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A new way to take in nature

Recently I stumbled across an Instagram reel highlighting the wildlife that uses a particular nature crosssing (a fallen tree) over various seasons, both day and night.

I was taken by the diversity of creatures, and ways of moving and how they spent their time on camera. It delighted me to see the scampering, slipping, prancing, frolicking, sleeping and stretching going on.

A secret peek into the lives of animals!

They were snippets of a longer story, and it drew me in.

Then I thought- nature journaling!

Nature journaling from wildlife videos

You could pause a video and sketch as you go through. But this was a continuous video I could not pause, so took screenshots so I can sketch from them more easily.

I opened my journal and playfully sketched several animals all over the page. I used my usual loose sketchy approach-- it keeps my inner critic quiet so I don't get so caught up in making a perfect drawing.

Here's the process:

First, with fountain pen I did the animals and let them land wherever on the page. I used a gesture sketch/ contour drawing.

(For those who know me- this is my usually way and attempting any of my workshops your learn how to do this)

I did all the sketches and then added fun labels that described the movement or mood of the animals.

Next I added a trail of descriptions woven between the sketches.

Then splashes of color in a loose manner to match the sketching . If I was exacting in the color it would look in-cohesive since the lines were so sketchy and not precise.

Inner critic peeks in

To be honest- I kept hearing in my head "that doesn't look good, you can show anyone this page!" Or "THAT doesn't look right!"

But I've gotten to the point in my nature journaling practice that I can hear that judging critic, notice it, and let her know "it's okay I'm just scribbling" and move on.

Process, not product

At the end of the process I really like the page. I just need to keep trusting myself and keep going.

Because the purpose of nature journaling is to deepen my connection to nature -- the focus is on the process instead of the product.

The process of nature journaling this page (awareness, attention, wonder) deepened and enriched the experience of watching the videos.

It stimulates a curiosity about these animals.

Where were they going? Where did they come from? What is their life like? Do they worry about the weather or potential predators? How do they make a living? Do they live here year-round or just certain times? What do they eat and does it change throughout the year?

Your invitation:

Check out videos online or use your own for nature journaling.

Sketch and be messy, allow yourself to sink into your curiosity about the animals and write down your thoughts, impressions and wonderings.

Please share on Instagram #sparkinnature

Or Facebook Monterey Bay Nature Journal Club Group

Or share with me in the Spark Collective membership co-working collaborative.

Free 14- day trial here.

original video from @neil.rice85 instagram

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