Nature Journaling: Beginning a Daily Practice | Torina Torina | Skillshare

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Nature Journaling: Beginning a Daily Practice

teacher avatar Torina Torina, Writer, artist, naturalist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Introduction

      0:46
    • 2. Benefits

      5:10
    • 3. Materials

      4:04
    • 4. Location

      3:10
    • 5. Writing

      3:50
    • 6. Drawing

      3:42
    • 7. Class Project

      1:03
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About This Class

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In this class, you will learn how to begin a daily nature journaling practice. You will learn about the benefits of nature journaling, what materials you need to gather to get started, how to find a suitable location and the basics of getting started. It is a fun, relaxing, meditative process that will heighten your awareness of the natural world around you in all aspects of your life.

Meet Your Teacher

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Torina Torina

Writer, artist, naturalist

Teacher

Hello, I'm Torina from northern Minnesota in the United States.

I am a writer, artist and naturalist.

I love reading stuff, hiking places, paddling through placid water, petting my cat, playing with textiles, mixing colors in various mediums and putting words onto paper.

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi. Welcome to nature journaling beginning a daily practice. My name is Tareen, a stark. I'm an artist, a writer and a total major lover. In this class. We will talk about the tools needed to get started in beginning a daily nature journaling practice the benefits that you could see as a result of doing this, where you can do it and how you can do it, so let's get started. 2. Benefits: the benefits of nature journaling. First, let's talk about what nature journaling actually is. Nature. Journaling is the process of documenting your observations about birds and bugs and plants and trees, changes in the weather and seasons and using writing tools and papers to do it. First, you write down what you observe. The new sketch it upped. Doing this on a regular basis has a lot of benefits. When you begin nature journaling, you started daily journey that brings you closer to the natural world through making intimate observations. Using both words and drawing, you engage parts of your brain to form a deeper attachment to the world around you, increasing your observations even when you're not actively journaling. Since I started Major Jerling, I noticed more details that I did not before. When I drive walk, paddle or bike places, my ears perk up to listen to birds and bugs. My skin is more aware of the temperature moisture levels, and I want to touch everything to see what it feels like. It's that plant soft like it looks. Are those furry things on its stock. Actually, little barbs, observations build on each other, and I carry even more deeply about all the changes going on around me, right down to the ditches along the side of the road. I noticed that smells very a lot. With the different seasons. Deep Winter has no scent at all, but I can pick up the second. Things start to defrost now because my nose is so aware from daily conditioning off what it smells like outside. All of this has increased my appreciation of nature and my experiences outside feel more meaningful. I'm also asking better questions about my environment. Why is this creek bed dry this time of year? When it was full last year? Why are the raspberries so late this year? Why they're almost no blueberries? Why is this tree changing color so early and so on? Nature journaling decreases stress, and it has other great health benefits. Your brain is constantly creating new neurons if we don't use them. The atrophy nature journaling engages those neurons because it's active and dynamic. It's like food for your brain. Also, as you travel to your journaling location, you're likely walking, which engages your heart and provides more oxygen to your brain. Because nature journaling is inherently relaxing. It causes your parasympathetic nerve activity to increase. What does that mean? It means that your blood pressure will naturally drop back. In 2009 Japanese scientists published a small study that found inhaling tree derived comp owns no Nas bite on sides, reduced concentrations of stress hormones and people, and enhanced the activity of white blood cells known as natural killer cells. There is even a movement to get forest bathing, which is essentially walk wandering in the woods, recognizes the medicinal activity in the United States, where is in Japan? It's widely recognized as a therapeutic form of healing and is called shimmering yoku Nature. Journaling is a wonderful creative outlet, whether you feel like you have creative talents or not, because it's somewhat structured activity where you're left to make observations. Using both writing and drawing, you work muscles every day in your brain and developing your writing and art skills. Because this activity is just for your own pleasure and relax ation. There is no pressure for perfection or to show your work to others, so you have the creative freedom to explore whatever you wish. Each time you do it, sometimes I'll capture all of the colors I see in a shaft of sunlight that's filtering through the trees on another wise, stark white and gray day in the dead of winter. This works those observation all muscles and allows me to create things that have a deep meaning for me. It also lets me see things like color can be found on even the greatest of days. Other days, I will work on layering the variety of shapes I find in a patch of weeds. There are botanical drawing classes out there if you're interested in capturing the exact botany of plants, which are also great to explore. But please don't limit yourself to only drawing exactly what you see, but exploring how a place makes you feel through color shapes, smells, sounds and touch. Really Let your imagination go wild. There are no rules on what you need to capture or how you need to draw it. The only so called rule is draw something that's inspired by your observations. Conclusion. I think you will like the positive influences will have on your life 3. Materials: there is zero investment to begin nature journaling. Use what you have or, if you like by some stuff that makes a happy. But there are a few things that you will need to gather to do this on a regular basis. It is also so much easier if you have things set aside and dedicated for journaling, so there is nothing standing in your way When you decide to head out the door, most folks will need something to sit on. This is completely up to you and ultimately will depend on where you choose to do your journaling. You may prefer to sit in a lawn chair or have a pad or a towel or a blanket to sit on. Maybe you were enabled by a wheelchair or mobility scooter, or have selected a location that has a bench or a built in chair. In any case, my main recommendation is to find something that will keep your butt from getting what because if you opt to sit on the groan often, you will get damp after a while. If there's not a barrier, I use a need pad for gardening. You will need something to write and draw on doesn't have to be fancy or specialized for our thought is nice if there are no lines in the area where you draw, but even that doesn't matter. When I first started, I grabbed whatever I had in the house, which was a steno pad. I eventually upgraded toe an unlined small drawing pad. You could even use a homemade journal that you make from one of the other classes you take on this platform. Really, the possibilities are endless, and there are no set rules. Use what you can afford and what you like. You'll need something to draw and write with. This could be whatever you have lying around your home When I first started, I haven't been drawing in a long time as my first love, this textile art. But I scrounged around my house and found some stuff that my kids have left behind when they moved out, which was basically one blue cran, five Crayola markers, some random colored pencils of different brands and a pen and a pencil without an eraser. These tools served me fine for quite a long time. I was able to figure out what I like to using the best and what worked outside in the elements I was in and what I wanted to try doing. Since I've started, I've added some fine line markers and micron pens and about a cheap box of colored pencils . These will work great. Finally, you're going to need something to put all of this stuff in so you can haul it wherever you're journaling. Location is. Maybe you have a place where you can leave your stuff. Or maybe you're in a public location where you need to bring in each time with you. Whatever your needs are, use whatever you have on hand that is convenient but can be dedicated to doing this all the time. You really don't wanna have to run around and gather supplies and pack every time you go do your journaling. It is so much easier to commit to a regular practice if you have a bag or a kit that is just for doing this. I tossed my stuff in a recycled ice cream bucket because I leave this in the woods on my property. I needed to be waterproof. I've also seen people use other sorts of storage containers or tackle boxes or craft boxes . If you're bringing your stuff back and forth every day, dedicate some sort of tote bag or backpack to your supplies. All right, so go good stuff together. Something to sit on, something to write on something, right where and put it all in something, and then we'll talk about where we're going to do this. 4. Location: finding a location to do your nature. Journaling is fun. I have a few recommendations so that you can make sure that this isn't a chore, and it's something that you look forward. Teoh. Make sure you pick something close and convenient and easy to get. Teoh. This is supposed to be enjoyable and easy. Don't make it harder on yourself than it needs to be. Find a place that you are comfortable being. If you choose, say, the middle of a heavily trafficked area or a school playground, there might be times when feels weird to be doing your thing. Keep that mind. Try to find a spot that you can go to every day. Part of the joy of nature. Journaling is watching how nature changes over time. This is easier to do when you are observing the same things every day. You may be surprised at how attached you get to your spot and how much more connected you are to the plants. Bugs and other things in the location you choose is you spend a lot of time observing them . Make sure your location is safe, whether that is related to animals or humans or poisonous plants. Think about what you might encounter while sitting and contemplating the world about round you in the winter. I have a nice fishing seat that I put on a downed tree in the woods. It is close to another tree that I can use is a back rest. And I have a trail that I maintained throughout the year to get there. It's only a few minutes from my house, and when the snow is really deep, I can get there with snowshoes, which is super fun. I also have gloves for ice fishing so I can write draw when it's really cold in the summer , spring and fall. I have two spots that are closer to my house because we have a lot of wildlife that I don't want a surprise or be surprised by. In one location that I used during the spring, I set up a long chair on the bridge I built over a spring runoff stream. This is where some of the Ripper screen plants and flowers of the year make their appearance. There are also a lot of birds that joy bird bats in the water, which is super fun to watch once it warms up. The bugs get really bad here, though, so I have a little spot under the trees on the side of my house. It's shady and cool in the hottest days, and there is a lot of moss and woodland flowers and birds to observe. I hope you treat this as a little adventure scouting your location. Have fun. Go get out there, find a good spot. 5. Writing: when I do my nature journaling. I like to start with writing down my observations using all of my senses. There are many ways you can nature journal, but for the purpose of this class, we will just work with a set template to get you started. I will include the template that you can use for this class. You can also use it to submit your project, which we will talk about in a later section. The very first day I go to a new location. I spend that day describing the location and sketching something representative of it, whether it's a map or a scene that helps me remember where I was journaling that day. Later on, when you have done this for years and come back to review your work, your fear it yourself Well, thank you for doing this every day. After that, I generally do the same thing because it helps heighten my awareness of the natural world around me. Write down what I see here, smell and feel. Then I write down what is new and what is old. This helps me look for changes that happen every day that I might not notice otherwise, like maybe more horse, Taylor's poking up through the soil or ferns have started unfurling everywhere all of a sudden in nature, there is so much going on all the time that it helps to bring it down to a micro level so you can see more than a wall of green or whatever color your primary landscape is. I always write down my observations while I'm sitting in the woods, however, for the purpose of this video, because I had a difficult time with capturing my writing and drawing in the woods, I sat outside, gathered a few things and brought them back to my desk to show you what I dio this particular. A journal entry is from May 28th which is spring here in northern Minnesota in the United States. First I wrote down what I saw. I do not go into great detail, usually just noting whatever grabs my interest most that day. On that day, I observed, See more flowers are opening everywhere. Yellow, purple, white, pink. Here, the sound of water trickling a light breeze, birds singing in, calling an occasional car passing by smell. Skunk odor is strong. The gravel on the road is drying out so I can smell the dust starting to creep up. Touch flower petals are soft and delicate. The egg, I found, is crumbling apart in small shards, but otherwise smooth and glossy new. So many more flowers are opening old lots of mill doing decaying leaves and undergrowth from the last year. Yeah, after doing this for a while, you will find yourself noticing all of your senses whenever you are outside, wherever you are. It's really cool. In the next segment, we'll talk about drawing. 6. Drawing: drawing in your nature Journal is a fun part of the process. Whether you choose to be really detailed or simply captures color swatches or shapes of things, it captures a snapshot in time that can leader bring wonderful memories. I do all of my drawing while sitting in the woods. I bring a limited amount of supplies with me so I can capture whatever strikes my fancy on that day. Sometimes I will work on it a little more when I get back to my house, adding colors that I did not have with me at the time. But usually I use the constraints as designed challenges and just go with the flow for the purposes of this video, because I had a really difficult time capturing what I was drawing in the woods. I set up my camera when I came back inside and did by drawing there. This is not my usual way of doing things, but like I have said before, there's no rules to this, and I just needed to capture the essence of what I do for this video. I brought back some things I found outside and decided to draw them flowers, a blade of grass and a robin's egg that had fallen out of the nest. I usually like to sketch in pencil first. I use mechanical pencils now, so I don't have to sharpen them in the woods. And they always have erasers attached. I started with higher end charcoal and drawing pencils, but I quickly grew tired of sharpening thes when it was below zero outside. It's just better to make things easier, because I'm doing it for the process and peace that it brings rather than the output. After I sketch, all fill in with color and redraw with a fine marker or macron pen. If it's really cold out, my pens air freezing up, I use colored pencils and crayons. My favorite time of year to do nature journaling is in the coldest steps of winter, when everything looks monochromatic. I like it because it serves the greatest challenge to find color, and it increases my appreciation for the stark beauty of winter that I didn't really have before, even though I have lived in Minnesota my entire life. Plus, it's a great winter activity. To add my arsenal, I developed significant physical mobility issues and chronic illnesses over a decade ago, and it's something I can do on days where it's difficult and painful for me to walk as long as I opt for some somewhere close to home. I've been a textile artist for decades now, and adding nature journaling to my toolbox of enjoyable therapeutic activities has increased my creativity and opened me up to new ideas in my primary interests. I love sharing this activity with others, since I think so many people would enjoy it. I hope you do, too. Now let's just watch me wrap up my drawing at the end. I'll show you how it turned out after I added color. 7. Class Project: All right, folks, it is time to pull it. You learned into action. Your mission is simple. Gather your supplies. Find a spot to observe nature and do some journaling. After your first session, share your thoughts in the project section of this class with a picture of either your location or your work, whichever you feel most comfortable sharing. Also, if you decide to turn this into a daily practice, please please come back and tell me about it. After you've done it for a while. I would love to know how it was worked out in your life. Have fun.