• Cynthia
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I enjoy drawing, and I love nature!  135673DB-E121-44F8-ACD8-8CD19CBCDA77So I hope to put the two together to create, document and expand my knowledge of the natural world. Plus, this course was a birthday gift from my husband  Lucky me! I spend a lot of time outdoors, and I rarely miss the chance to take in all the beauty that Mother Nature has to offer.  I love to take the time to look, observe, and notice the subtle changes and happenings that occur around the lake, where I am so fortunate to live. I hope to keep a record of the flora and fauna on a regular basis. I plan to  draw first,  use watercolor and ink at times and add interesting information/facts about my subject matter. I also plan to record date, weather and location in my journal. I’m not sure of my format yet.  I’m just going to see how it evolves.
    • Andrea
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I've kept a nature journal off and on for ~ 20 years and have taught it for the last five, but I've gotten out of the habit of regular journaling, so I thought the course would be a great opportunity to get reinspired and give me ideas for my own teaching. It's so inspiring to look at others' journals, and I loved the variety in the video. I'm inspired to do something I've worked on over the years but have never really nailed—putting in place a consistent journaling style and composing my journal pages so images and words work together to make a harmonious whole.
    • Eileen
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Hi , I really enjoyed seeing the journals!  I have a question though, if I mark it Complete, will I be able to return to it?   Answering the above questions, I am beginning because I : 1. want to improve my drawing skills with regular practice  and observing nature will be fun for me - I love keeping track of the birds in my yard and at our feeder.  I'm really hoping that I will develop a daily habit  of 1-hour and an ability to draw and paint faster. 2. I will follow their practice of dating, with time, place, time of day and weather and 3. I loved the way they all explained how by the experience of looking at the subject carefully,  questioning a behavior,  and then staying with the subject for  an amount of time because they were drawing it , they saw the answer right in front of their eyes! And now when they look at their journal, the memory of the day comes right back!!! I learned so much from all the artists, they were all so good at describing their experience and practice, I am  so sincerrely  grateful to you all. Eileen McNally aka cherryred
      • Nancy
        Participant
        Chirps: 23
        Hi Eileen Yes!  You can return to all the units you mark complete. There’s an “ icon” on the bottom of the page, and directly over the green button to move onto the next unit, there’s a small green arrow to press to return to the prior lesson (s). Hope this helps!
    • Dylan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac was an early inspiration for me to begin drawing and sketching the wildlife around me. Many classes throughout my education also required a journal to document and take notes in so combining the two has always been appealing. I liked the idea of dedicating pages to months and having little drawings you do fill those pages outside of other specific entries.
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        I use Sand County in my AP Enviro Sci class.....I have the students read his monthly observations and then go outside to create their own version of a monthly journal through the school year.
    • Eliza
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I love Liz's style and I'm trying to illustrate a book and need guidance and inspiration.
    • Luise
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have always liked to write and kept travel journals on family trips as a kid. As an adult I've kept an intermittent nature journal, spending my most focused time with it when I'm on vacations or in unusual areas for my work. I enjoy the time spent outside observing and trying to capture what's before me and also the details I'm able to observe through the focused attention drawing requires. The descriptions in my journals have always brought back memories I didn't know I had; my drawings, however crude, have taken me immediately to particular times and places, bringing back how I felt as I drew. I really want to get better at keeping my nature journal--better at capturing in art what's before me, better at using color, better at making time to observe and record. I thought that this class might help me learn and practice these skills in a way that merely reading a book about nature journaling cannot. There were things I liked about all the journals, especially the various ways people used color. Shayna (the first journal) is probably closest to my current style. I'm especially excited to learn about incorporating watercolor into my nature journal!
    • Catherine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I'm excited about this course because it will help me be more intentional about spending time in nature and recording my observations and adding reference information. I would love to take a dedicated trip to fill my journal but most likely it will be a collage of many different things including familiar back yard birds  (I would love to capture those Blue Jay flashes!) and new tree identifications such as the willow oak in my neighbors' yard. I'm not very accomplished but shall consider this a "before" image and try hard not to self-edit. IMG_4303
    • LeslieAnne
      Participant
      Chirps: 13
      1) The works of Beatrix Potter, John James Audubon, Roger Tory Peterson, Rachel Carson, James Prosek, Clare Walker Leslie and so many others I have encountered over the course of my lifetime are my inspiration for beginning to sketch and journal from nature. I hope through this course to begin to put my own ideas and very limited skills to paper for the first time and I’m very excited and grateful for this opportunity to begin. I previously have not had a clue as to how to begin, especially since I have very limited drawing skills. 2) I really love the artistry in the monthly journal technique, and incorporation of some field notes and details to the subjects in journal entries. All of the journalists’ techniques are unique and inspiring! 3) I don’t have a different idea for journaling yet, but perhaps one will evolve as the course unfolds?    
    • Amy
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I love nature art and have always been impressed with people who could do a beautiful sketch in the field. Last year I saw an exhibit of work from a botanical illustration class at the Denver Botanic Garden, and it only increased my desire to learn how to draw and paint from nature. I hope to document the birds at my feeders and the various plants in my yard year round. I'd also like to record things I see on hikes. I also hope this will increase my skill at observing details in nature. I think it will be a relaxing and meditative practice. I like a lot of the ideas from the various journals in the video. I think I'll want to try out different techniques and see what works best for me.
    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I'm inspired to begin nature journaling because I want to make time to slow down and savor nature. I want to use it to express and illustrate my gratitude for the extraordinary and exquisite beauty of life and Earth. I hope journaling will help me deal with my hyper-awareness of, and grief over, global biodiversity loss by revealing opportunities for me to appreciate what is here on earth, for whatever period of time that may be. 2. I think all the journalers have a lot of great ideas. I want to record the location, time, and weather as some of the journalers have done. I also want to include my written observations, and I want to use the approach of taking this opportunity to learn who/what it is that I'm observing and drawing, as some of the journalers have suggested. I like the idea of following up with identifications by scientific and common names, and learning appropriate scientific terminology to provide context for details of my observations. I like the ideas of zooming in to look at close details, and zooming out to look at the bigger picture. The ideas of scheduling regular journaling times are also good--I know that instilling of habits and improving are only likely to come with consistency. 3. I appreciate all the journalers sharing their work--I think you are all very brave to share you work with us. My journaling idea is only that I think that those of us who tend to harbour judgments about ourselves and our budding artistic talent should be kind and compassionate to ourselves, and give ourselves a chance to learn to express ourselves through our art.
    • Kimi
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I am inspired to try nature journaling because I have recently moved to a beautiful and remote location.  Every time I drive down a familiar road or walk down a nearby path, I see so many new things about that often-observed spot, due to subtle shifts in lighting and season.  I want to capture the many faces of one place. I also am trying to learn to forage from this land, and learn about the characters on this stage -- the plants, animals, and formations surrounding me.  I need to learn to observe carefully to positively identify plants so that I can safely use them, and just so that I can be a better community member here.
    • Cassandra
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I saw the course advertised and thought how wonderful it would be to be able to do that... capture the spirit and essence of things in nature, sit outside and sketch and be pleased with the results, make a record of precious moments and places, get lost in the doing of it... I would also like to be able to paint realistic birds but that might be a separate endeavour in itself. I paint acrylic semi abstract landscapes and that is really fun and satisfying, but the itch to draw - more, better, from life - is calling me. I so enjoyed watching the video with all the different journals. So many more ideas than I had thought of. I like the idea of the boxes and then letting it spill over, and the month at a page. I have a tiny watercolour travel paintbox so I would like to try using ink with that.
    • Jill
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1.  I started keeping a sketch journal last year. My goal at that time was just to document my days, but because so much of my time is spent exploring nature and photographing insects, my notebook became more of a nature journal than anything else: AAA5F83D-F75A-4CE0-A38F-EC01D76374C7I’ve only ever drawn from photographs I’ve taken and I’m hoping to learn new skills to sketch things while I’m observing them. In order to do this I know I’ll need to let go of my fear of messing up. 2.  I also started my journal with the goal of drawing every day but it got overwhelming; I felt pressure to fit it in and then was disappointed in myself when I couldn’t. So I like the idea of setting a more realistic goal of drawing several times throughout the month. At the very least I’d love to have a record of the environment as the seasons change throughout the year. I love the structure of this course, especially the feature of sharing our work with others in the course. I look forward to learning from the instructor but also everyone else here.
      • Deborah
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        I really like the placement of your drawn objects and the way you connect them with a wash of 'water'. Very visually appealing! Your lettering is to be admired and an inspiration for me for future journal entries of mine. Thanks for posting.
      • Luise
        Participant
        Chirps: 2

        @Deborah I love the boldness of this spread! Thanks for sharing it.

      • Sallie
        Participant
        Chirps: 11
        So nice to see some of my old Maryland friends, the Horseshoe crab and the Blue Crab, Jill.  After 19 years on the Eastern Shore, I am now far from them up in NH.  We did find a huge horseshoe crab on the coast of Maine this summer, but instead of sketching it, I gave it to my grandson's nursery school class.  I might have to copy yours, for the memory!  Your page spread warmed my heart.  Love your style!
    • Caryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I was so pleased to see this course come up.  I signed up for Nature Journalling because I want to spend more time closely observing the nature around me, particularly the birds, but other things/creatures/trees etc I enjoy in my yard and elsewhere. In all of the journals I looked at, I think I liked best that many journalists tried many sketches of the same bird.  I also liked that things are done on a small scale, as opposed to a full sheet of watercolour.  I liked the sketch per day idea but will have to see how that goes.   I'm looking forward to sketching and recording what I see around me.  
    • Andrea
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Since moving to Northern California 15 years ago, I have become an avid hiker, kayaker, and explorer of this beautiful landscape. I started keeping notes about my favorite trails and kayaking spots, near and far, as a way to remember places I'd like to return to, then began adding small sketches...It all started getting more and more elaborate. I like playing around with different written fonts as well. I've always planned to pull it all together into one large illustrated notebook--that is my plan with this course! (Also, I'd love to get comfortable enough with watercolors to use those instead of time-consuming colored pencils.) The organizing principle of my notebook might be a sketched map of each trail or river with sketches of the creatures and plants I see along the way...that's my plan anyway.
    • Lucy
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I've recently moved to New Mexico from Portland, OR  Everything is so different here. I thought the class would inspire me to see more of the life around me.
      • Kimi
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Hey, Lucy, I just moved to New Mexico from Wisconsin, and also spent over a decade in the Pacific Northwest.  I'm in NW NM in the red rocks area east of Gallup.  I hope you enjoy your transition, and I hope we'll see some of your NM observations later in the course!
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    • Ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. My impetus for taking this class is like an octopus. The main body which is the most prominent is the P Syndrome (perfectionist) I struggle with. I want to be kinder and more gentle with myself and be able to just enjoy any efforts I achieve in my journal. 2. My favorite nature journalists are Cathy Johnson and John Muir Law. They use the same techniques so many of the journalists in the videos do. 3. I am tactile and love color, so I am always picking up leaves, flowers, feathers, etc. and putting them in my journals. Here's to Happy Learning! Ellen
    • Judith
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      I find the idea of making a sort of personal field guide very appealing, like in the journal that showed the pages of ferns.  A field guide as a trip journal is also a cool idea. I am still figuring out what I would like my journal to be and these examples were great.  Why do we like to draw and journal birds and plants and landscapes?  Maybe it is a way to experience a thing more fully, or a different way to experience a thing.  I am in my last year of my job before retirement, and am looking forward to new directions, which I think something like nature journaling could bring.
      • Kimi
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Hi Judith, I am a new retiree (July) and loving it.  That's great that you are delving in to the course in prep for retirement.  I loved the planning while anticipating retirement, and love the various transitions we have been making since retirement.  Every day new!
      • Judith
        Participant
        Chirps: 7

        @Kimi Congratulations on being newly retired! I like your idea of enjoying the planning while anticipating retirement, and every day new-- thanks for the inspiration!

    • Jack
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      2, I have worked on doing some botanical drawing so I was interested in the more scientific aspect of journaling.  I love to study and identify plants found here in New Jersey and Florida (currently splitting time between the two states).  I have a long way to go in my ID of the flora and I hopeful that journaling will assist in the process.   Hope my sketches and drawing will even get close to the great work I saw in the video.  Excited to be taking this class! Jack
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I've done nature journaling in the past, mostly to document my garden, things I've planted and observed in my own yard. Over the years I've stopped doing it for the most part and I've realized I miss it. I work as a graphic designer and I spend most of of my creative time on the computer. I'd like to get back to doing more drawing/painting, I have a background in illustration and really enjoy the process of rendering things by hand. There are days when my creative energy feels "spent" but I think this type of drawing is therapeutic and it's just for ME, on my schedule and on my terms. 2. The boxes or partial boxes to "contain" illustrations, the recognition and use of simple shapes when trying to capture form and gesture are both things I have done and will continue to do. I enjoyed seeing the different styles each journaler has, everyone's work is unique to them which is always fun to see. The little "mini palettes" of color swatches on some of the pages is a nice idea I will incorporate. 3. Not yet! But I hope to.
    • Melanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I've picked up my old love of embroidery and recently took an intensive embroidery course at Penland Arts and Crafts Center in NC. One of the things we learned was designing projects on our own rather than using pre stamped kits. Along with that is my love of flora and fauna. Many of the things I would like to embroider are from nature and I feel like my artwork is awful. With embroidery I need some kind of pattern to go by. This course pushes me to get outside, observe closely and 'be present.' One of my embroidery projects is a turtle. I checked out a variety of photos and finally landed on one. As I have worked on it I have been amazed at the variety of color, texture and design of the turtle itself. The course was only two weeks so I really couldn't go out and find an actual turtle! I also enjoy bird watching and this course will help me learn more about observation. Melanie
      • Lucy
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        I too love embroidery. I look forward to seeing your turtle!
      • Caryn
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        I really love needle arts as well!  I'd love to see your turtle too!
    • I am a wannabe sketch artist. Photographs are great but sketching is so much more intimate. I was inspired to take this course to improve my ability to see as an artist and to receive guidance on how to put what I see on paper. All the journals shared were very cool and inspirational! I like the idea that even a little bit of a sketch can generate many memories. My drawing skills may be lacking but trying and including certain details in a drawing seem to express a lot in a journal. Birds are my passion but as a Master Naturalist volunteer I really want to learn more about plants...especially the ability to identify native plants. I believe journaling will be an excellent way to study and learn these plants.
    • Bethany
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? My main hobby right now is wildlife photography. Although I love photography, I miss sketching and painting (I used to do a lot growing up). I have just been a bit nervous to jump back into it. 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 concept of doing a daily drawing or a monthly page. It really would show not only what you have observed but also the progress of your skills in a neat format. I also like the addition of boxes or frames around the sketches. It really seemed to make the sketches pop. 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? Not at the moment. I am just excited to learn!
    • 1.  What inspired me to begin Nature Journaling? I work at Cornell Lab and Bird Academy and am exposed to many of the Bartel's Illustrators here and their work that is all over the Cornell Lab. They all have different styles and I love viewing all their art.  I have always loved drawing as well as taking down behavioral observations of animals since I was about 9 years old. I also loved art and enjoyed drawing and painting through Jr. High. However my science goals forced me to take courses other than art. I haven't done much art at all as an adult.  Upon researching new topics for Bird Academy I found that nature journaling is popular at Birding Festivals. When we decided to do a course on it I was very gung ho to take it once it was finished. Meeting Liz Fuller has been inspiring and also seeing the journals of my coworkers.  I look forward to both the art aspect as well as recording animal behavior observations, field marks, and ecosystem interactions. 2. I have similar goals to Shayna so I will probably incorporate a lot of her methods like the zoom, date, time, weather, location, the boxes and taking notes and making comparisons.  I also enjoyed Holly's collages of water colored creatures. I've never been good at putting so many images on one page however. I'm not so good with making good use of space and usually need more "room" for each subject. It might be a challenge to scale down to a smaller level to fit more information on each page. 3. Do I have a different journaling style idea?  I think I will be focusing a lot on documenting behavior and scientific "stats". I did this a lot as a kid. I'd watch Ring-necked Ducks diving and use a stopwatch to time how long each duck spent underwater on dives. Then I found the averages. I was curious as to how long the average duck was under water and if there was a difference between the sexes.  For me there will be a lot of field notes and testing of hypotheses and gathering of data. So not only recording what I see but testing theories and gathering data for analysis.  However I am also getting into art that I can make to hang on my wall so I will also try the various art techniques to improve those skills to make things beautiful or realistic.