Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Field notes

A few posts ago I showed you some walking sketches and after that I knew that I wanted to do more sketching during my walks.

Because I live in a place full of nature and beautiful landscapes I started to look into nature journaling and keeping field notes and such. I found the subject fascinating and I learned a lot, but I also immediately found out I'm not really suited to be a real naturalist. By that I mean I'm not someone who is all that interested to know all the names of all the plants and birds and trees and then record them in a journal and go really into deep research mode about the things I see.

For example: the island attracts a lot of birdwatchers and from time to time I get to observe those observers of birds. The way it goes is that somebody will see some certain type of bird somewhere, give notice to all the other watchers and then they will bike or walk like crazy to that point to get a glimpse of that particular bird as well. They have handsignals if they spotted it too! It's quite funny to watch.

I have no doubt that birdwatchers love nature and most of all birds, but the way they do it is not really my thing. By being so overfocused on getting a particular bird crossed off your list I have a feeling you're just missing the point of nature and the beauty of the outdoors.

In the end I'm not that kind of note taker and observer. I don't collect information for information's sake, I collect experiences. So where putting fact after fact  and observation after observation on pages and in organized lists is of great value for science and nature observers, I am more the kind who is taken by the shape of a leaf, the colour of a flower or the beauty of a bird. I don't really need to know everything about them. Yes, I'd like to be a bit more in the know on their names and such, but that's about all. I just like taking it all in and being in awe.

So I have started up a sort of field notes book. You can see its first pages in this post. It's just me taking note of some of the things I see during my walks. I have no idea what all these things are called, I am just drawn to their shape and colours and the beauty of the landscape. I think that's enough.

The book is a moleskine cahier and I'm not sure I will continue working in it. The paper is really flimsy and I can't work on it with wet media. So these drawings were coloured in with pencil. It's actually quite nice for that, but what I had not expected is that when you draw on the back of an already coloured in image it sort of prints on the opposite page. I don't really care for that.

Another thing I'm learning is that I'm not very comfortable doing my drawings standing up. I have done some that way, but I don't really enjoy it. I actually don't enjoy anything that requires me to stand up for long periods of time. For instance I hate those parties where everyone just stands around and is supposed to mingle. I like to sit down comfortably and observe. Enjoyment and comfort are very important for me in order to make art.

So I may switch to another book. In fact I have already done some sketches in another book, but that's for another post! Anyway, I hope you like this peek into my first nature drawings. I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Have a wonderful and artsy day all!


  1. Your sketches are very striking and your choice of colors is perfect. I enjoyed this a lot.

  2. I am inspired by the way you are making nature journaling your own. I love the beauty and detail of beautiful nature field notes but I've found for myself, I am not interested to create with so much detail and as you say 'the facts'. I usually end up creating watercolor abstracts as my field notes. So, my notes are really about how I am being impacted by nature not so much about nature itself. So freeing isn't it? Art finds its own way thru each of us.

    1. I guess art makes individuals of us all. I know a lot of people worry about copying and stuff, but unless you really set out to copy something it's very hard not to be original. I like the idea of abstract field notes. I have done abstracts after things like tree bark or other textures. I do love my textures and patterns, haha!


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