Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nature Journaling

I have always loved the outdoors, nature and sketching. And I've always desired to keep a nature journal in a consistent way, but I've not lived up to that desire. During the summer I borrowed about a dozen books on the subjects of sketching, watercolor, and nature journaling and thoroughly inspired myself. I got out all my art supplies, created a 'kit'. And then struggled in actually doing as much sketching as I hoped to. Then this week the Canson sketch book I've been adding to (slowly!) over the past several years was drenched in my back back by a leaky water bottle. It's a soggy, rumpled mess. I had lots of pressed flowers and leaves in it that are probably hopelessly ruined. (sob!) As well as the Elk sketch from my last post. Very sad.

HOWEVER, this loss finally 'freed' me to start sketching in a lovely new moleskin art journal I'd purchased from Amazon. I couldn't justify using it, while I still had so many empty pages in my Canson. I pulled out my copy of 'The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady' for inspiration, and decided I'm going to use my moleskin in the same way. In 'Country Diary' (an out of print reproduction of Edith Holden's actual nature journal) Edith chronicles the changes of the seasons, month by month, through beautiful botanical sketches, quotes and journal writings. She includes lots of lovely drawings of the birds and other fauna from her English countryside home.

So here is my first page for the month of October in my Nature Journal. It will be interesting to see what I can find here in the Sonoran desert to sketch that might capture the subtle signs of autumn.  (Locals often say that Phoenix has 2 seasons, spring and summer) Hopefully I'll be able to get up North and journal the fall foliage before it's gone. I did salvage the colored pencil and ink maple leaf I drew at Lost Canyon on Oct. 3. I pasted it to the left of this page. It's on my flickr stream as are some other sketches and all my nature photography.

The goal is to do at least 4 pages per month, which will work out to 1 per week, hopefully. ;o)

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