Category Archives: Nature Journal

Common Wildflowers

I like to pick a few wildflowers when I’m at the lake so that I can study and paint them in watercolor.

I found Common Tansy and Common Yarrow wildflowers yesterday at the lake.  They may be common in name but not common for me to paint!

I tried to paint them loosely and then added a few details with a BROWN micron pen to change things up a little.

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I struggled with painting the Birch bark so I realize it looks a bit strange.  😉

Here is a photo of what I was trying to paint:

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I like the burst of red from the cherry, how about you?  I thought it was a good way to end #World Watercolor Month as today is the last day to celebrate  – thanks Charlie at doodlewash.com  for making it such a fun month!

Cheers!  🙂

A Pine Cone Study

A friend at the lake brought me this wonderful dish of pine cones recently:

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She thought I might enjoy painting them… And I did!

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It amazes me how such a simple subject can bring me so much JOY to paint!

I noticed how one of the greener pine cones reminded me of a pineapple.

May you find beauty in what you treasure today!

Cheers! 🙂

World Watercolor Month Starts July 1st

I had so much fun participating in World Watercolor Month last July that I decided to purchase a few new art supplies in anticipation for this July.

I splurged on a Stillman and Birn mixed media art journal from Amazon and decided to try a couple different brands of watercolor paint.  I also purchased a Quill watercolor brush.  Here are my supplies:

I couldn’t wait to try out my new journal so I had to splash some paint inside before I left for work!

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Charlie O’Shields at https://doodlewash.com has been busy updating his blog and I must admit it looks soooo cool!  I hope you check out, “World Watercolor Month,” at the top of his page and subscribe to his blog.  Charlie always has an interesting story to share with his amazing watercolor paintings! 🙂

Perhaps you remember some of my watercolor posts from last July:

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I really enjoyed painting the natural beauty around me when I was at the lake.  And I hope to continue this year plus add a few faces to the mix!

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Back to this morning’s journal; I added these letters to my painting:

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And splashed on more watercolor…

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I will add some doodles to my letters and show you my results later…

I hope you will join me in celebrating World Watercolor Month.

Cheers! 🙂

A Square Idea

I came up with this idea to draw nature’s patterns on small squares of paper.  I thought it might give me inspiration when I’m creating my art doodles.

The first ones I did on a 2 inch square piece of cardstock.  On the front is the pattern, shape or form of my subject in ink pen with color:

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And on the back side is the date, identity of my subject and where I got my inspiration.

I discovered the 2 inch size paper to be too small so I changed to a 2.5 inch square.  Here are some squares I did recently:

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Most of my inspiration for these subjects came from the internet.  These art squares are really fun to do and give me ideas for other art subjects to explore such as the eyes of animals.

I encourage you to give this square idea a try!

Cheers!  🙂

Monday’s Mixer

After a busy weekend, I often struggle with an idea for Monday’s post.   Yesterday, I was reading an article in Cloth, Paper Scissors Magazine – Nov/Dec issue on challenging yourself to create every day by Robyn McClendon.

She shares in her article that she found creating a collage a day helped her to create consistency in her art.  I resonate with her idea that doing something creatively EVERY DAY does generate MORE IDEAS!

Some days this is really difficult!  Yet, not impossible!  So I have decided that Mondays were the perfect day to create a simple collage in an art journal.  Creating a simple collage each week feels more doable than each day for me.

I decided to use a purchased journal since they are inexpensive and I happened to have one ready to go!

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I was also recently inspired by Debi’s blog on Saturday.  She shows how simple it is to create art by her surroundings.  Please check out her blog – if you haven’t already!  🙂

Here is my quick collage for today:

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I was inspired by the Fir trees in my yard.  Have you ever noticed how Fir branches reach up towards the sky?

It inspired my haiku:

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It says:  “Fir branches reach up, Worshiping arms towards the sky, Praising God divine.”

I hope you will join me in creating a quick collage each week!  I look forward to hearing what influences YOU in your collages!

Cheers!  🙂

Nature’s Treasures

I found it so relaxing last week to paint seeds, pods and berries that I decided to try painting some of nature’s treasures I found at the lake.  I painted these in my art journal:

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I enjoyed this very much so I decided to try another one yesterday at home:

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Would you purchase a card or something with this type of artwork?  I’d love to get your ideas!

Happy Painting!  🙂

Seeds, Pods And Berries

I was thinking about seeds, pods and berries as summer flowers begin to fade or dry out.  I drew these in my art journal the other day – some are real and others are from my imagination:

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I added a little watercolor or gouache and liked how the shading gave them dimension.

A fun activity that I will probably do again!

Happy Painting!  🙂

Moose On The Loose!

On our way to the lake a couple of weeks ago, a large female moose trotted out on the highway in front of us.  Luckily, it was further away than this close call that I recorded in my art journal last year, here.

I decided to create a mixed media page in one of my larger watercolor journals.  I started by gluing a page from an old book on trees to my page.  I then painted it in watercolors.  I added a stencil to create a pattern.  (Excuse the rocks weights in the photo…it was a windy day!)

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Next, I drew a pine tree branch with needles using Tombow markers, Neocolors and color pencils.  I also drew a pinecone:

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I glued a few pieces of my gelli-printed paper to the page and added a little more watercolor:

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Then I drew my moose and an upside down owl with Neocolors:

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I like the look of watercolor on the paper but when I applied the collage papers, I lost some of the watercolor.  I’m still happy with my finished page.

May your Sunday be sunny without any moose sightings…  🙂

Dance

I have been noticing several yellow butterflies in my yard lately.  So when one landed in my oak tree the other day, I decided to take a photo of it so I could identify it:

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I couldn’t get real close to it before it flew away.  Yet, I was able to identify it as a Western Tiger Swallowtail.

It is considered an active butterfly, rarely seen at rest.  I was thrilled that I was able to see this one land!

I needed to look at a better photo in order to draw it in my sketchbook.  I was so excited to see that Kathy at Backyard Bird Nerd recently posted several AMAZING photos of Tiger Swallowtail butterflies on her blog!  Be sure to check them out here:  https://backyardbirdnerd.com/2016/06/21/ten-tiger-pictures/

Kathy generously gives me permission to use her photos in my artwork – Thank you Kathy!  🙂  I used her first photo to paint this butterfly in my art journal using gouache and color pencils:

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I added a little collage to the bottom of the page with matte medium and watercolor on top.

Whenever I see a butterfly, I am reminded of the song, “I Hope You Dance,” by Lee Ann Womack:

I hope you will dance like a butterfly this weekend!

Cheers!  🙂

Dye And Salt Nature Prints

A few years ago, I purchased this book by L.K. Ludwig on Nature Journals:

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I fell in love with making nature prints with Procion fabric dyes and Kosher salt:

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It was a really fun activity to do at the lake!  I had lots of natural materials and could work outside.

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I had so much fun making the prints that I never got to making the journal!  Lol!

Then I found this old ledger at a thrift store so I started creating pages for it:

However, I didn’t get very far on the project.  With my renewed interest in creating a nature journal with my sketches, I decided it was time to “dig” this one out again.

Yesterday, I added some collage papers to some of my prints:

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I had fun playing with color and different images… and will continue to add to these pages.

Have you ever created a “Mixed Media” Nature Journal?  I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Creating!  🙂