• Last summer my main relaxation was tending a vegetable garden and walking trails.  I found myself interested in plants and bugs and birds like never before.  I took pictures of them and used an app to identify them.  I put it all together in a file and love looking back on it.  Sometimes just looking at a particular flower or lichen brings back a whole day of happy memories.  I've been dabbling in watercolors for several years.  The idea of combining these interests was too much to resist and I'm really looking forward to this class and how I'll use the skills this spring and summer.
    • Cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      This past year has been rough, as it has been for many I am sure. I've found myself depending on my time outside (just as I did when I was growing up) as a respite from the noise and uncertainty. Many moons ago, I was an avid journaler but somewhere in my late 30's I got caught up in job and family responsibilities and all of that went to the wayside. Emerging from this year, inspired by a reconnection to nature, I want to build back that rhythm of observation into my life. My husband and I love on the edge of a marsh. I'm an avid native and vegetable gardener as well as a bird watcher (the cranes have just returned!) and so...I think was drawn to the gentleman who had multiple sketches of birds views on each page, just capturing all angles in the same space, and the daily/monthly diary of the last journaler (amazingly beautiful). I like how that style captures the rhythm of time passing and changes happening in a space. I think I might also look to add language or phrases that are inspired by the observations that might be incorporated into meditations. I think this will also assist me in affirming the mindfulness I feel when I'm connecting to nature.
    • Anna
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      As a child I loved drawing and coloring and have wanted to pursue this joy as an adult but haven’t had the courage or time to pursue until now.  I also love nature.  I started birdwatching this year and want to record what I see.  I want to sketch my subject but also want to add color.  I like including text about the subject and finding out information on the subject to add later.
    • Karla
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I really enjoy watching and photographing birds with my husband. I have also enjoyed drawing, but I don't think of myself as an artist. I thought it would be fun to combine these passions and to spend time trying to capture some of what I am seeing. Though I do not think it is the recommended approach, I might need to bring some items home or capture them with photographs so that I can do the journaling at home because I live in Scotland where it is often times too wet, windy or cold to sit outside long enough to finish an entry. I'm really looking forward to this. I included a page of objects I picked up on the beach or at the house I was staying at on the Isle of Lewis last spring. 20210228_144721
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 74
        I can appreciate these colorful sketches of a yellow daffodil, a crab claw and a scallop.
    • Adrianna
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have committed myself to set out an bird more this year. It is a hobby I truly enjoy and one of the few times I allow myself to be content with the "quiet." One of the reasons I want to begin nature journaling is to be able to bring some of those joyful moments home, so I will have something physical I can go through later to remember my experience. I find photos to be too impersonal, and journaling is a better way to capture the subjective moment.
    • Gloria
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I was gifted this course by my husband for Christmas, and I would love to have it inspire me to begin documenting all the beauty around me here in our new home in Florida.  We live on the Nature Coast, and it's kind of a wild beauty, not perfectly manicured, and I love that about it and would love to be able to create a journal to capture it.  I'm just so in awe of the completely different types of landscapes, birds, plants and animals here; even the light is different.  We have also started doing some traveling and I would love to be able to keep a visual record of that too.
    • Hanna
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am so excited to begin! I've started drawing a bit to learn something new during the pandemic and have been drawn to nature subjects. I was also diagnosed with a type of autoimmune arthritis this year so on days when I want to spend time outside without physically exerting myself too much, this will be great! My grandma is also a great artist and I love to see the field drawings that she's done to remember something she's seen or to learn more about her subject.
    • Francesca
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      I have long been a journal-er and a birdwatcher.  During the pandemic I've also done some photographing of flowers and plants I find on my walks.  I have never thought  of myself as much of an artist, but I think learning to sketch a bit would help make walks and nature observance deeper and more memorable. I think from my photography experience that I will probably have at least one or two different things I'll want to capture from an outing.  I would like to work up to birds, but might spend some time with plants for awhile since they stay put better...
    • frances
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I like the idea that you can capture an essence of a visit in a journal so that you can go back and be reminded about the day. Little sketches and written material helps with that. Also, I like to use watercolor and this would be a way to exercise the procedure to a full fledged watercolor painting.
    • Melissa
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have enjoyed being in nature and journaling for a long time, though separately, and am not consistent with journaling. Years ago, I started creating "5-minute sketches" in pencil on each memorable hike I took. I'm hoping what I learn in this class will help me to expand my observations, draw better, paint more, and be more mindful/present when I'm in nature.
    • Jeff
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      Being so new to these skills, to add to the discussion seems awkward.  My takeaway is that my journal will likely begin as a hybrid.  Reflecting on Shayna's breakaways of cubes and magnification for added detail.  Jewels reference color chart is an awesome tool.  Then of course the wonderful Art along with notation employed by Liz certainly a goal to aim for. So here we go.
    • Dawn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Really love Holly's style with the watercolour! I dabble in watercolour already so this is a good style for me. I love how she has the dates painted in and the notes are great too. Her style has really inspired me to record even the smallest of items such as a pine cone or a mushroom. Very interesting aspects of the journal!
    • Victoria
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I have dabbled with journalling both travel and nature and seen some published ones that have inspired me to do more and more often. 20210201_2028152. I really liked Shayna Muller's journal as she has a way of orgnizing her drawings/notes etc. I liked the idea of sometimes using black and white and sometimes colour. Placing some things in boxes and enlarging part of a plant or animal appealed to me. I like her suggestion of drawing, thinking and writing and later maybe finding out more information. 3. I have usually made a title page of where I am followed by pages of art/words. Underlining certain words is another idea I use. 20210201_202837
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 74
        I appreciate these beautiful pages out of a journal along with its title page, a great idea.
    • Robert
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I have been attempting to learn nature sketching using a book by a very good nature artist.  But I feel like I would benefit from a structured course on the topic.  Right now, being that it is 17 degrees outside I don't imagine taking as journal outside, but can bring back nature objects, shells etc. and use photos to draw. Would like to make my sketches "come alive" - not just be two dimensional on a sheet of paper.
    • Van
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I'd been keeping a journal for years off and on, but it wasn't as artistic as I wanted it to be, so I am hoping following a course, working on drawing or watercoloring, and giving myself a schedule will help me keep on it and grow as a journalist.  Also, go make more opportunities for observation--making the time for it. I liked how some were so artsy, but I don't have those skills now.  I liked the idea of keeping a schedule, of adding observations, backgrounds, and also studying the subject after the fact to include scientific info in the journal. As I was typing this, a Cooper hawk flew onto my tree, so I immediately jumped up and drew it.  It's nice to connect like this.
    • Nina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I am more of a nature photographer - but sometimes carrying my gear feels intrusive, cumbersome, and takes me out of the moment. I have been looking for a way to still capture what I see, but carrying less gear.  I like to look back at my photos to understand trends, patterns, etc, and I can use my journals the same way. For now I want to always keep the date, time location and weather at the top of the page - I like that idea for learning more about what I see.  Eventually, I might like to move to a more stylized journal, but I'm not there yet.
    • emilie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have kept all kinds of journals throughout my life and this winter I have made the promise to myself to spend at least an hour outside every day. As I have some challenges with walking, the journalling seemed a great idea to spend the time outside, observe and try to learn some new insights and skills.
    • ellie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I like the idea of using it as a reference to help me remember not only what I saw but facts to remember. I like to capture my enthusiasm when I was thrilled at what I saw.
    • Cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I love keeping a bird journal in writing because I enjoy perusing it and remembering the birds I've seen. I'd like to add sketches because I love drawing, and I'd love to create a keepsake for my son and grandson. My son has become a birder over the years because of me and has developed a passion for it. We hope his little son will develop this too. I strongly desire to develop my art, and I think nature journaling will help me be particularly mindful of details by trying to capture the essence of a living thing, plant or animal, on paper. I want to get good at sketching, doing quick sketches of active birds. My style is so meticulous right now, and I'd love to loosen it up. I've already learned a lot simply by being shown what materials to buy and by looking at examples of other people's journals. I'm a seventy-year-old grandma for the first time which has been very exhilarating! As I embark on my nature journaling, I feel equally excited and challenged.
    • Jessica
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      1) I love how beautiful nature journals are, and I'd love to get back to painting. I abandoned watercolors over the last year as it all felt a bit too much, and nature journaling seems like a great way to pick up the skill again, at the same time as I focus on being more present in nature. 2) I enjoyed how all the artists had such distinct memories attached to their nature journals. My favorite styles were the ones that combined drawing, color, and words on the same page. 3) I think I might incorporate more growing seedlings in my nature journal, particularly during these winter months in the midwest when it's too cold (for me at least!) to sit still outside.
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I love all of nature around me,  am an avid gardener, and want to start cataloging my gardens and the critters they attract.   Hopefully with sketches and journaling I will be able to maintain a record of how the landscape around me changes with the seasons/years.  This class will, I hope, get me started on the right track.
    • NDiane
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Have been gardening for a long time and decided I wanted to not only watch the garden grow, but to sketch (for now) what I was growing so I can recall during the long winter months.  If these sketches turn out good enough I might share them with my children.  Basic sketching so I can get the idea  of shapes and sizes etc. first.  No different idea yet, but I usually incorporate my own style eventually.  Very novice so will follow what is done until I feel more comfortable.
    • Robin
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I believe I have little artistic ability. And I want to change this! As a novice birder and experienced outdoors person, I find joy in the exquisite designs of nature. I am trying to sketch and draw so I may more vibrantly recall all this beauty. Text and drawings! I thought you were "supposed" to draw just a certain way. I guess I put unnecessary walls around my inspiration. I think I'll scrapbook as well as journal, adding found items now & then, as well as my attempts to recreate them. Maybe this will be a measure of increasing skills.  
    • Ayn
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Like many here, I received this course as a gift (from my husband). My interest in birding has increased since I've been working from home due to COVID. My feeders are a welcome diversion from the day-long computer screen. I have been fascinated by the variety of birds outside my window and hope that this course will improve my attention and ability to identify birds as well as my mindfulness in general.
    • Karly
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I have loved both art and nature since I was a kid. I've done some nature journaling but really want to take my sketches to the next level. I'm in particular excited to learn more about watercolor technique because I have always found that to be a difficult medium. With the pandemic, I work from home and have developed a lovely backyard nature observation practice and have jotted down what I see each day. I want to now pair that with some sketches! 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 definitely want to incorporate some better watercolor techniques and experiment with different page layouts.