• Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I am a writer who loves to be outdoors. I was once a newspaper reporter, briefly a poet and then a high school writing teacher for 25 years. Now, I am retired, and trying to get back to my writing. I'm afraid to begin, not sure what I want to write. But I love plants and birds and creatures of all kinds--and have a huge garden and backyard chickens. I like hiking and camping. The idea of a journal seems safe and intriguing to me. I can begin by documenting my beautiful garden..not only the plants, but the caterpillars and butterflies and the little frog I found. I can take a walk into the woods with my dog and sit down and document little things on the trail. I would like to learn more about what I see--to be a naturalist in training--and I think this project will help me with that. I like the idea of writing and images mixed, so that you can write about the images and in response to the images. I like the poems of Mary Oliver, who has written a lot about the natural world in Provincetown Massachusetts. I always wished I could see something like a nature journal for the things that inspire her work. If Mary Oliver had kept a nature journal wirth images and words--how precious that would be! I love Annie Dillard's essays about the elements of the natural world. I love the way she can slow do2n one moment observation and have so many ripples of meaning spreading out format. And Virginia Wollf's essay, "Death of the Moth" is such a large work, morally, philosophically. Imagine a sketch of the moth! I like the nature journal style of Shayna Mueller, because she has a few drawings in squares and the some text about the experiences and observations. I also like that she uses her journal for studying. I hope I can do that too, to be a notice naturalist and maybe a poet or essayist who writes with authority and specificity. Pat
    • Gloria
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I live in the mountains and love the hummingbirds, blue jays, woodpeckers, among other birds that come to eat at our feeders, as well as bald eagles, red tailed hawks, buzzards, and others who cross our paths, that we encounter on our hikes. After my friend who enrolled in this class told me about it, I decided that it would be so cool to keep a field journal that would document dates and times and types of birds that I encounter through out the year.  As winter nears, many of our birds will be moving on to warmer climates since we get snow, but it will fun to notice the feathered friends that I encounter on my travels. 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 about drawing boxes but I also like the freedom to write my notes around the drawings.  I am afraid of ruining my drawing with the box, or making it so that my box doesn’t fit or is awkward.  I think I will have to try different ways until I find my style.  I am new to this, and I hope to learn about drawing.
    • midi
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Hi everyone! I've enjoyed reading emails from you all and can feel how rich are the experiences, gifts and resources among nature journalers gathered here. 1 What inspired me to begin? This course came along at a perfect moment for me, when I am ready to slow down and give myself time and space to explore and appreciate whatever is right in front of my nose in nature. When the invitation arrived, I was  attracted by Liz's enthusiasm and giftedness, and I felt intuitively that I can learn from her and enjoy doing so. As a small child I was given two books of a women called Edith Holden, including 'The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. They were things of such beauty that I loved owning them, and they inspired me to look closely at plants and creatures on my walks and rides around my home. It never occurred to me then to try my own hand at nature journaling. I want now to develop my eye and observational skills as well as to learn drawing and painting techniques at my own pace in my own style. I'm slow starting the course because nature has served up a lot of fire around my home recently - I did not want to begin and have to evacuate immediately. 2 Ideas and approaches I'll try: I enjoyed the variety of journals and was specially attracted by Shayna's work. The mix of writing and art anode different subjects; the way she evolved from closed to open box organically; her 'zoom' style of focussing on detail. I'm a perennial learner so imagine I too will be going to internet to research what I have just been observing and recording. 3 I'm excited to explore whatever comes up in my path and want to stay open to new and different ideas. I write and I aspire to be able to illustrate my own stories. I sense that journaling will give me the raw materials and practice to begin. Here's an example of Edith Holden's genius that once so inspired me: Screen Shot 2019-11-02 at 15.14.09
    • Danielle
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I have been a journaler for decades--but only with words! I have always been more engaged with words than images. I never learned to draw. In the last few years I have been wanting to expand and learn how to draw and sketch. I have taken a couple of very basic adult education drawing classes, and I have learned a lot, but I really have a long way to go! The more I've thought about it, I realized that my motivation for wanting to draw is that I want to draw nature in my journal. I want to keep memories that way. So when this class was advertised, I was really excited! 2. I really appreciated the range of journals in the videos. Some of the journalers were so talented with details and the "final" product of the pages they included was amazing. I really liked the journals that to the naked eye just looked like awkward pencil drawing on the page. What I liked is the stories that the artists told were just as vivid as the stories as the stories from the more detailed and colorful drawings. I liked that those journalers were able to document hours worth of an experience with pencil drawings. Seeing that made me feel less anxiety about being a beginner. My goal will be to have a variety of pages--some pencil, some color--all labeled with date, time, weather, and location and all of the with words to describe what I was seeing. 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? I think I will likely include some photos too.
    • holly
      Participant
      Chirps: 24
      1. It's thirty years since I attempted two adult evening course [when I tried to learn about photography and about H2o painting]. I've always loved birds and growing up in central MA where my dad & I fed the birds all year round [and the squirrels when they robbed the hanging  feeders]. I learned a great deal about gardening and its importance for the birds and the bees. I want to improve and stretch whatever skills I learned initially. A journal could solidify memories. 2. I've kept journals since I was a teenager. I never drew in any until after the evening art classes. Hearing Fullers other students speak and show on line their own journals reminded me more about my need to remember beautiful things I see, but can't trust my mind to remember. I was reminded also after looking at others field journals of something a grandmother always told me:"Always write the names & dates because you might not remember when you see them when you're older. 3. I like Fuller's positive attitude and encouraging ways to teach us all more. I'd remind people to never stop looking up!. You have to be able to hear in the field and look around. But look up to see shadows, spider webs or birds in thermals. When I was a soloed student sailplane pilot I learned to watch clouds for clues for areas to soar or look for the birds who thermal.
    • Karen O
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      What inspired you to begin? I was required to nature journal as part of a naturalist program I took. It started an addiction. Combining verbal observations with visual sketches brings a depth of understanding, or questions, that simply walking through the woods cannot. But my skills need improvement. We were left to our own devices, and I am eager to approach journaling with some training and help. This class seems ideal. Which approaches do I want to try? Watercolor. It keeps calling me, but I keep resisting. Hoping this class will calm my fears. Love sharing ideas  and work with others. It is both reassuring and inspiring. Journal ideas: this was touched on, but I would like to incorporate hand lettering to call out key observations. And mixing media, perhaps gluing seeds and bits into journal as well as drawing and writing. And I would like to answer this question: should all pages have the same personality and style, or can I mix it up without becoming chaotic?
      • Tracie
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        I definitely believe you can mix up your pages without it becoming chaotic. You might try one small graphic element being the same throughout, for instance a similar size box (or other shape) , or the same lettering style with the date, time, place, weather in the same corner or  opposite corners on each new page. Then you can experiment with what the page looks like in terms of how many elements will be on each page. You could also make each month one way and the next month be different if you decide you want some variety, but still keeping similar style like a different chapter. I am just starting out nature journaling and haven't even picked up a pencil yet, but I  have done some plein air painting with friends (I am not great at it). I think I am always focusing in on details anyway, where others can see the big picture better than me, so nature journaling suits my style well. Enjoy!
    • Steven
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      IMG_8936 Hello. It has been many years since I picked up a sketch pencil, paints or brushes. Life has a way of throwing in a host of other priorities. I'm taking this course to bring my desire to journal to fruition. I've never stopped hiking or taking long walks. In the past it has been mostly photography that has supplemented my learning and love of nature and biodiversity. Reading books like The Forest Unseen, by David George Haskell or Birds by the Shore, by Jennifer Ackerman have helped me immense myself in nature during my walks. I take notes and some photos in the field, and also do some light sketches. Later at home, making entries into my journal will help me capture the day and my observations, and motivate me to research further. Never stop learning. Cheers, Steven  
    • Stellar Jays
      • Christine
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        I LOVE this!! Bursting with energy and color — you’ve really captured the spirit of these birds! I’m delighted and inspired. Thank you!
    • Hello, getting a late start on this. 1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? This course appealed to me as I looked to do something fun & creative after almost a year of chemo & a stem cell transplant for leukemia. Meanwhile I retired & am ready to start having some fun again! I paint & photograph but in 2017 I wanted to make a bird Christmas card after seeing some in Wild Birds Unlimited. I laid out about 50 photos of the blue jays who visit my porch everyday & chose several that had fun poses - these birds have such character. It was my first bird painting & I want to do more in a nature journal with notes and observations. A friend introduced me to a nature journaling group on facebook & I was so impressed with what people were doing. I didn't know how to begin until I saw this course. 2...which ideas or approaches do you want to try? I love the ideas/styles that all the video journalists shared & anticipate experimenting with a mix of the styles, especially boxing sketches & letting the subjects reach out of the boxes, magnifying details, the quick sketching of shapes & changes as the birds move, the detailed studies of different parts of a bird as you focus on each part. 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here? Maybe only where I want to journal. I'm a solo backpacker in the Pacific NW & can see taking some lightweight journaling materials would give me a way to sit still & capture things around me in the beautiful mountain & coastal hikes I do. Meanwhile as I get stronger for the next few months, I'll journal my bird feeders & around the yard :) I look forward to working with you all. Chris  
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        Best wishes to you. I have been through a spate of difficulties over the past 6 years..........beginning to come out on the other side a regain some stability and I thought this course would help me to re-train my mind back into focus and discipline since it had been spread so thin as of late. I am excited to begin.
    • Andrew
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      1) I’ve become more interested in birding and general naturalist-ing as a way to reconnect with my youthful passion for biology; I’m currently a molecular biology PhD student, and working at a lab bench all day can make you forget what you got into all this for. I also have recurring bouts of interest in art, so this course seems like an obvious outlet for that. 2) I really appreciated D.J. McNeil’s approach. It was lacking in color, but he was very rich in his observations. I liked that he wouldn’t try to “finish” a sketch if the subject left. I want to follow that mindset of treating the journal more as an attempt to catalogue nature rather than as a first draft of a coffee table book. 3) I recently picked up a 10x hand lens, so I’m looking forward to using it as a way of getting more semi-microscopic detail in my journal.
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        Lab work, while worthy, can be kind of isolating. I did it for a few years and decided it was not for me. Now my lab is the outdoors, as much as is possible.
    • Claire
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I have always enjoyed art but find that I need a prompt of some kind to begin drawing or painting. What better prompt is there than nature around us? 2. I liked the idea of taking a journal on a trip with you to make a memento for your adventure rather than just taking photographs. Clearly the journalers had memories deeply associated with each moment they took to draw a part of their trip. 3. I enjoy preserving pressed leaves and flowers, I'd like to incorporate some plant specimens when I can to my journals.
      • Andrew
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        I’m with you on all those points.
    • Daina
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1.)  I have always loved to write and found writing outside was always fueled by the power of nature.  I eventually found that I wrote and sketched pictures at the same time, which evolved into a type of nature journal.  Now, many years later, I introduce children to nature journals as an educator, which gives me more inspiration to improve my own journaling! 2.)  I will try the journals with a particular subject per page, like the first journaler who drew various ferns, observed their similarities and differences and later researched unknown facts and names.  This is then a great personal reference!  I also am going to try to give my pages the finished look, as the journaler did by adding boxes around the pictures and questions. 3.)  I enjoying photographing nature and may include some photos in my journal.  This will actually encourage me to print my pictures, but also add an extra layer of interest to the journal.  I also think that I wouls also like to reaserch what I have seen and add some fun facts to the pages.
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        I have enjoyed photography as well and took a few pictures recently of things I would like to draw.
    • Tanya
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      In response to question 1... I am what I call a frustrated artist...I want to increase my observation skills, my artistic skills and commitment to drawing. I feel that nature journaling covers all 3 and I’m very excited to get started. question 2 is not easy to answer and I can see that many approaches will be attempted...some will stick, some I’ll let go% I’m a biologist my training so am drawn to the addition of specific information, but I TrueType love the journal with more explicit drawings and less information. I will start in the opposite direction,the addition of more info, and see how I proceed.
    • Alison
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1) I volunteer at a native medicinal garden with Extension Master Gardeners, but I rarely take the time to do observations. My goal is to have the luxury of time to sit, observe, and take notes, and improve my art and journaling skills so that I can keep better records of the amazing (often very tiny!) things I get to see. We are planning to add observation time to our work rotation this next year, and I hope that my notes will help increase our knowledge base about our garden and its inhabitants and visitors. 2) I really enjoyed the "boxes" in the first journaler's approach. I can relate to why she started using them, and I like the way they define the pages in her journal. 3) Since I already take and print photographs of our garden, I might include some of them in my journal along with my written and drawn/painted observations. What I paint and draw will be different from my photographs; I think they will both complement one another, though.
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        I liked the boxes. I am wondering if one of my notebooks should have had a grid.......at least to begin with.....to help with sizing.
    • Ken Brown
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I began nature (or rather, travel) journaling on a CAU trip to India with my old friend, Professor and Dean Porus Olpadwala in 2005.  My wife is an avid, formerly amateur, now professional, travel photographer.  To keep myself occupied and a bit out of the way, I picked up a sketchbook and pencil and began journaling. Now, almost 15 years later, journaling has become a habit, with stacks of pencil, pen and ink, acrylic and even oil paintings to show for it.  I generally do most of my work on the sidelines of exotic photography tours and workshops.  Interestingly, even amongst fabulously talented photographers, my sketches still capture everyone’s attention. There is something in process of capturing scenes by hand that still bears wonder even in the presence of the most incredible digital technology.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 30
      1. I used to do a lot of sketching from memory and life, but got out of it as I got busier and busier with photos and film. I observe birds, moss and lichens and nature settings in general. I find myself craving actually using my eyes, hands to draw instead of  taking a photo , which is how I've been illustrating my logs and journals. Photography becomes an animal in itself and has a life separate from the observer. tI'm inspired by Bernd Heinrich's thoughtful sketches, as I've reading his books on ravens. 2. I like all of the journal techniques, but especially like Shayna's as a model - it's diverse in media, and organized in info, and the journalistic style appeals to me, with diagrams and drawings coming out of their frames. 3. So far, no... I'm eager to explore through the examples and exercises in this course.
    • Janiece
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I am inspired to begin nature journaling because I am preparing to start a project I have had in mind for years, that of traveling the prairies with my husband in the teardrop camper he is building for this experience. I'll be writing a book and making art inspired by the biomes we explore. Nature journaling will bring the necessary mindfulness to what I see and feel about the places I travel that will have real staying power. It will draw me into a more intimate sense of the prairie places and help me to convey this to others. 2. I enjoyed seeing the range of the journalers' processes and how each of them relaxed into the journaling as time went by. This helps me relax into the blank page, knowing that through the commitment to frequent journaling, my own handwork and mental/intuitive connections will grow. 3. As I journal, I'll also refer to Writing Wild by Tina Welling (a text used in a Nature Writing class I took for my Masters in Writing). The text and its exercises will draw more of my senses into the processes of sketching, noting, and writing.
    • Cristina
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      What appeals to you about this journaler’s style? The stories behind and style of illustration that can be from simple to complex. What would you think are the goals of this journal? Better illustrations, more detail in behavior of animals and plants (specially birds). What surprised you about the content? How can this be used for cientific porpouse, the fact they are useful in e-bird or Naturalist is exiting because there's a record for the benefit of nature. What elements has this journaler included that you might want to include in your journal? Stories, colors and notes on behavior
      • Kim
        Participant
        Chirps: 12
        1.  i just retired and moved to NE Florida.  I have always loved hiking, kayaking, photography on an amateur level.  I feel I can now take the time to put my observations on paper.  But I don't draw, and this is why I'm so afraid to get started! 2.I like Holly's switch to a monthly journal because altough I like her daily one, I felt that wouldn't be able to commit to it on a daily basis.  I do like the boxed in look and I think for me, I need to start as simple and slow as possible. 3.  My goals in the beginning is to start slow and not beat myself up over bad pictures.  I love the use of watercolor.  And to just enjoy and learn from the experience.
    • Laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I was inspired to begin nature journaling because I have been avoiding doing any art for a while, and wanted a way to do more without the pressure of “producing” a finished product. I also wanted something that would get me outside more and spend more time bird watching and walking around, plus have an “excuse” to sit down somewhere and learn to see nature more completely. 2. I love the “boxing” techniques, and mixing images and words on a page to create a unified experience. I like lots of images, not an attempt to do a single “picture” on a page, but still finding a balance between color and white space, words and images, and media. I like the non-linearity of reading such a page or journal. I’m also encouraged by the artists who let their journaling style evolve, which is what I would like to do instead of trying to emulate one of the other journals. I also like the idea of the journal being a way to capture an experience without depending entirely on words. I was a professional writer for my career but am not writing much anymore, so I like the idea of leaning more on images for memories. 3. I would like to be more intentional about combining images from nature (birds, leaves, etc.) with the geometries or patterns that can represent them. I like the artist below who wants to try combining abstract and “realistic” images, although I don’t have much experience with abstract images. I would like to find the patterns in nature like spirals, fractals, and other repetitive mathematical patterns which appear in nature.
    • Jess
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I am in love with animals. I sit in my woodshed and feed the chick-a-dee's and chipmunks. I feel extremely connected to nature, as I am also a Nature Empath. Nature journaling opened my mind to combining two things I love - watercolour painting and nature. I see it as a way to be mindful in nature and focus on the smaller details that are missed when I take photos which I mostly use for social media. 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 liked Shayna Muller's style with a mix of Jewel Alston's. I loved the organization but "pop" off the page style of drawings/paintings with descriptions. I loved how they used it as a tool for learning as well as memories. I liked that Jewel also put colours on the side of the page to remind themselves. My goal of nature journaling is emotional - to focus in the moment and be with nature. Its also as a learning opportunity, like comparing sparrows or mushrooms. I liked the idea of a monthly poster for the future as well. 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? I think it would be cool to draw a mushroom and then add its spore print next to it. Maybe even adding a soundscape (the visual appearance of sounds like in the Merlin App) next to the drawing. Could be cool (but messy) to use natural dyes like blueberries or mud to make art :)
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        I also enjoy observing small mammals. The squirrels at my feeder have an agreement with me........they try to steal and I try to prevent it......it's a kind of co-evolutionary dance.......entertaining.....
    • Christina
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I have been painting and drawing my whole life. I have always been drawn to nature (get it?! lol). My family has always encouraged me to keep going and share my art. 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? Absolutely love the idea of doing a 365-day journal or a monthly journal! What a grand idea!? 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? I have a degree in animal behavior and I would love to start including observations/ ethograms with my nature sketches.
    • Shelley
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I have always loved spending time outdoors and studying various plants and animals, and I would like to start recording my observations to help me to learn more and to recall the ecperiences I have had. 2. I liked the approach of Shayna Muller. Her observations seemed to be very detailed, and I liked her use of boxes to set off the drawings. I also liked the way she would "magnify" a portion of a sketch to show more detail.
    • Haley
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I am an abstract artist who recently moved to New York. I have been wanting to develop my sketching and work on doing literal interpretations of the world around me. Moving to a new state is a perfect opportunity to work on my sketching and to develop concepts for my work because I am experiencing a ton of new wildlife.   2. I really enjoyed seeing how different everyone's journal was. I definitely want to use watercolor in my work. I want to balance out landscape impressions with more detailed work like birds and plants.   3. I think I'd like to incorporate some abstract interpretations of what I'm seeing. Abstract is my go to method for art, I'd like to see how seeing a literal object portrayed looks next to an abstract one that emphasizes impression. I think it will mostly just be experimenting and seeing what works and what doesn't.
    • leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I sketch in the field from time to time but I really want to become more disciplined about doing it. I often have a hard time focusing in the fiel-so many distractions. I hope this corse will make me more confident, make me take the time for what I consider an important activity, and help me to build a library of ideas that I can refer to for composing finished works.
    • leslie
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      D92C759E-B811-45D8-B166-08B04070CDC4
      • Barbara J
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Incredibly beautiful! This is a painting, not just journaling!
      • Tess
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Wow, Looks  wonderful. tj
      • byrdluver
        Participant
        Chirps: 1
        That is a gorgeous picture!!! Keep up the good work!
      • Patricia
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        What a breathtaking work. So precise and lovely.
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        How long did you take to render this? Beautiful.....
      • Kim
        Participant
        Chirps: 12
        That is beautiful!
      • Debra
        Participant
        Chirps: 16
        Such a gorgeous piece of art! Wow!
      • K
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        That is a lovely painting. Very inspiring.