Friday, April 29, 2011

Pages from my journals

I'm getting ready to teach some classes called Adventures in Nature Journaling. I don't want to get too fixated on particular tools: size of journal, type of paper, drawing or painting media, etc., etc., nor peoples artistic skills (or lack thereof), per se. Instead, I want it to be a class about seeing, responding, and questioning. With my backgrounds in biology and photography as well as years of living in or near wilderness, I think I've learned a lot about what to look for, how to raise questions that lead to other questions in a never-ending exercise of curiosity. Once the journaling habit is established, there are many directions it can go. For some people, it will become mostly a memory book. For others a source of ideas for more developed art and writing projects. For some it's a combination of these and other "uses." It's a lot of fun when a group shares ideas about their various reasons for journaling and how their practices evolve. I get a great deal of enjoyment not only from sharing experiences such as these but also from seeing people expand their appreciation for elements of the environment they might not have previously noticed or toward which they might have previously felt hostile. I love turning arachnophobes into arachnophiles, or turning people on to the beauty of star thistle or to a generalized appreciation of so-called weeds. In the coming weeks I'll be posting drawings, paintings, photos, pages from my journals, etc., that are a part of these developing classes. First session begins tomorrow at Main Street Artists Gallery in Quincy, CA. Hope to see you there.

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