People often ask me how I find the time to have a regular practice of going outdoors and playing in my nature journal. It’s as if I need to justify taking some ‘me time’ in this busy and over-stimulating world.
So, listed below are just a few of the benefits reaped from sketching and journaling in the outdoors.
Nature Sketching’s Many Benefits :
• Benefits our mental health, allowing time for quiet contemplation, meditation, and mindfulness of your surroundings, and improves our ability for sustained concentration.
• Provides a valuable record of your experiences in your sketchbook; more personal and cherished than simply a smartphone full of photos.
• Uses more parts of the brain, balancing our ‘left’ and ‘right’ sides of the brain regions.
• Teaches one about the subject as you observe it, regardless of the results on the paper.
• Provides a great reason to sketch with the children or students in your life, especially those that are studying outdoor subjects like biology, • geology, or meteorology.
I highly recommend this excellent article in Scientific American magazine, Rediscovering the forgotten benefits of drawing.
This TEDx presentation by my colleague, Kelly Lambert, reminds us of the benefits of both exercise and active hobbies in reducing stress and depression in our lives. And of course, a regular practice of getting out in nature with your sketchbook does both!
JOIN THE NATURE NOOK!
If you love wildlife, I invite you to check out my monthly online membership program, The Nature Nook, which is designed to help you learn about the world’s flora and fauna through the lens of a nature journaling practice. My motto is “Drawing to Learn While Learning to Draw,” so in this program you’ll learn as much about the anatomy and biology of the plants and creatures we draw as you do about art tools and techniques.