Sketching in the moment

Being on screens so much these days for teaching, communication, emails, etc, I often don’t realize how much I am missing out on nature. I know that I need time out in the natural world to offset technology time and help me feel centered, and replenish my energy reserves.

So, after teaching my class for the Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference, I took a much-needed nature break.

Dose of Nature

In addition to urban neighborhoods and country, I am fortunate to have forests, woodlands and beaches to visit. Today, the ocean was calling to me.

Standing out on the rocky shoreline of Pebble Beach, I can see Bird Rock covered with nesting Brandt’s cormorants, brown pelicans and California sea lions. Each species organized in distinct places on the rock.

My nature journal is always with me, so I sketched out the shape of this elongated, saddle-shaped rock and mapped the animals who were distributed in clumps around the rock.

As I walked along the coastal trail down to the sandy beach, I looked up at the sky I was taken my the clouds. They were stretching across the dome of a sky in a variety of shapes, types and colors! How I wanted to capture this in my journal.

I was reminded of an activity that Kate Rutter, fellow nature journaler shared- sketching in four directions. It was a great way to capture the sky today.

Nature Journaling the Four Directions

Every direction (North, East, South to West) had different shapes, and some cloud forms stretched across two sectors. Even on this windy day, I managed to capture it. It’s scribbly and messy- and there’s a million different ways I could improve it to be more accurate.

I used a square shape today, but you could do this as a circle or wheel. Or a rectangle panoramic view.

But I actually love the energy and feeling it captured on the page. AND the most important thing was that I stopped to notice. Drawing pulls me into the wonder and discovery.

My journal page serves to jog my memory, so that when I look at the page later on, I’m transported back to this day. I call it a sensory scrapbook-

Transported to the experience of standing on the beach, feeling the soft sand between my toes, wind blowing my hair and whipping the page as I painted, smelling the sea air, and hearing the gulls calling as they fly overhead.

This is one moment where I was truly present in the present moment.

Do your journal pages pull you back to that moment in nature? Do you remember the sensory experience or do you remember struggling with the drawing?

How can you approach your next journaling time differently? Let us know below! Or share you photos!

I enjoy sketching in the field in pen. The color I add in the field or when I get home from a reference photo. This rock looked like a sundae with marshmallow topping– except in this case, the white stuff was guano (bird poop).

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