photographed our travels for years, nature journaling will help me savor the moments I think. 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? I like the idea of a consistent element or look to the page, although I think it doesn't have to be a "rule" or I could tire of it quickly. I know I will most likely add lots of written info to the page. 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? I have done frotage (rubbings) of leaves in some of my old written travel journals. I have only just started this course so maybe you will mention that in lessons to come. Also, collage of found items using a repositionable glue stick might be a fun thing to add to my journal. Either paper or leaves or other small objects: feathers, seeds, etc. Thank you I am totally excited about learning this and sharing with others interested in this "Nature Journal Journey"
    • Judith
      Participant