• Kati
      Participant
      Chirps: 12
      I was inspired to start nature Journaling after receiving the California Field Atlas by Obi Kaufman.  i found his lose watercolor style to be so beautiful yet detailed enough to get a real sense of the subject. i painted with Acrylics in college, but watercolors were never my style. I decided to give them a try as a way to illustrate my love for nature. I wanted something beyond a quick iphone photo which is easily forgotten, once it get's lost in the mix.
      • Amy
        Participant
        Chirps: 22
        Yes, Obi's work is beautiful!
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. This course offering came along at just the right time.  After clearing away some prior commitments, I had set a goal of engaging in creative play, painting and observation.  The place where I live is inspiring me to get to know it better and instead of photographing, I want to devote the time to observe, to sketch and paint the natural world. 2. If only I could get comfortable doing quick sketches of birds!  Or any animal on the move... the various examples in several of the journals encouraged me. 3.  I'm not sure, but it might work better for me to begin with a smaller format journal.  I'd started with a little 4" X 6" because it's easy to carry and, since I think I'm very slow at painting and observing, the 7" x 10" feels daunting.  On the other hand, I liked the way  some of the journalers simply used the space for several observations and either framing them, or simply creating a moving, rhythmic series of sketches.  I'm going to think about this a little more!  It was pouring rain today, but I have plenty of natural objects in my house to sketch and paint.
    • Student Birder
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I live in western Massachusetts surrounded by forest. I am a birder and photographer who is always tromping about in both urban and rural locations.  I wanted to document my tromping other than in just photos to make myself observe a little closer and meld a bit more with nature.  I drew a great deal when I was younger, but have lost touch with that side of myself.  I want to record my life in more than just text and a nature journal seems like just the ticket.  I liked all of the entries in the video and might take inspiration from a number of them  I think walking and sketching small things that peak my interest will be the method for me.  I’d like to do a day of good journaling each week.  Don’t want to overcommit.  I also will probably go back and add species and other info after the fact.  The thought of learning to add color to my journals is intriguing to me.
    • Phyllis
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I think I have a lot of art in me. My challenge has been, how to bring this art into the world. Photos and sketching and drawing, a bit of watercolor perhaps and writing, journaling and essays. I love nature and photographs, and try to capture the essence or the heart of each moment, whether it is photo I take or a photo I see. Like some of the other course participants mentioned, so far I have only been able to bring this art out sporadically, and with a certain hesitancy. Now, I too, am retired and the time has arrived. All nature inspires me.  I need to begin, to take action. I needed the push to make it happen. Then, I saw this course offering. This is it, I said, the time has arrived. Seeing the variety  is encouraging. I appreciate that writing is an integral approach to the journaling process. Observing the mixture of media from such a diverse group, makes the approach seem attainable, whatever the skills we demonstrate when we come to the table. I like the idea of setting a goal to nature journal every day, even a little bit for ten weeks. To create the habit. Not sure if I will accomplish this, but worth a try. Adding simple specific touches, date, time, weather, our own spirit of the time... invaluable. One additional push...This summer, our human and animal family includes the addition of a paint 20190831_152832408_iOSmare, Sadie, who is in foal for next spring.  As the weather cools this autumn (we live in South Carolina), I hope to take my small portable chair into the paddock and observe, draw sketch, write and paint, even a little bit. So, when baby foal arrives in the spring, I will be prepared to welcome the new addition to our story, in art.     I am interested if anyone is including collage.. a leaf, a feather, grasses, fur or cloth, for example ?
      • Laurie
        Participant
        Chirps: 15
        Hi Phyllis, I hadn't thought of including objects to collage but I quite like your suggestion. It's not unlike collecting leaves to flatten between the pages of books, then forgetting about them till months later when they meet me at the turn of a page. Only with the nature journal I hope to be referring to it more often than months apart! Cheers, Laurie
    • Joni
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? I have journaled since before 1980. Most journal volumes were written journals. Around 2003 I began sketching and using colored pencils and as I began learning more by reading, watching videos, and studying others' journals-- I began sketching and using watercolors. I am a passionate birder/naturalist since about 6th grade. . . so I usually do more watching & observing during the encounter then when home I journal what I experienced. I would like to become better at sketching in the moment-- the quick gesture sketches similar to what D.J. did in his journals. 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? D.J.'s ability capture the various postures/behaviors in the moment. I also use eBird to report my observations and can't always capture a photograph of a species that needs documentation so would like to improve so I can use sketches as my documentation. 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? Not really, but I always make my Date, Weather Data, and Sunrise/Sunset times prominent on my pages so they jump out upon turning a page. I put my date in a rectangular box and then use a yellow highlighter to fill it in so it shows up well.
    • Karoline
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have always considered myself an outdoor-sy type person and I've always liked art (though I'm not very good). I have several books on nature journaling and the idea appeals to me. I've just never started doing it. I love birds. I used to live in Florida and I was a very active birder there. Now I live in Kentucky and I bird less because I just don't know the environment very well. So, I'm hoping to combine a number of things with this course. I'd like to start birding more in KY and nature journaling the experience. I really liked the journal in the video where the lady said she'd made a resolution to do a little journaling every day / every month. I'd like to resolve to do something everyday, but I know I won't be able to keep that resolution, so I'm going to aim for every week. But I liked combining the whole month/4 weeks on one page. That seemed like it had good potential to tell a story. I'm looking forward to forming a new habit!
    • Betty
      Participant
      Chirps: 16
      I've been drawing daily for quite a while, I live in the Syracuse area, we have 43 acres of woods and I generally draw grass, flowers, bugs and little creatures I spot throughout my days.  This past summer I had a wren family set up house keeping in a birdhouse near my bedroom window.  Each morning after the eggs hatched the "father" bird, I presume, sang on a branch near the window several feet away from where we were sleeping. I was really excited about our new neighbors and I sat outside close enough to watch the pair actively flying back and forth feeding their brood. I decided to draw the tree, birdhouse, and the tiny bird scolding me from a few feet away.  I usually try to get photos to copy later on, but I'd like to try my hand at field drawing as described in the lesson discussions. When I received the notification for this class I immediately decided I would take it so I could properly journal my experiences with all the beautiful creatures I see.  I'd like to be able to leave something for my grandchildren that I hope they will someday cherish. Thanks Betty (Bee Kay)
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I used to draw and paint all the time when I was a kid, and I filled many notebooks with all sorts of doodles and sketches. Most of my subject matter was animals and plants, with the odd dragon and unicorn making an appearance every now and then. (It was the 70's...) I want to do that again. I want to take the time to sit and be still, and record my day in a nature journal. I think I would like to try a daily journal entry approach and hope that I can make that happen without life getting too much in the way of this. (HA!) All the journals in the video were very inspiring and I want to thank them for sharing their work. I can't wait to start!
    • Heather
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      This first segment was really inspirational. I loved seeing all the variations of journals and field sketching styles. I especially liked how Shayna used boxes (or the suggestion of boxes) to break up her pages. I think I will try that in my journal. Also, the way D.J. broke down the geometric shapes common in birds was really cool. And Holly's journal was so detailed and colorful - I can only hope that one day I will be as skilled! I am a total novice at sketching, but already I am so excited to make field sketching and nature journaling a part of my daily life!
    • Carrie
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Actually, I found a children's book for a friend that had monthly nature activities.  My friends kids love "writing in the nature book" and I thought, wow, why don't I do that?  I love going out and taking photos - mostly birds - and I would really like to try to keep a journal of other things that I see and have my experience documented with words etc.  About 2 months later, this course appeared, and I am so excited! I really liked elements of many of the journals shown.  I like the use boxes to define sections, I like the idea of doing a monthly page of observations, and I like that not all things have to be "finished".
    • Caroline
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I would go on sketching trips in high school, but that was many years ago. I would like to refresh any skills I might have had using my own backyard and nearby park as source material. I've always been intrigued by watercolor and look forward to learning some techniques!
    • Donna
      Participant
      Chirps: 34
      I live in New Hampshire and have hiked extensively in the White Mountains and in my own town that has many woods trails and natural areas.  I want to get away from the snap and move on culture of just taking photos and begin to spend more time observing the world outside.  I spent a week each of the past two summers on Appledore  Island, ME and loved watching the Herring Gulls and the great Black-Backed Gulls, I really want to spend time drawing and painting them.  I did do one watercolor of a sunrise there but from a photo, not from sitting out at the time. I am not sure which type of journaling I will settle with, I may try more than one technique then find my own way.  I will let you know if I find something different than those shown that works for me.
    • Rick
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I have been journaling for a long time, I first got interested in and bought Clare Walker Leslie & Charles E. Roth "Keeping a Nature Journal". I am very interested in the different techniques. I found that after awhile I stopped drawing and did more note-taking. I would like to get back to the basics an draw more and write less. As for the different journals, all have an interesting slant and I don't think I found any one any better or worse than the other one. I spend a lot of time on the beach and in the woods, surrounded by nature. I would like to find my own technique perhaps using some of the interesting ones from the other journalers.
    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I live in the middle of the Ozarks and there is so much nature all around me. My initial goals are to be able to identify the birds, insects, trees and wonderful things just outside my door. i really like the idea of having the drawing lead the way. For example, the different poses that a bird makes while being watched. Observations lead to questions that lead to more knowledge. So I will start by finding a subject and then asking myself what i want to learn as well as noting what i am currently seeing. i can see that having a basic format to follow will be helpful. So at the top of the page i will write that date, time and weather as suggested. I only hope my artistic ability will be able to describe what i am seeing enough to convey hat information to myself at a later time.
    • Charlotte
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I am excited about beginning nature journaling because it just makes me happy to go outside and see birds, flowers, and plants. I also like to learn about different birds or plants that I find, so sketching them will help me learn about them. I like to journal about trips I make and all the different sites I see and this course will help me to illustrate my trips and the interesting things I see. I am so happy that I found this course.
    • Scott
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      for question one "what Inspired me to begin Nature Journaling" is that I do art as a hobby and want to try something new to motivate me more to do art work and open my mind to new experiences for question 2 I think I will find an approach when I get started; I also like the approach of doing a monthly journal more than a daily journal
      • Julia
        Participant
        Chirps: 8
        I also like the idea of a monthly journal.  I would probably add a little each week to that monthly page in my journal. If it overflows to another page then that’s fine too!
    • Dan
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      Hello, I'm Dan.  I am going to briefly answer all three questions: 1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? Not sure, I've been nature journaling for fifteen years. I really don't remember what inspired me to start. 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 want to use watercolor and text on each page.  I like the technique of having the drawings burst out of the frames that they are in, so I will probably use that.  Liz's comments about asking a question while she sketches and then having it answered is interesting.  I will try to ask questions while I sketch. 3. Do you have a different journaling idea, not mentioned here, that you’d like to share? No, not off the top of my head.   Happy fall to all!
    • Vonda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I spend a great deal of time in nature and have always wanted to journal and draw some of my observations. I never thought that I was an artist, but I  have tried watercolors and painting. I thought by taking this course, I could improve my observation skills and confidence in drawing and writing about my experiences.
    • Tu
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      Nature journaling combines my predilection to keep journals at various times of my life with my growing appreciation of the natural world. During my teenage years I had enjoyed sketching trees in Central Park, so when this course appeared on my radar screen, so to speak, I thought it would be fun to revisit an old pastime while also improving my observation skills.  What prompted me to sign up for this course was spending a whole month this summer observing the constantly changing hues and textures of a small bay at the foot of Maine's Blue Hill peninsula. I took over a hundred photos of this bay -- all quite distinct from one another -- as high tide changed to low tide, allowing birds and humans to forage for bloodworms, and clear skies turned to fog (see photos below). I knew then that I wanted to do more than just take photographs. I wanted to learn to record through drawing and painting what I was seeing. I found Shayna's approach very appealing but the other journalers also had interesting nuggets to offer. I liked hearing them talk about what they observed and what they did to capture aspects that intrigued them. I think my own journaling ideas will emerge over time as I learn from this course and through doing actual nature journaling. fullsizeoutput_4005
      • Kathryn
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        So beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
      • Pam
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        I love your photographic study of the bay! Thanks!
    • Kenneth
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Not really sure what my inspiration was or even is, I have drawn off and on for many years, not always successfully as often to self-conscience especially when someone takes notice when doing so. But I have found that a sketch is far more fulfilling for me than a photo is. What I see in all the nature journalists and is fundamentally missing from my own previous attempts at recording what I have seen is the lack of a consistent format or way of creating the log of events. Even though I recognize the nature of evolving in their works. Now I have retired I have the time to combine my joy of walking in the countryside, woods and moors, and interest in the natural world and think that this course could enhance that experience. Certainly on first skim and really self evident that it appears that just adding time and place to the notes and sketches will enhance the looking back and the memories of when I entered then.
    • Jane
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1) I've always kept written nature and gardening journals, and was really excited to see that this course was available.  The integration of writing with drawing seemed like the next step, one that really is not captured by photography.  I'm hoping that overcoming my hesitation to put pencil (and watercolor) to paper will help me gain a better understanding of how pieces of the natural landscape fit together. 2)  I was very inspired by the journalers who were featured in the video.  I'm interested in the level of attention and devotion to detail, as well as insight into the various processes they used.   I particularly liked the little micro insets that one journaler used to show detail.
      • Montecito
        Participant
        Chirps: 22
        Hi Jane, I agree with you that photography sometimes does not give you all the details that you observe in nature. It is always better to draw and colour so you can see details and understand how nature is formed. I loved also the zoom like detailed drawings.
    • Montecito
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      1. I am a beginner birder, I became passionate about bird watching, I also live near a beautiful lake in Colombia and have been a nature lover ever, Two months ago I started drawing birds, and made a short course on nature illustration, I really want to keep learning and experiencing this new talent. 2. I would love to register the native forest I have seen on the lake Tota shore, the time of the year they bloom and produce seeds, and which birds visit them when they produce their fruit. I also would love to try drawing a full page each month. 3. I think I can start from one or two ideas of journal, once i have more practice, I can develop my own style. I too soon for me, I am a beginner.
      • Dan
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        I'm looking forward to seeing your drawings from the forests of Colombia!  Glad you're doing the class.
      • Montecito
        Participant
        Chirps: 22

        @Dan Thanks Dan, but remember I am a beginner! I live on the Andes at 2.550 meters over the sea level, so not much of rain-forest vegetation. It is very pretty though. I would love to see yours too.

    • Barbara
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I've always loved the outdoors and have taken to bird watching and bumble bee watching too. I've been keeping a computer journal with photos for the last number of months. Because I have a dog I walking sitting for awhile is generally out of the question, so I will likely be sketching from photos. My daughter has started sketching daily and I love what she does, so I decided to take this course to learn how to draw. And as I will retire at the end of the year I'm looking to learn new skills.
    • kathryn
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      This course was appealing to me because I having been flirting with sketching, drawing and painting for years but have not been consistent with  my practice. I'm now retired and slowed down enough to become better at sketching, and painting. Since one of my passions is being out in nature this is my first choice for subject matter. I want to be able to record the colors and patterns that fill me with awe. I want to learn from this course how to capture single flowers, plant, birds, animals that have stopped me in my tracks. I will use the journal to record my feelings about the time, to remember what questions came up and what I have learned by further research. And finally  I want to get familiar enough with the skills to do quick landscapes. I was interested in the people who made journal entries from their Galapagos trip. Having such a compact set of tools will mean I can sit on a beach or wherever for 20 minutes and work on a page that will bring back great memories.
    • ellen
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      I just took a look in my library and found 2 books that might be of interest: The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Elizabeth Holden ( a gem of an old nature journal, and a best seller when it was published in 1977); and A Practical Guide for the Amateur Naturalist by Gerald Durrell gives lots of interesting ideas about how, where, and when to find interesting things in our natural world.
      • Dan
        Participant
        Chirps: 10
        Thanks for these book suggestions Ellen. They sound great.  I'll have to check them out.   All the best, Dan
      • Nancy
        Participant
        Chirps: 23
        I am looking at the assignment, where Liz talks about hatching, cross hatching etc, and I see this  in one of my books Naturalists Notebook by Nathaniel Wheelwright and Bernd Heinrich. The tree truck appears to be in the scribbling technique, and the nest next to it looks like the stippling technique Liz talks about! Wow! This class just started and I feel I’m learning a lot already! It’s such a great investment.
      • ellen
        Participant
        Chirps: 3

        @Nancy Nancy---I was going through the comments tonight and just had to say how lovely it was to see Bern Heinrich's name! I love his writing, but have not seen the Naturalists Notebook that you mention. I will look it up! Thanks for sharing. Ellen

      • Nancy
        Participant
        Chirps: 23

        @ellen Here is the cover. I got it on Amazon. 😊image

      • Christine N.
        Participant
        Chirps: 38
        I have Durrell's book. I was told it was one of the best. Would like to obtain the other....