June 1 – 7, 2023
It’s that time of year again …… International Nature Journaling Week (INJW), and I’m excited to be taking part in the fun. Beginning June 1st, a full week of nature-inspired workshops, interviews, prompts and other activities will be presented by an amazing line-up of nature journalers, artists and environmental educators from around the world. The host, founder and organizer of INJW, is nature journaler, teacher and environmental educator, Bethan Burton. This year the theme of INJW is a “Sensory Safari,” and Bethan, who also hosts her own podcast, Drawing with Nature, will take us through each day as we explore how nature engages at least seven of our senses: Color, Texture, Aroma, Song, Flavor, Movement, and Heart.
It’s not too late to get involved and there’s no cost for participants, so check it out! All workshops and resources, the schedule and links to videos are available at https://www.naturejournalingweek.com/
Day 1: Color Across Continents
Imagine your world in black and white. Color brings life to our visual party and defines our sense of place. When I think about or see the colors of New Mexico …. the rusty reds and buff-colored rock and sand, the greens and blues of piñon pine and sagebrush, the lemon yellows and violet reds of spring wildflowers, all framed by vivid intensely blue skies ….. I know I’m home.
After Verena (a naturalist from Berlin) and Bethan (who is from Queensland, Australia) talked about the use and how-to’s of color in a nature journal, Bethan presented a mind-blowing workshop on color mixing, color theory, and the Magic of the Split Primary. Admittedly, I’ve been a hit-or-miss approach artist when it comes to color mixing; struggling to achieve a color match with my surroundings. But there was something in the way Bethan explained color theory and the use and mixing of warm rather than vivid primaries; and all at once I was mixing those elusive sage greens and brick reds! It was a real “duh” moment for me; color theory definitely is something worth understanding!
Below is the practice page I created during the workshop guided by both Bethan and Verena. For fun, they even encouraged us to make up names for our color mixes ….. names that conjure up an image of the color based on a familiar object, such as Rusty Bike, Brick, Cotton Candy, Moldy Cheese (you instantly know those colors, right?!).
Then we were invited to create a journal page with colors of home. I quickly swatched out colors I’ve seen all Spring. Then borrowed on some of my photos captured while traveling about central New Mexico, adding in a few wildflowers and one of the most decorated bird to visit our feeders. When I look at this page, the colors truly warm my heart. This for me is a bit of what nature journaling is all about. But just a bit. I know this week will go a long way to reveal more of the “bits” that have made nature journaling such an important part of my world!
Thanks for taking a look! I hope my pages spark in you a sense of curiosity and wonder, and that you would like to learn more. A good place to start is by visiting the INJW home page at https://www.naturejournalingweek.com/.