Thursday, July 5, 2012

Journals and Journal workshops

Yes, we're still at warp speed around here. Next week I'm off to teach field sketching workshops at the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival, and the week after I'm headed to Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine as an instructor for Educators' Week. More field sketching and more illustrated journals.

But I'll let you in on a guilty secret. For reasons I haven't been able to sort out, I haven't personally had a designated field journal in service since the end of last year.

I have other journals. One for just making notes and lists about tasks. One that serves as a sort of personal grousing forum and occasional repository of sketches and image ideas. A tiny one that I stick in my pocket when I go for walks– I use it to record birds I've seen or ideas that pop into my head while I'm walking.

But no nature journal per se.


Journals in progress

Part of the problem has been that I like to make my own journals, and I've been undecided about format, page size, and paper type. There's no paper that I've found that's perfect for all applications in my journal. I like a bound book, but I also like the freedom of loose sheets. I just couldn't make up my mind.

So this past weekend I decided I didn't have to make up my mind. Exactly. Yes, I built a journal with a sewn binding, but I also used the "leftover" paper to create a set of loose sheets for those times when I don't want to lug my journal around. I used four different papers. Two different sizes. A non-decision decision. My best kind.

The impetus was the crazy, fire-plagued summer we're experiencing here in Colorado and most of the western US. Even though the largest fires are thankfully far from us, they're impacting everyone in ways large and small. Somehow it seemed wrong not to acknowledge these weeks, so even before I had the clasp built for the book I recorded an impression from the many photos and video clips of the many blazes.

Of course now that I have a book started, I can't wait to get out and fill it. Funny how that works. It's a good thing I've got all these workshops coming up, eh?


  1. I'm thinking it would be lovely to curl up with a cup of coffee and just pore through all your journals! (I'd be careful to keep the coffee away from the journals and not "pour" through them though :)

  2. Any time, Christina! Hm. Coffee stains could be interesting.

  3. Hi Sherrie, I've been reading your blog for awhile and like to see the drawings and print blocks. Now I also see your journals would be lovely to look at. Any chance you might post some more pages here or Flickr? Thanks for all the beauty so far,

  4. Hi Ambal! Sorry the blog has been so... empty... lately. Just SO busy with teaching and events this summer. I HAVE to start a new lino next week, though, so stay tuned! And I'll get a journal page up this weekend, too. Thanks for the encouragement!