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Autumn is a great time to get journaling
“As long as autumn last, I shall not have hands, canvas and colours enough to paint the beautiful things I see.” - Vincent Van Gogh
Last week I read a lovely article byabout nature journaling and how it will change your life. This article inspired me to revisit my love of nature journaling, especially in autumn when there is so much to find and to observe out in nature. I am a member of skillshare and so headed over to look up some classes on nature journaling, I came across an artist called Julia Bausenhardt. I followed her lovely class which sparked my interest again and so that weekend I packed my field kit and headed out to the beach to make the most of a beautiful day.
Audrey and I explored the rock pools and I collected a couple of items to take back up the shore. I felt so content, soaking up the autumn sun, the sounds of the seabirds, sitting on my blanket with a flask of coffee. I forgot the teaspoon so my paintbrush came in handy as a stirrer. Audrey also took over the blanket so I got to sit on her wet, sandy dog towel!
It was such a tranquil time and made me realise that this activity was something I wanted to continue, so I did. This weekend I felt myself feeling a little overwhelmed and anxious, so I turned to nature to help me. We loaded Audrey into the car and off we went to the woods. I felt the need to get under the canopy of some trees where it was cool and calming. Autumn is the perfect season to find, collect or just observe nature’s gifts and so with camera in hand, a happy dog and my husband, off we went to explore.
Whilst exploring, I found that I naturally switched off to the outside world, I felt grounded, calm and grateful for my surroundings and all that nature has to offer. Being in the forest, my mood lifted, I felt happier and less frustrated with the world. I had refocused my attention, strolling slowly, observing, listening and spotting all sorts of flora and fauna.
Although I didn’t take my field kit on this trip I did manage to accumulate many lovely photographs to use at a later date. My husband is very good at spotting woodland mushrooms and this weekend there were quite a few to be found. We were lucky enough to see a deer on our path, as we quietly approached, it wandered off into the thicket. I did enjoy an outdoor session in the garden last week, I took a clipping from the abundance of rose-hips in the border and painted from still life. You can find my video on YouTube, or just click the link below.
A nature journal can contain all sorts of observations, recordings, and memories, whether I am on the beach, in the woods, on holiday or in the garden. It’s about how it makes me feel, I feel engaged in the present moment, not scrolling through my phone or checking emails and texts. I feel creative and grateful for the time I have to create colourful art, using lots of different materials; ink, pens, pencils, watercolour and pastels. It’s important to just give it a try, you don’t need to be an ‘artist’, it’s not about producing your best art or even displaying it or sharing with others, it’s about stopping, observing, catching the moment, making a memory and for me, switching off to the outside world, a reminder that my power comes from within. Time for me, my sketchbook and nature and that feels really good.
Please see my nature journaling book recommendations below and if you liked my post then please head over to my website where I post a monthly blog. Check out August’s post by clicking the button below.
I hope you manage to get outside into nature this week and enjoy what autumn has to offer.
Stay naturally curious…
How to Keep a Sketchbook Journal by Claudia Nice
The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, written and illustrated by John Muir Laws