Sunday, May 31, 2020

International Nature Journal Week starts June 1st!

 Isn't this exciting?!  A whole week of nature journal inspiration as journalers celebrate International Nature Journal Week June 1 through 7!

Common violet, click to view larger.
Each day has a theme, with live workshops and how-tos.  Visit the International Nature Journal Week website to find out schedules, read blog posts, or learn how to participate yourself.  You do not have to be an artist or a naturalist to keep a nature journal!

The process of keeping a visual nature journal is a path.  It’s not about creating a finished product or a pretty picture.  My journals are a reflection of curiosity and discovery.  

 Every time I sketch something, I deepen my relationship with my subject by experiencing it differently.  I find myself asking questions and thinking more deeply.  I get to know my subject on a personal level.

My journals might be filled with quick sketches, detailed studies, photos, maps, poetry, or notes on observations.  We can record the progress of our garden, explorations of nearby habitats, or emotional responses to the beauty and diversity of the natural world.

Coral honeysuckle - loved by butterflies and hummingbirds!
Here’s what I’ve discovered that makes these journals valuable to me:  my drawing and painting skills have sharpened, especially when I draw on a weekly basis.  My observation has improved – I find myself specifically seeking out details in order to capture them on the fly or to write them down later.  My knowledge base is more dimensional; not only have I learned more, my emotional connection to nature has become more specific and I have a deeper sense of how individual parts fit into the whole.

Keep in mind the process, and don’t get over-involved with the outcome of each page.  As you practice, you’ll find your skills improving in every area!  Don’t be discouraged if you start and then stop.  When you’re ready, you’ll pick up your journal again and the words and pictures will flow onto the page.  Remember that it all “begins at the beginning” with that first step.  This is your exploration of the natural world around you!  This is your story to tell!

Here is some inspiration to get you and your family started!

Getting started PDF - quick ideas Fun ideas for kids - PDF

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