May 2, 2010

Two Loves Merge

I have been drawn to natural journaling since I first read about it. The love of nature and the love of art met and have been entwined ever since. I find freedom in recording the beauty I find all around me; it is infinitely more relaxing to copy someone else’s creation than it is to create beauty of my own. I started with this page pictured below. I took my sketch book on a trip we made to the sea side and I sat under a grass umbrella and drew what I saw. I wrote what thoughts came to my head. I listened, smelled and was still. I loved it.

“Nature offers us a thousand simple pleasures-play of light and color, fragrances in the air, the sun’s warmth on skin and muscle, the audible rhythm of life’s stir and push-for the price of merely paying attention.”- Lorraine Anderson, Sisters of the Earth

“Go find a piece of paper; it doesn’t matter what type or size. Find any pencil, marker, or drawing tool. Now gather up your eyes, take a deep breath, and ask yourself: “what is happening outdoors this particular season, this time of day, and in this particular place where I live?” Draw a cloud, a bird flying by, a tree branch, ivy vines on a building wall, a potted plant, or garden flower. Don’t judge your drawing. You are not an artist yet. You are a scientist, simply recording what you see, in this moment of time. Be very quiet, be very still. Slow your breathing and think, “bud” “plant” “bird” After one minute or less no more, write what you drew and go on to the next sighting, keeping it relevant to season, time of day, and place. You have begun nature journaling.” –Claire Walker Leslie a quote from Keeping a Nature Journal.

“hands-on experience at the critical time, not systematic knowledge, is what counts in the making of a naturalist. Better to be untutored savage for a while, not to know the names or anatomical detail, better to spend stretches of time just searching and dreaming.” -Edward O. Wilson a naturalist

I look forward to the days when my boys take interest in nature journaling too. Perhaps one will enjoy photography more than drawing, or making bug collections or herbariums….But today we will share in all this beauty simply by enjoying it with our five senses and drinking in the rest and inspiration it brings. Meanwhile mom keeps on drawing.

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