Now more than ever, you need
a sense of calm and rootedness.
Of small, simple moments of joy.
Of deep connection to place.
And, a parallel quietness of mind.
Go for it!
Pause the to-do list in your mind.
Try sketching what you see!
Focus closely on details in the natural world around you.
Sketching is a powerful way to direct your attention and create a sense of focus. If you’re not quite sure how to get started, my little pocket guide is for you!
With this pocket guide as your companion, you can pursue your curiosity while calming your mind.
Your copy of the Pocket Guide to Sketching and Field Journal Basics gets you started with the fun, whacky techniques that professional artists use to warm up, move past the blank page, and channel observation into discovery and delight.
Pay what you can
Contribute whatever amount* you're able to contribute, and take yourself on a journey that will enhance your sense of place and help you find small delights close to home.
*Minimum of $5/purchase.
Make connections & find your sense of place.
If you sketch your observations regularly, you will begin to build a sense of place, whether you observe snails in a window flower box, weeds growing through cracks in the sidewalk, or migratory birds in a wilderness area.
While the materials in this pocket guide focus on science and nature, the sketching exercises and basic principles are equally useful if you want to sketch your garden, coffee cup, or next trip.
And, if you're interested, keep reading to learn a bit more about how science and art have teamed up through the ages.
The history of art and science are closely intertwined.
Prior to the advent of cameras, scientific inquiry required drawing. Think of the drawings and paintings of Leonardo da Vinci, Maria Sybilla Merian, John James Audubon, or the maps drawn by Samuel Champlain and the Lewis & Clark expedition.
Additionally, most people with an interest in the natural world were trained to make basic drawings of what they observed. Their illustrated journals and drawings persist as tangible records of discoveries, adventures and personal experiences.
This ability has lapsed as a public tradition, but it persists in some ways – as a profession (scientific illustration) and as an avocation for many naturalists and enthusiasts of the natural world. Certainly, professionals like Cathy Johnson, Val Webb, Clare Walker Leslie, and David Allen Sibley make it look easy.
And yet, drawing is not a domain exclusive to the pros. Without much training, it is still possible to render what you see in a way that informs and delights you.
Even in the digital age, hand-rendered reflections of the natural world still possess the power to transfix us, and make us long for the ability to do something like it.
Furthermore, researchers such as Felice Frankel and her colleagues have demonstrated that drawing (even without training) can help clarify what you know, assist instructors in assessing student knowledge, and refine public communication efforts by identifying key concepts.
Want to know more?
If you’d like to know more about how drawing can contribute to science learning, teaching, and research, see my series of blog posts about Artful Science and sketching tips. If you’d like specific training, contact me to discuss how I can help you tap the potential of drawing to enhance science education, research, and communication with collaborators.