Updated: Jan 11
I'm in love with this book. It's beautiful and inspirational and it makes me happy paging through it. Author Clare Walker Leslie published the first edition of Keeping a Nature Journal in 2000. Through engaging prompts, step-by-step drawing techniques, and images of her own (gorgeous) nature drawings, Leslie guides and encourages the reader to observe and engage with nature through journaling.
This third edition (releasing March 30, 2021) includes new content and coincides with our Covid-induced need to find ways to spend our alone time. I'm not new to nature journals. My daughter kept one as a child and we have some of her drawings framed and the rest in a scrapbook. But I personally haven't kept one, despite the fact my happy places include walking in the woods and kayaking the Severn River.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS BOOK:
Leslie's approach isn't prescriptive. You do you, and Leslie provides encouragement and tools to help. She tells the reader not to be afraid to draw, and her own artwork is inspirational.
WHO THIS BOOK IS FOR:
Thoughtful people who look out the window or who go outdoors and want to be better observers of nature.
MY BIG TAKEAWAY:
By taking the time to draw what we see and to pay attention to the details that mark a given moment in time, we strengthen our connection to the world around us. We allow ourselves an opportunity to pull away from the stressors of our lives.
MY ACTION STEP:
I'm not ready to commit to a journal (I'm all about incremental steps!), but I love the idea of taking a moment to document the nature I see. And I don't think I have ever done this—certainly not as an adult. So I'm going to do my first nature drawing and I'm going to set the bar really low: all I have to do is put pencil to paper. I may do the drawing directly in my daily planner. This way, I'll be reminded of the day and, I hope, it will prompt me to do it again.
*Thank you NetGalley and Storey Publishing for providing a copy of this book for review purposes.