• Kathy B.
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      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.
      • 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!
    • Mika
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      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
      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
      • 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
        Your drawing is so beautiful! I love it
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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
      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.
    • Joan
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      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
      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
        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
      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
      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: 7
      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
      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
      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
      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
        I love the idea of combining drawings and poems.
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      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
      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
      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
        Your idea of pop-up images is brilliant!
      • Jim
        Participant
        Chirps: 6
        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
      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
      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
      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
      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