Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wild Wednesday ~ New Nature Books

I've been loving teaching my nature journaling and nature writing workshops over the last few months. I've always hesitated to teach, because I thought teachers needed to be these extroverted, really energetic, bouncy types (which I am most assuredly not), but it's turned out to be very fun, challenging, and rewarding. So I'm glad that the volunteer requirements of the Master Naturalist program forced me into it. On top of the inherent pleasures of the "job," an added bonus is that it gives me an excuse to buy new books, and these four little beauties landed in my mailbox last month.

Into the Field is a handy little guide, designed for classroom teachers to incorporate nature journaling and nature writing and place-based learning into their curricula, but I've found it helpful for my workshops as well. I had originally gotten it through the library, but ran out of time to finish it before it was due back and decided it would be nice to have a copy of my own.

I don't remember where I ran across Letters From Eden--I think when I was browsing for something else online--but it sounded like a perfect book for me: essays and drawings of the natural world around one calendar year. I haven't had a chance to start reading it yet, but I adore these sketches that are scattered throughout the text.

The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady is a classic nature journal example that I've been meaning to get a copy of for a long time. I finally went ahead and ordered it to use as an example for my students of what they should NOT expect their journals to look like. I've found people get so worked up about their drawings being "good" that they are afraid to get started. I think they have an image of this book (or something similar) in their heads and don't want to go through the steps of making messy, less-than-perfect drawings in order to see what's in the natural world (and, hopefully, learn to draw better). I'm not sure if showing them this book will help or make things worse!

Again, I don't know how I ran across the Law's Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, but I preordered it on a whim last fall and I am so glad I did.

It's so thorough and full of information about observing the natural world as well as advanced drawing techniques that I've never run across in my smattering of art classes.

Not to mention his drawings are utterly gorgeous! I want to apprentice myself to this book, and spend the next several months (or years, more likely) going through each page and exercise.

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