06 September 2013

Friday Field Notes: Sketching Changes in Nature

For me, the start of school marks change. In my own body, I notice a change in the pace at which I move. It is as though the lethargy induced by summer's heat slowly starts to leave my body, revealing a new zest and passion for exploring the outdoors. I know that I transform in this manner, because I listen to my body and I make note of the changes that I feel.

Similarly, if you take the time, you can note change in the natural world. As the seasons starts to change, so do the animals, birds, insects, plants, and natural landscapes. Change can be bold and impossible to miss, or it might be subtle and easily overlooked. In order to understand and learn from these changes, it is helpful to stop, observe, and document your observations about the way the natural world evolves. We can teach ourselves and each other about change, by tapping into our sense of sight, smell, hearing, and touch. The change of a season is a perfect time to start observing, sketching, and learning to embrace change.

How do you sketch changes?

Well, first start by creating or buying a nature journal. It does not have to be fancy, but it should include blank sheets of paper and be bound. Dedicate at least one page of your journal to each individual observation. Start by choosing a plant, animal, insect, bird, or landscape to sketch. If you choose a landscape, remember that it is best to start small. Date your entry, including the time, location, and weather. In your sketch, concentrate on details. You can add depth to your observation by including additional drawings, colors, and words.

Revisit the object or place on a daily or weekly basis. Make a new sketch on the same page as your first one. Note any changes in the new sketch in comparison to your last sketch. Remember to use all of your senses! Does is smell differently? Have the colors changed? Do you hear different sounds? Continue this process as long as possible. Be inquisitive and explore each curiosity to better understand the evolution of the object or place over time. Who knows, maybe you'll become fascinated with the changes, and you will have years and years of observations about one object or landscape. In the end, all of your observations, drawn and written, will help you and others to understand the complexities of change within our natural world. Go ahead, and start sketching changes in nature!

Learn how to make your own nature journal!

No comments:

Post a Comment