As a student of nature and art, I'm combining my love of the natural world with my appreciation of watercolor art.
I've discovered nature journaling and have found it is an engaging way to develop my observation skills and feed my curiosity about nature. I am learning how to notice the subtle details of line, shape, color and shadow as I capture sketches in my journal. In addition to drawings and written descriptions of what I see, I record the date, time, location, weather, time of sunrise/sunset and the phase of the moon in my journal.
Then I ask myself questions about what I am observing, what I am curious about:
"I wonder why/if..."
"It reminds me of..."
"Could it be that...?"
Later, I research the answers to my questions and often use my field drawings as inspiration for larger watercolor paintings.
It is also fun to observe changes over time - seasonal changes, flowers budding through blooming and fading, acorns forming and falling and birds building nests, feeding their young and tending to newly fledged offspring.
Currently, I am especially curious about insects, birds, native plants and the rich salt marshes along the Georgia coast.
John Muir Laws at www.johnmuirlaws.com has a wealth of information and resources about nature journaling.
Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth's book, "Keeping a Nature Journal", is another wonderful resource to learn about nature journaling.
Join a local nature journaling club, in person or via social media, or a pleinair watercolor and sketching group.
Elaine is currently enrolled in the Georgia Master Naturalist program at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, Georgia and volunteers at Smith-Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw, Georgia.
She began exploring nature through art after a 30+ year career in non-profit consulting and coaching, where she had the opportunity to work with over 50 non-profit organizations in the conservation, arts, human services and healthcare fields.