• Suzanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I am an avid birder and nature lover, and I also am learning to draw. My dilemma with the latter is that I have yet to develop a passion for drawing a particular subject, having experimented with many different mediums and scenarios. When I saw this course on nature journaling, I knew this was an avenue I wanted to explore. I just didn't know how to begin. To draw, you really have to study a subject in detail and use those powers of observation to correctly replicate that subject, and by doing so, you learn so much more about it than if you had just taken a photograph. And even if I don't know what I am drawing, I will learn even more by identifying and reading about it. I imagine I will begin by just getting the subject down on paper, and then building my editorial around it. I really don't know how my journal will develop, but I hope it will be representative of the beautiful places I travel and the fascinating things nature has to offer. I look forward to this class jump-starting me toward a new approach to and appreciation of this natural world.
    • Judith
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I was inspired to start nature journaling while taking botanical illustration classes at the New York Botanical Gardens. The practice is like meditating, documenting ones life and nature therapy all at the same time. Life's demands had taken me away from this practice. Seeing this class offered was a sign! I am excited to kick start the practice of journaling again and taking the time to be mindful of all the beauty that surrounds us.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      What inspired me to begin nature journaling was to write down my experiences in nature to help me enjoy them even more. I am interested in this course so I can learn more about nature journaling and incorporate more sketches in my nature journal. I would like to try the use of boxes that I saw in one of the journals, using them to box text but also pictures I draw. I like how she had some of the sketches extend out of the box.
    • holly
      Participant
      Chirps: 24
      I want a journal to more properly remember things I see when I'm out and about or from my deck watching birds at the feeders or my plants in my West Garden. I don't trust my mind to remember. A journal could be the spark necessary to solidifying those memories. I'd like to be able to return to it and with assurance, subdue the hesitation & chaos I often feel when looking at older, written  journals of mine. To be aided with very elementary skills ought to be wonderful! It would be like pulling aside the curtains to let me see more clearly into my own memories. Muller's idea of zooming in & squaring details to her drawings is one I'd forgotten, but maintaining the squaring of the drawing [and zooming] to allow drawings to "pop" is one I like and will try to replicate. Her interest in shadow and light is one I share, but I'd suggest everyone to pasue and remember to LOOK UP. Alstom's exploration of color & shading is one I appreciate and I carry stubs of experiments I did at home is something I'd stick in my journal. I hope this class will aid me in matching what I saw as the speed Nnuro jr. works with pen and paint.
    • Christine
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I've spent the last half hour skimming through the multitudes of posts in this discussion.  I recognize similar reasons for taking this course in several of the posts, and enjoy reading so many of them.  As for me, I started photographing birds about 15 years ago and have enjoyed watching their behaviors but would very much like to draw them as well.  I was fortunate enough to move to the Northern coast of California where I enjoy an actual window on the meadows and coastline of the Pacific.  There is so much to journal here from wildflowers to birds, sea life, interesting mammals like foxes, cougars, and those little rascals--raccoons.  I thought all the styles of journals were interesting but I particularly liked the first one with the boxes showing several observations on one day, and also the one that started as a journal a day having one item journaled a day, then went to journaling a month.  Starting it as a journal a day really encourages one to do it!  I also liked our instructor's journal of the Galapagos, a place that I intend to visit hopefully in the next couple of years after I become more proficient at nature journaling.  :)
    • Marydee
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      1. What inspired me to begin nature journaling? I had never heard of such a thing until I saw the course pop up in an email. I live in an urban environment and know that being in nature is calming, even if it is just my yard, watching the birds at my feeder or while I jog around the neighborhood. I love the idea of focusing and drawing, even in little bits. I have always wanted to try using water color. I am excited to add a bit of art and intentional time with the natural world, even it ends up being a drawing of a pear. 2. Seeing the other's journals was enlightening. I especially liked the woman who seemed more of a beginner with drawing and see how she progressed.  And the gentleman who talked about the basic shapes of a bird's body made me stop my jog this morning and truly contemplate the basic shapes of the crows sitting on the wire. 3. Since we are entering the rainy season and shorter days here in Portland, Oregon, my actual outdoor sit time may be limited, so I think I might make a journal that includes produce that I either get from the garden or the farmer's market and then include comments about how I prepared that bit of food in a meal for my loved ones.
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        Urban nature can be very interesting. Who knows, you may see a Coyote pass through.....
    • Holly
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      Nature journaling interests me both as a way to learn more about nature and to slow down and tune in better. I love to hike, but sometimes I'm sort of striding along and not noticing all that I might.  I have a few books on nature journaling and I keep coming across articles and I'd just intrigued. I do love to sketch and really want to become more skilled. I am a bit fearful of watercolor (I'd love to try it someday, though. It is beautiful.), but have been working with pencil and colored pencils.  I like the idea of a pretty regular phenology journal--tracking my observations over time and beginning to notice patterns--both in what I see and how I responded.
    • Toni
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      My style and goals: I’m looking forward to developing my own style by experimenting and allowing each page to unfold in its own way. I have decades of experience in observing, researching, and writing about nature (especially for children). I often take photos, but I’ve never tried to sketch or paint what I see. I love visual art and especially color. I’m looking forward to journaling in a new way. Toni
    • Erin
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I decided to take this course because I journal and sketch but infrequently. I took a field journaling course in graduate school three years ago but haven't picked up my journal since. I want to develop my skills but I'm hoping that the course will help me to jump back in and finally make journaling a habit. I'm an environmental educator and camp director and try to get my students/campers out journaling to enhance their observation skills. I want to walk the walk, so to speak. I hope to do a class with middle school students soon and also thought this course would give me some good ideas for how to structure a journaling class and some activities to help get them going. I really think I will end up using the approach of the first woman in the first video. Her style is already similar to mine and I like how her image seem to pop out of the page through the use of boxes. I'm weakest on the sketching so trying to do that first and write later will be a challenge for me.
    • 1) My interest in nature journaling was inspired by my study on climate change. In order to get a better understanding of the environment, I needed to get out of the city and engage wildlife through art. Art requires intense attention and observation. This skill is what I need right now. 2) In terms of approaches, I want to be simple. Begin observation and rough sketches, followed by description. Then I will let it evolve, as seen in the other journals. Journaling is not just an observation "out there," but also one that is "inside here," in one's own heart and mind. At one moment, I might feel free to sketch with a pencil and the next with watercolor. I think it is important to feel free with the medium, and at the same time, in tune with oneself.
    • Adrienne
      Participant
      Chirps: 14
      I was so excited when I saw this course. I've been drawing all my life and love natural history (I work at the Field Museum in Chicago.) This part year I've also become interested in birding and have had a lot of fun making lists of all the species I can identify. I often work from photos or the taxidermy exhibits here at the museum, but I've started sketching outside more, especially on trips to the southwest and really love it. Still, when sketching outside I choose to draw landscapes or plants - because they're more static. What I really want to learn from this course is drawing animals, especially birds in the field. I want to hone my skills of observing and translating those observations to paper to bring more movement and life to my drawing. Even before watching the first video, I've been thinking about creating a journal for a year, to emphasize the passage of time and the changes of the seasons. I liked the idea of doing a page a month to represent that time passage. So far my sketchbooks have a few pages devoted to earlier trips I took this year to Arizona and Wyoming, but they don't capture the extent of the trips, mostly because I couldn't spend as much time as I'd like on the sketches. I'm hoping to learn to jot things down more quickly and focus less on a refined, complete drawing. I look forward to interacting with you all in this awesome class!
      • Deborah
        Participant
        Chirps: 21
        Adrienne, We have a connection with the Field Museum. My daughter Lisa worked there, on the Sue project and just returned to the NYC area.  I'm wondering if you know each other.
      • Adrienne
        Participant
        Chirps: 14

        @Deborah Wow, small world! Lisa and I worked together on the SUE project and other exhibits related projects. I work in vertebrate paleontology. Lisa was one of the best people I've worked with, we miss her a lot! Turns out Lisa and I worked with the same people in our archaeology field work days but never crossed paths until our time at the Field. It's nice to meet you, Deborah!

      • Deborah
        Participant
        Chirps: 21

        @Adrienne And you too Adrienne! Your work is hanging in my home too! Lisa gave me one of your amazing drawings for Christmas last year. I can't wait to let Lisa know I met you in this course. We are happy to have Lisa closer to home but I know she misses The Field Museum and the people she worked with a lot.

    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I remember nature journaling from my college days ( long time ago)- I still have my journal from a Biology Spring break class to the Galapagos - and recognized some of the sites and plants before the naturalist identified the locale. Fun.  When I retired, I began to do some informal sketches and notes of creatures and plants. I also applied for a program to become a Master Naturalist- that led to more classes, more outings, volunteer opportunities and the desire to keep a formal journal. I like the idea of each page having a date, time, location and weather- and using a sketch book- I've never done that- my journals were mostly writing with small sketches in the margins-  I like the idea of reversing that.  I preferred the painted entries over the sketches but the sketches were very helpful to show the process. my drawing and painting skills could certainly use some work. I think I will add the surrounding habitat-either by sketch or description and incorporate several of the ideas in the journals shown.
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      I have always loved nature and usually rely on my camera to record what I see. However, I want to become a better artist and and a better birder. I also need to learn to notice details more rather than relying on looking at my photos later. This seems like the perfect way to accomplish several goals: get outdoors more often, while improving my artistic abilities, birding skills, and observation skills. I am inspired by the journals in the video, from the versions with detailed notes to those who have much more drawing talent than I possess! I especially loved the beauty of the last journal in the video with the lush watercolors, and the quick bird sketches in the next-to-last video. (Can you tell birds will be a focus?) I like the idea of having a plan for how often I will journal since I won't be taking a special trip anytime soon. It will mostly be what I see at home - using my busy bird feeders as inspiration, but I hope this project will also encourage me to sneak out to a local nature area for a few hours of journaling (and photography!). I look forward to this class!
      • Pam
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        I enjoyed your comments - it seems there are quite a few photographers and birders in this group. I, too, am hoping that the course will encourage me to get out into nature, where I feel my best! Enjoy! Pam
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      My husband knows of my desire to learn how to draw and paint. He received information on this course and encouraged me to join.  I am a beginner and hope to learn a lot
    • Lily
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I was inspired to start nature journaling because I want to be able to record birds in my surroundings. I really want to attempt to get feather definition and proportions of birds corrects. Lily
    • Patricia
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1.  I’ve always liked to draw and paint.  I’ve taken up birding in the last few years.  It would be nice to combine my two hobbies.
    • paige
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I was inspired to begin nature journaling after I retired. I wanted to record what I saw and learned in nature. By drawing and writing about it, the information is more solidified in my mind. I'd like to try the zoom approach when I want to show a close up of something in my journal.  
    • Kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I'm semi-retired now. Art and nature have been my passions for as long as I can remember. And I've been a daily journaler (off and on) for decades. I've used the journal as more of a meditation tool, and have wondered about incorporating drawings into it, getting a daily drawing practice going that bypasses my very vocal inner critic. I love the idea of including nature study with this. Maybe too much? We'll see!
      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        I am also a journaler of the word but not so much pictures.....it is the next natural step.
    • Kim
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      I recently retired from a fast paced career and thought that this journaling class would be a great way to slow myself down and begin focusing on the smallest details in the natural world around me.  By drawing the plants, insects, birds and mammals in my immediate area, I anticipate learning about the different species that inhabit my surroundings and the ways they interrelate.  While I always wanted to learn to draw, I found my tendency towards self-criticism kept me from taking a class.  I am hoping that this on-line course will allow me to develop some skills and confidence so that I can at least be comfortable expressing myself in a private journal.  The sample journals are inspiring.  I expect that I will begin by trying to capture the form of what I see, like the study of the hummingbirds, then work on incorporating details and color.
    • Joanne
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Being in the present, capturing the moment.  I have used the connection to nature through journaling as part of my daily meditation. Most days I am up early to welcome the new day with a cup of coffee, a great backyard window, and a front row seat with a view to nature at its best.  I had the opportunity to share connecting to nature with my students when I taught elementary school.  Journaling became a daily "assignment", that quickly became a "joyful habit."  Together we all shared just a few minutes capturing and observing interesting things we saw.  "Keep it simple" I would say.  Focus on what you see. Enjoy the experience, and enjoy the sense of place where you are at that moment. "  I like to think many of those students are still out there, connecting to nature and capturing their world in their journals.  I am always looking for ideas and suggestions from other journals.  Connecting to nature journaling will not only help us continue to learn more about the natural world we live in, but just maybe help us find  solutions to protect, and save, our earth.  Capturing and recording our thoughts and observations quickly, becomes a history, or record, of wildlife, plants, trees, insects, etc., of what could someday no longer exist.  I think nature journaling helps to "capture that moment".  It just might be the moment that changes and saves this world we live in.
      • Erin
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        Joanne--What you said about journaling becoming a "joyful habit" really struck me. I hope to feel that way soon. I also like what you said about telling your students to "enjoy the sense of place where you are in the moment". I think I will have to borrow that from you. I will be teaching a journaling class for middle school students soon. Having taught journaling to young people, can you offer some advice on removing resistance to the activity?
    • Ann
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I sketched in pencil, pen & ink for years. Then life got in the way ( school, work and raising a family). I found I drew less and less, until I wasn’t drawing at all. Now I’m retired, child is grown and out of the house. I signed up for the backyard feeder count that starts in November. Then an email arrived advertising this course. Perfect combo. Watching birds and field sketching. Now I can return to my two passions, nature and art. I like the the first field sketching journal. Documenting date,place,time and conditions and the thoughts you are having. I like the last one, but it seemed like finished art vs sketches and impressions. Beautiful work. I think I’ll try and keep a small sketchbook with me at all times. That way if I see something I can catch it. Nature’s all around us, better document it before it’s gone.
    • Christa
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I became interested in field journaaling when I first saw this course listed, last year I started painting with watercolor and my favorite subject is birds and feathers. As a rather new birder I feel like this is a great way to get out into the field or even in my yard and capture what I see and having it in a journal form will make it a much more memorable keepsake thn just another waterrcolor that goes in the box with the other paintings.   I am abviously drawn to a combination of watercolor and journaling but loved seeing different styles, I feel like I will try out several styles and will narrow it down once I actually begin using the techniques and creating my own journal, but it will likely be a combination of several styles.
    • Sandy
      Participant
      Chirps: 32
      What inspired me to begin nature journaling? Three years ago, after learning about the current rate of extinction, I've felt a sense of urgency to pay attention, to really notice, birds in particular. And recently my interest in art has been rekindled. Drawing requires  attention, noticing the details. We are creating images that will someday remind us. I am drawn to the integration of scenery, plant details and animal sketches, along with the journaler's written notes. It gives a multi-faceted view of the experience. I like that each page can be different, with a few elements of continuity.
    • Maidie
      Participant
      Chirps: 9
      Two years ago I got my certificate as an Oregon Master Naturalist. I really enjoyed the course and field courses. I have wanted to start journaling but just didn't seem to have a good way to start. I also want to learn to use and feel more comfortable with watercolors, and when I saw this course I hoped to get a start with it. Very interesting to see others journals and how different there are, and how they changed over time. I don't imagine that I will be able to draw that well, but I'm willing to try. As an amateur photographer, artist and naturalist, I'm hoping to put all of this together somehow. Really, I need to learn to slow down and observe, and by drawing I'm hoping to achieve this. I don't have a different idea, but I loved the monthly journal. Very flowing, and a neat way to see the months and seasons change all on one page.
    • Tess
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I am actually a photographer but got interested in drawing and sketching from my Grandma and Dad. I feel like i know several bird movemts/ Stills, landing onto a tree limb, feeding on a feeder, moving along the water, preening. But, doing it in action is a challenge. I feel like a combination of sketch and some water color to show some depth of the object. As  you progress, the colors might be something to ID and animal or plant. Same as a teachable moment. Not sure what the object might  be doing and then they do it and you learn from the observations and the sketch.