Nature Journaling

August 18, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." - Albert Einstein

About a year ago I started to use my nature journal more often. This has been most satisfying and has helped me both as a naturalist and as an artist. As a naturalist, I find I look more closely and ask more questions about my subject. I look at things from a different perspective than through the lens of a camera. I observe a single object for a longer period of time. As an artist, it helped me get past judging and criticizing my work which stopped me before I started.

Just by doing more, my skills are improving. I now use my journal work to do a study of a plant before a do a detailed drawing at home. And from a personal level, I get absorbed in the work and take a break from the ills in the world.

The key is using the journal to capture information - not worry about making a pretty book. That may come, but that is not the purpose. Here are some tips to get started.

 

Do it for yourself:

  • It is for yourself!
  • The journal is the tool
  • There is no right or wrong
  • It doesn’t have to be pretty
  • Find what interests you
  • Get ideas from others and try different techniques

Deepen your connection to and understanding of nature:

  • See more
  • Develop appreciation
  • Learn something new
  • Expand your critical thinking
  • Expand your creativity  

Catsclaw - Senegalia greggiiCatsclaw - Senegalia greggiiAnza-Borrego Desert State Park, Culp Valley Campground 05/29/2016 Go slowly and with thoughtful intention:

  • Observe closely
  • Ask questions
  • Wonder
  • Connect with past experiences


Record what you see, think, feel, and wonder:

  • Record Date, Time, Location, and Weather
  • Note Habitat
  • Note Species of Plants and Animals (counts, sizes, locations, behaviors)
  • Write descriptions, write questions, write ideas, write feelings
  • Draw pictures. Stick figures will do with words attached.
  • Draw for information and observation

Field kitField kitField kit
Explore media but keep it simple:

  • If it is not easy and accessible, you won’t do it.
  • Notebook and pen or pencil
  • Optional watercolor, colored pencils
  • Get ideas from others

 

The key is just to start and keep doing it!


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...