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Monday, December 7, 2015

A New Creative Journey - Nature Journaling

My very first nature journal page 11/27/15




Nature journals are one of my favorite things, and making one for myself is something I've always wanted to do.  I've collected a few - Edith Holden and Marjolein Bastin are my favorites, and I've admired the work of many others I've seen on the internet, but I never had the courage to try it for myself.  I just didn't think my drawing skills were good enough.  Recently, however,  I purchased the book Create Your Own Artist's Journal by Erin O'Toole because it looked like another beautiful book full of watercolor sketches and nature pages and found myself greatly inspired and encouraged to have a go at it. It's a wonderful book full of practical information and helpful tips.  There's even a short section on how to create your own handmade journal.  It's a perfect book for a beginner like me, because it makes art and nature journaling seem more accessible.  So, I purchased an inexpensive journal and assembled a kit from things I already had on hand and set out on a warm sunny day to sketch something - something easy to start with.  I chose a favorite winter tree - the witch hazel, which blooms here in Alabama throughout the fall and winter.  I wanted to sketch the pair of wood ducks I saw bobbing around in the creek or the little anole who climbed up on my back pack to warm himself in the sun, or the amazing grasshopper who was so perfectly camouflaged that I almost overlooked him, but the witch hazel was willing to stand still, so that's where I began.  I have set some goals for myself and am hoping that with regular practice my drawing and painting skills will improve with time.  Sitting around looking at other people's work and wishing I could draw won't make it happen.  I think it has finally dawned on me that I am the only person who can teach me how to draw.  We learn by doing. Yes? yes.


8 comments:

Jules Woolford said...

Oh, well done for starting! You're quite right it's the 'Three P's' Practice, Patience and Perseverance, which we need. Looks like you have some wonderful inspiration there, I'm not familiar with Erin O'Toole's book but will have to check it out now. 'Country Diary' is a big favourite of mine. Do look at Cathy Johnson's marvelous books and website, http://cathyjohnson.info/ Kate is a naturalist, super talented artist, and long time journal keeper based in Missouri, and she is quite inspiring! Happy nature journaling!x

Doniene said...

What an absolutely wonderful venture!! I'm sure your journal will be one that you treasure for years to come. And also one that your children will treasure someday, too!!!

Blessings and hugs!

Raewyn said...

Good on you for your great start, Starr....so true, we learn best by doing. What a treasure your journal will be.

Valerie Gardiner said...

I'm thrilled that you've made a start on your first nature journal, you'll find yourself looking out for things to draw every day and before long you'll be on to book no 2. You could collage some pictures on the cover to pretty it up but watch out for the perforated pages in the one you've started, I find they start to tear with time. If you can afford it try to find a hard bound book next time which will last forever. Good luck and happy sketching.xx

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

A nature journal is a perfect record keeper for you. There is so much to see where you live you have plenty to jot about. It certainly will enhance your sketching skills.
Merry Christmas.
xx, Carol

Wynette Vass said...

Wonderful start, Starr! You will be amazed with yourself when you go back through your journal and see how much your artistic skills have evolved. Enjoy your journey!!

Valerie Gardiner said...

Hello again Starr, I have just seen the latest blog by Jean Mackay on journaling, you can find her at http://jeanmackayart.com/2015/12/08/illustrated-watercolor-journaling/ You'll find lots of inspiration there.

JennyPennyPoppy said...

That's wonderful Starr and the more we do something the better we'll get at it especially if we have the passion for it which you obviously do. Enjoy!