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from nova scotia: details


I love the little details…

And I am continually reminded by these two little ones to stop and look at the those small little bits…

Those little details that all add up to create our world…

Read more at Dawn’s blog: To the Outskirts



inside gay’s journal

See more at Gay’s flickr or on her blog, Illustrated Watercolor Journaling.


canadian goose studies



minimal sketch kits

“Oh, were you drawing me? Tough.”

Recently we started a new sketching project. We go out once or twice a week to practice sketching — just sketching. We have been reading a lot of books lately (like Sketching in Nature by Cathy Johnson and The Art of Field Sketching and Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie), and we are building our skills.

We had no sooner started this new endeavor, than we realized that we didn’t want to lug our field bags with us. They are full of not just art-making supplies and big sketchbooks, but nature exploration gear: magnifying glasses, measuring tape, binoculars, etc. For this project, focused on drawing, we wanted to travel much lighter.

So here are the small kits we ended up with. Mine is a little bigger than the boys’, because I just have to have two sketchbooks. I am trying to break myself of the need for a second book (mostly for scribbling, pre-sketching, etc.) so I can move to a smaller pencil case when I find one. (I want a Star Wars one, too.)

We started with the smallest sketchbooks we could find, added just the minimal supplies (we share the watercolors), and we’re good to go.

jack’s sketch kit — click on photo for notes

my kit — click photo for notes

If you’re not familiar with waterbrushes, they are a way to avoid bringing a lot of water with you when you are going to watercolor en plein air (outside). They are wonderful! You clean your brush by squeezing a tiny bit of water through the bristles, so it takes a very small amount of water to do a painting *and* the water is always clean. Instead of lugging heavy bottles of water, your kit can be very light. And you don’t have to worry about kids kicking their water over. They’re terrific!


normal interaction with nature

Kahn has done extensive cross-cultural studies of children’s values and attitudes about open space and animal life and forests and plants and water — and the degradation and disappearance of all these things. He believes that, with every generation, kids are lowering their knowledge and expectations for what is a normal interaction with nature — creating a kind of generational amnesia about the natural world. — Why We Need More Time in the Natural World


inside Kate’s journal

The prolific and talented artist and writer Cathy (Kate) Johnson has produced many wonderful books about art and nature, including Creating Nature in Watercolor and The Sierra Club Guide to Sketching in Nature. Thank you, Kate, for sharing your journal with us!

You can see more of Kate’s journal pages here.


osprey cam!

live osprey cam! click photo to watch them build their nest!

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