• 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.
    • martha
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I liked the first and last journals.  Both different but similar in style, I might try to incorporate both of those in my journaling.  There is so much to think about and we are starting a huge restoration project at my workplace.  Many trees are being removed and huge equipment has been brought in for this project as part of Project Clear which will help make the water cleaner and less polluted in the future.  It will be interesting to see how my journaling style develops and I hope with this course to be able to document the changes and improvements of this large project.  I have never really attempted to journal so thanks for this opportunity.
    • Stephanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      For the past year and a half I have been taking a wildlife tracking course, and we do journaling as part of that. We incorporate small sketches into our records, but they are from photos or books, not generally from real life, and I think my observational skills would be much stronger if I had to do more sketching, including colour, from real life. The watercolour sketches in these examples are gorgeous, and although I am far from having those kinds of skills, I am excited at the prospect of practising and hopefully developing them, and having a much more exciting record of my observations and discoveries to look back at over time.
    • Student Birder
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      My learning style is by doing and I am hoping this course will help me better notice the outside world.
      • I love the bursting out of boxes, the calendar date mini drawings and the zoom be unique all of which I want to try ( remember: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery)
    • Brenda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I like to draw so when I saw this course I thought I would enjoy it.  Sketching and journaling would provide memories of that particular time.  More ideas about how to do journaling was appealing.
    • Laurie
      Participant
      Chirps: 15
      Hi, I live just northeast of New York City. INSPIRATION. Our backyard abuts a salt marsh and creek, and we are treated to visits from osprey, hawks, a multitude of birds (especially in winter at our feeder), water fowl and egrets. This, coupled with my desire to document the birds at the feeder besides just keeping a bird list, is what appeals to me about nature journaling. About 10 years ago I took a weeklong Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain workshop in the City (plus two follow up weekend workshops). From these experiences I (re)learned that I could draw, and thoroughly thrived on the process of making sketches and drawings. Because I know IT IS  POSSIBLE, my other inspiration for nature journaling is to get back to making art and taking the time to observe life around me. JOURNAL APPROACHES. I liked all of the journals that were highlighted in the video. Artistically the last one wowed the heck out of me with the stunning art. Organizationally the first one meshes with my way of thinking. Whenever my husband and I take a day trip or travel, I often combine photos of the day with writing, somewhat like a travel journal, and always done so we have a memory of the outing, plus it brightens my day to reread an entry during the dark days of winter. I appreciated the drawing tips of the gentleman who talked about seeing birds as compilations of shapes. For me this will make it easier to begin sketching, as I will not focus on the need to "get it right" but rather on the shapes I see. OTHER JOURNALING IDEAS. I read all the entries prior to sharing mine, and one idea that appealed was a suggestion to include bits and pieces of what might be found nearby, such as a feather or a twig. I intend to take my journal with me on day trips and travels and use it not just for nature journaling but also as an impetus to slow down, observe and journal whatever strikes my fancy. Lastly, this is a birthday present (at my request :-)) and part of what inspired me was the down-to-earth approach of Liz that came across so clearly in all the videos I watched prior to signing up! Cheers, Laurie
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        I am also in NY just south of the Putnam boarder.....we have a plethora of forest to observe.
    • sherry
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      I liked several of the journalers presentations. I was impressed with D. J’s journal of the Mourning Dove and how he used geometric shapes to capture the shape of the bird’s head, body, and wings.  (Balls and triangles).  His vignettes of the spider  captured many different details that I thought were great. I also liked Holly’s journal .  She had individual items like the pine cone, the dead weed.  All of her drawings captured detail of one item along with background notes about each.  I liked that she experimented with pencil, black pen, and watercolor to see which one she liked the best.  I plan to do the same.    
    • Mariana
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      1. As a student of environmental science I am trying to learn continually about every organism I can, it´s physiognomy, taxonomy,  interconnectedness and ecosystem. I was inspired to take this course with the goal that being a keener observer might help me to familiarize myself and better differentiate species from each other; form and function. That applies to the rational naturalist in me, but I also believe, as Humboldt noted, that nature has to be absorbed by the heart and senses as well. Learning to draw, I figured, would be a great way to honor the beauty of the natural world. What catches the eye and goes straight to the soul and elevates the spirit. A celebration of the beauty of life we were to meant to live next to, to protect, and to safeguard for following generations. What better way to honor it than to study it closely and draw or paint it beautifully? 2. I was specially taken aback by two journalers, a gentleman who drew only (no paint or colors) but with a sharp eye for form. And a lady who painted the most beautiful watercolors of everything that crossed her path, seasonally. Both looked to be far above my potential skills (if there happen to be any!) but I appreciated seeing their process and results and hope a little bit of their influence might somehow manifest itself in my work. 3. No, as they are the samples already exceed all my ambitions.
    • Jean
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I love being in nature.  I studied biology and ecology years ago but never got to work in the field.  I am hoping that nature  journaling will get me out more and with a purpose.  I have also studied some art, and I plan to paint when I retire (in a few years), so I am also skill building.  I teach HS chemistry and my job has long days and is pretty stressful so I aIMG_0942[3121]lso want to get some relaxation and joy from journaling. I am not terrible at drawing from photos but I have never drawn animals in nature. That is an observational skill that I would like to bring to my drawing. I am not sure what style I plan to follow.  I think I will use some of all of them and that it will also depend on what -and why- I am sketching.
      • Lucy
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        What a beautiful picture of a butterfly. Did you see this or copy it from a picture? Watercolors? It is very beautiful and peaceful.
      • Jean
        Participant
        Chirps: 4

        @Lucy Hi Lucy, I took a short video and then worked from a frozen frame I liked.  It is Prismacolor pencil.  I believe it is a black swallowtail.   Thanks!

      • Lucia
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        That's an amazing drawing!!
    • Linda
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I have always been fascinated by the intersection of arts and science. I write science books for kids, and many of my friends are illustrators, so making art about science was a natural next step. The first journal in the examples shown appealed to me most because it had a nice balance of art and text. As a writer, my journals tend to be text-heavy, and I’d like to move towards incorporating more art, so doing the art first was a great suggestion for me. image
    • Denise
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      imageFirst attempt ever at watercolor. Bull elk, Catalooche NC
      • Deborah
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        I love how spontaneous this watercolor feels!
    • Rebecca
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I have always been a person who likes to be outside at parks and enjoying each time of year.  Recently I started putting native plants in my garden and I take pictures but I love the idea of having a chronicle of what I see in the garden at different times of the year on paper.  I feel more of a connection to things that I write about or attempt to draw.  I have made attempts on my own to have a nature journal  but I really need some good tips on drawing and how to do quick sketches.  I also more recently have started a part-time job as a naturalist and am able to be outside a lot and would love to be able to have a record of what I see. 2.  I like the style of Shayna's journal.  I like the way she has a picture and kind of writes around it. It helps to seem like the space is more filled, used, and seems like  it flows really well.