Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Other Journal

Nature journal pages from the other journal.  Sketched and written using Staedtler Triplus Fineliners.

I bought this sketchbook back in July, with vague ideas of turning it into an art/sketchbook journal where I could practice my drawing skills.  However, the pages soon became filled with abstract doodles, tests of new pens and other supplies, and notes on trees and plants that were growing in my area.  After reading Clare Walker Leslie's excellent and beautifully illustrated book, Keeping a Nature Journal, I decided that this book would become my nature journal.  I filled a few pages with this goal in mind, but the increased work that I had to do for school made it harder and harder to find time to keep the journal regularly and for several weeks, it lay untouched on my shelf.

Today, I may refer to this book as an art journal, a sketchbook, a sketchbook journal, a nature journal, or simply as "the other journal."  The pages tend to be more informal and much simpler than those of my other art journal, the pamphlet journal.  Many pages contain sketches drawn using a Sharpie Pen or Staedtler Triplus Fineliners.  (I prefer the Sharpie Pen when using watercolours, as it is waterproof.)  Others contain detailed written botanical descriptions, lists of pens I'm currently using, or passages from favourite poems.

Pages from the other journal containing part of William Wordsworth's poem, "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey," and a watercolour pencil sketch of a maple leaf.


  1. I like how you have used this as a nature journal but you have the flexibility to use it for other inspirations as well. Too many times we try to force a journal into something so specific, that it hinders the creative process. I hope you will consider submitting this article to the upcoming Carnival of Pen, Pencil and Paper so others can see how you are using your journals. You can submit your article online here:

  2. Heather,

    I love how you let this journal become what it wanted to become. Just yesterday, our Artist's Way group had a discussion about how easy it is to stop making art when our journal/painting/novel/song moves in different direction than our original vision. Kudos on the forward motion.

    Your pages are lovely.

  3. Thanks for the comment, Betsy. I was at first disappointed that my original plans for this journal didn't work out, but then I just shrugged and tried to work with it anyway. Not always an easy thing to do...

  4. I always mean to keep a journal but fail miserably every time. Instead I've got many notebooks with notes, notes, notes for different pieces of writing. Maybe I should start again.

  5. I have a lot of those kind of notebooks too (as well as quite a few failed journals, I'm sorry to say). Good luck with trying to keep a journal again!


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