• I think that what attracts me to try journaling is that it is a contemplative process as well as one that requires slowing down, concentrating and becoming much more observant. So much of my life was busy accomplishing a lot as quickly as possible. My job, teaching high school science was never done- planning, grading, physical preparation, and  mentoring was all consuming, including many nights, weekends and even much of vacation time. Additionally, I had children of my own.  I am absolutely in love as well as fascinated by the natural world.. Having an activity whereby I can fully immerse myself in it for whatever amount of time I want feels like heaven. As I read through the journal examples, I was drawn to aspects of several of the journalers. I liked Shayna's approach-draw, think, reflect, remember and look up what she wanted to learn more about, which fits my personality. My curiosity is endless and I love to follow a question or learn more about something that pops into my head and this is a process to do just that!! I think that sketching combined with writing is great for remembering. I went on a birding adventure abroad and I could see how journaling could have enriched my experience. To me it feels better than photography, it involves all the senses. I loved the aesthetics of Holly's journal.  Having sketches of the total landscape along with detailed sketches of specific plants, birds, insects and animals puts them in perspective. I felt that way about Liz's journal also.
    • Dayamiris
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. That inspired me was the inspiration I have always drawn from nature, since also is my work environment; and ultimately is the perfect union between my art hobby (painting and drawing in general) and my academic background in sciences. I love the idea of fitting a month in just one page, I hope I can fit everything I get to draw in mine... also the idea of inserting squares to fit your notes would help me to a have a more organized layout. I would like to include my descriptions of sounds and smells; as well as, things I collet from my journaling trips (sustainably and mindfully collected) to include them in a "scrapbooky" style.
    • 1. I want to observe the world better and I hope that by spending time observing and drawing I’ll slow down and look with patience and attention at the world. 2. I like the ones that included words and drawing. As a poet that appeals to me. 3. No new ideas, but I do want to see how words and art can be blended into an expression of my attention.
    • Vicky
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I like the free style presentation that some had. I liked the personalization. Journaling to enjoy not to instruct
    • Sarah
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1) I am a linocut printmaker who often depicts birds, however, you can't complete a lino out in the field as it takes a lot of time, elbow grease, and sharp tools! Watercolor is a medium that is much more immediate and portable, so I wanted to learn how to use this medium. 2) I appreciate the last sketcher's goals of trying to do one drawing a day or a month of drawings. I also appreciated how many sketchers were working out the logic of what they were observing on paper, rather than just appreciation--they seemed to be learning from what they were observing. 3) I've also been looking for a way to combine words and images together in my art. I'm hoping that along with my observations and notes, I can include word-play and poetry to go along with the sketches.
    • Nicole
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. I took both of Liz’s recent workshops on the Cedar Waxwing painting and drawing essentials.  I loved both and want to learn more about nature sketching and improve my painting and drawing skills. 2. I can’t pick just one style I like!  I love the colors in Shayna, Jewel, William, and Holly’s journals.  Yet I also love the simplicity of D.J. & Margaret’s journals.  I liked Shayna’s details including looking up both the common and scientific names of her subjects.  I love how Margaret and William keep multiple quick sketches of the same subject to learn more about their subjects.  I think Margaret had a dozen sketches of hummingbirds in a 2 hour time-frame and each one seemed to teach her something.  D.J. has used his as official documentation.  Shayna’s is a “personal field guide” and Jewel, William, and Holly seem to be about memories.  I’d like to incorporate all methods into my journal. 3. I think I might try doing multiple pictures of the same subject in using different mediums - watercolor, colored pencils, or pencils sketches and see which I like the most.
    • Madison
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1. I draw a lot, but mostly 0nly from reference found on the internet, so i find that there isn’t much movement or different angles to what i draw. 2. I really like the idea of quick and loose sketches to get the basic shapes down that i would be able to return to at a later time. 3. Adding in some small bits of nature found outdoors scrapbook style
    • Elodie
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1. My partner and I took the Cedar Waxwing class with Liz. My fist watercolor! We are both artists, but I would like to learn to journal more in nature (meaning more discipline to do it!). I draw, but do not paint, and would like to learn. I am more of a 3d artist (blown glass). My interests are in birding, beekeeping, and fly fishing. I tie most of our flies, so I consider myself an amateur entomologist. I also do a lot of photography of all of these things. I would like to have a more personal touch of hand drawn experiences with our adventures. 2. Stylistically, I like pen and ink with watercolor. I also liked the daily or monthly sketches, for discipline. 3. What I need is more practice! I am confident that I will come up with a system that works for me. Thanks for the inspiration!IMG_8624            
    • Cheryl
      Participant
      Chirps: 10
      I took Liz's watercolor class of a cedar waxwing just as a lark. My grandma began watercolor classes in her seventies and I was interested in trying them myself. As an elementary teacher, I had not considered the possibilities of doing nature journaling with my students.  I teach mathematics and science. What a perfect fit for both! To begin with, I just want to sketch, watercolor, and jot notes on the pages of my sketchbook. If I were to go on a nature trip, I would love to use the little journal to document the trip in pictures and words. I also loved the idea of having various sketches on one page a month. So many possibilities. I plan to have my third grade students begin nature journaling when we get back to school this August.
    • Elizabeth
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      1. After taking a bird drawing workshop with Liz, I was inspired to engage more with the birds I observe. Field drawing has felt intimidating to me in the past, but the process she broke down really helped me get started. 2. I love the color that gets incorporated into these journals and the way the watercolor helps them to break down the different shades present in nature. Can't wait to do that! 3. I think I'd like to try something in my journal where I draw or paint the same thing over the course of a year (or longer!) and watch it change. Maybe the same view or a single tree...
    • Karen
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. After taking a bird painting workshop with Liz, in which we painted a Cedar Waxwing, I became inspired to do more bird paintings.  I don't have much confidence in my art work, so I hope to dive in and see how my journaling and art work improve over time.  Also, yesterday I was super close to a summer tanager and watched him take a bath.  He didn't seem to mind that I was there at all.  So my first page of my journal is to try and capture that moment. 2. I like the idea of keeping dates and locations, and also doing the drawings first to use whatever space is needed.  I also like doing a circular close up when needed to show more small details. 3. I may have more ideas as I get working more on my journal, but not at the moment.
    • Katie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      Really inspirational journals with great practical tips. I like the idea of a box at the top with the date, time, location and weather conditions. Also like the idea of drawing boxes with the subject peaking out of the box. Will try to start with monthly page as a manageable goal with the idea of working to daily journals on future trips.
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1. I am a teacher, so in the summer time I have time to stop and reflect. I spend most of my time outdoors in beautiful, natural places along the Eastern seaboard. I hope to cultivate a journaling habit/practice that encourages me to tap into my creative side in a way that is slowed down, deliberate and contemplative. I hope to bring these practices into my life and routine beyond the summer. I know many people who keep nature journals and always thought that this was out of reach for me since I am not an artist. I am excited to learn some drawing/painting skills while I learn to better observe and notice. 2. I like the monthly journal at the end of the video, but will try to keep a weekly version. I also like the first journal type and how she uses the boxes. I need to do some additional reflection about what my journal will be. I am not entirely sure yet. I do know that I need to be open to mistakes and changes of mind along the way. The young woman who let her journal "become" as time went on is inspiring to me because I don't want to have a fixed mindset going in. But I do see the importance of setting some goals.  
    • Scott
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I actually enjoyed the journals that included the colorful sketches and journal entries. I thought the combination of personal observations and the information that was gathered from scientific knowledge made for a great resource. Very important I felt was that the journal left an imprint of  a memory for the journalist and our community.  
    • Which ideas or approaches I want to try: I've attempted several times to start a nature journal but never really got it going. I've had a hard time deciding what format I want to use, so I keep putting it off. For this reason I especially like Holly's idea of doing monthly pages, as it seems a bit less daunting and I think I can stick with it, doing a drawing with the associated information without feeling that more is needed at the moment. I can always add daily or trip pages as well.
    • Stephanie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. This course is a Mother's Day present from my children, their spouses and families. My daughter -in-law came up with the idea because I love watching birds, I had feeders for years ( I am now in an apartment) and I have gone on birding trips, plus I do watercolor painting. I have kept watercolor journals on some trips. Now that I am in a new setting, journaling will be a great way to get to know parts of it more intimately. 2. I liked all of their ideas. I, especially liked the first journaler with her boxes and the changes she made later. The young woman who journaled every day was very ambitious and she did it all so beautifully. A monthly one seems more practical for me. 3. No new ideas yet, I will let you know.
    • Jeanne-Marie
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I've always loved starting new journals and notebooks with various themes and intent, often taking a lot of time at first with them, only to lose interest, put them down, and eventually just store them in the closet. The closet is packed with half-started notebooks. I'm hopeful that Nature Journaling will me get outside, appreciate the small things, improve my art and writing skills, and help me to actually finish a notebook. JMB journal page - May 2022
      • Elizabeth
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        I love how your words here are also so full of color! Sometimes the words feel understated in these journals, but you've chosen to go different way. Lovely!
    • Maree
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      1. What inspired you to begin nature journaling? Nature inspires me- and my own forgetfulness- when I see such amazing things, I guess I want to keep a record to look back on and spark the memory and wonder.  Curiosity also inspires me- I like to find out more about what I find and keeping a track of that is cool- it makes me feel like I understand my environment more. We have just moved to a little town near the ocean on the southern coast of Australia and have a mix of beach, rockpools, coastal brush and local rainforest to explore- so much to capture! 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 loved Shayna's journal- she has a focus on the visual, but plenty of observations and questions and I think I will do the same of filling in information afterwards.  I also liked her page with multiple ferns - the idea of creating your own field guide- I can see that working for me for so many different organisms in my environment- ferns, shells, starfish, pine cones- endless. I also loved Holly's journal- her pictures are so gorgeous, that one really inspired me to create beautiful pictures, but also the idea of capturing the changing seasons came across really strongly in her journal and I liked that alot too. In Liz's journal I loved the landscape captures- how such vast landscapes could be captured so beautifully in miniature is really inspiring to me- I had always thought more about drawing small things, but will definitely try and capture some big landscapes in miniature now. In DJ's journal I loved the repetition of drawing the same species over and over again but capturing all different details and postures- I mostly draw birds once- usually the first time I see them- and dont really draw common birds like seagulls, but see through DJ's work how trying to capture different aspects could be great to make me a better drawer and to discover things about their behaviour.
      • Scott
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Really enjoyed your comments-especially the statement that really resonated with me-'Nature inspires me and my own forgetfulness.'
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      I have been receiving the Cornell Uni emails about birds for a few years and I get so many I usually skip them...sorry! However, Liz's one-hour demonstration of drawing a black and white warbler caught my eye and was very enjoyable, and I noted the offer of this course. Well, I looked into it and signed up. Here I am, happily. I am an artist and a birdwatcher, with very few paintings of birds to my name...so far. However, I have been enjoying painting mushrooms, leaves, blossoms and flowers. The idea of nature journaling appeals because I love plein air painting. It allows me to slow down and just be peaceful, note what is going on, see birds come and go, and watch weather changes and light and shadow play over water and headland. I like the idea of journaling each day for a month, and I like the idea of journaling to capture the essence of a trip. I think I prefer vivid pictures of varying sizes together with notes and arrows pointing to specific details, plus writing that runs around the pictures and down the page. I also like the idea of identifying what I have found and adding that information later. Briony Penn published her nature journal and from what I recall it was exquisite. (Here is a link to her book. It is not quite a nature journal per se, although, perhaps it is. Anyway, I think it looks exciting.)
    • NANETTE
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I started nature journaling because I've always loved drawing animals. and when I got into birds I found out about nature journaling and Audubon. so later on I found bird academy and for weeks or months, I was thinking of starting a class. then I asked my mom and she said yes today I just started the class.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      I signed up for this course two years ago.  For some reason, unknown to me, I put it on the back burner, meaning to get back to it any day now.   Two yrs went by.  Today, I watched Liz on a podcast & she got me energized again to get out my course supplies & start over.  I was surprised the the little amount of drawing I had done 2 yrs ago showed me that I did actually pick up some knowledge even though I didn't get very far.  So, now I'm beginning again.  I walk every day either in the forest behind our house or along the bluff trail that juts down into the ocean.  Lots of sea birds.  Even though we live in a constant drought here on the central CA coast, there are lots of little wildflowers that I'm going to attempt to draw.  Today I saw some CA Quail running under the brush in the forest.  They are extremely shy & run like the wind so I don't know if I can capture them, but I'll be on the lookout.  They do sometimes come to our back yard to check out our feeders. I'm excited to get back into this course & onward I go.  It's so well taught & Liz is so low-key I think I can do this without being judgmental of my work -- something she stressed on the podcast. Ps: I raise Monarch Butterflies so I will practice drawing their beautiful lines & spots.  They never leave the yard & are very friendly so it shouldn't be too difficult getting them to pose :)
    • Carrie
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I was gifted this course by my partner for Christmas several years ago and am now finally taking it. I enjoy being out in nature and have been dipping my toes into birding - or at least learning to identify the birds around me using Merlin and eBird. Honestly, I had initially hoped for a course on identifying birds but looking into it further, I find nature journaling to be appealing (if not a little intimidating). I do like the idea of having a way to more fully and mindfully take in my surroundings - not just the birds (which, honestly, seems quite challenging given their movement) but recording the scenery and general observations when out spending time in natural areas whether for the day or camping. It provides  something "to do" to experience a place without having to be on the move (hiking, boating, etc) and creates a strong memory, both in your mind and one to return to on the page. I like the combo of using color and lines to draw the scenery and doing more close-up/individual studies along with words to help fully capture a place/time. I enjoyed many of the journals shown and can see how various methods can prove useful depending on my time and inclination. The one spread per month is appealing to build the habit especially when time is short. The previously mentioned method of notes+colorful scenery+close-ups would be nice when camping or otherwise spending longer days outdoors. The organization of the first journal felt appealing for a beginner like me, with boxes (albeit, somewhat free form). I appreciate how many of the journals were approachable works in progress. I look forward to honing my art skills and cultivating a creative and mindful way to experience nature!
    • Alice
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      1.  COVID hit and listening to the birds around me gave me so much peace.  I learned to identify many by their songs and then by their sizes, shapes and colors.  I wanted to connect on a deeper more intimate level by drawing them. I found I could draw with practice and now I want to improve my drawing/observation skills.  It is healing to contemplate the beauty of the natural world and to be in awe.
    • Carol
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      I love being outside and wanted to make a different record than is on my iPhone. I want to learn how to draw and describe the outside world. I am new to drawing.5DCC5F4F-9FF7-41E6-96BE-15F46A79B920
      • Kathleen
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Hi Carol. I am new to drawing, too. I love the picture you posted! -Kathleen
    • Alana
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      I live in Stony Plain Alberta Canada, lake country! All seasons bring an abundance of enjoyment when out on the water and surrounding areas. I mostly photograph micro environments and paint larger oil paintings from them. I want to start recording more of the experience through a collection of  illustration, descriptive language, mark making, colour, prints and whatever means possible to tell a story about the places I encounter. It is my hope this will bring a rich layer of meaning to my larger work in the studio. Images included are some past sketches done from memory of places I visited, and a larger oil painting done in studio. IMG_8119IMG_93371_In_Waiting_Deltra_Powney
      • Alana
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Hello, My name is Deltra, the author of this post. Alana is the owner of the course who has graciously signed me up to take it! I work for her at a nature shop and look forward to learning all I can about field journaling! Thanks for the opportunity.