|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.