Bird Sketching Workshop in Mexico


My mission is to inspire folks to love and respect nature and understand its vital ecological role in our own well-being.I find deep solace in nature and I enjoy passing on that feeling of joy with others. I love telling stories about the natural world with people young and old through multi-disciplinary techniques that incorporate art, song, dance, and writing.

Nature Sketching Students in Oregon

Organizations I’ve worked with

  • Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference, California
  • High Desert Museum, Oregon
  • Vallarta Bird and Nature Festival, Mexico
  • The Art Station, Oregon
  • BirdsCaribbean / BirdSleuth Summer Camp, Jamaica
  • John Muir Mountain Day Camp, California
  • Hartnell Junior College, California
  • Notre Dame High School, California
  • U.S. Forest Service, California
  • Northcoast Environmental Center, California
  • Humboldt State University, California
  • Girl Scouts of America, California
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium, California
  • Marine Mammal Center, California
  • The Nature Conservancy, California
  • Youth in Arts of San Rafael, California
  • SPECTRA Arts of Santa Cruz, California
  • Nevada County Office of Education, California
  • Santa Cruz Natural History Museum, California
  • Grass Valley Center for the Arts, California

Praise from Teachers

“Christine Elder has a refreshingly welcoming approach to teaching about birds through art that reflects her obvious passion for wildlife and conservation of our natural environment. Whether at her home in Oregon or visiting us deep in the tropics at the Vallarta Botanical Garden, she has a marvelous potential to connect people with birds in a rich and meaningful way.”
– Neil Gerlowski, Executive Director, Vallarta Botanical Garden

“Christine is so genuine – in her love of nature and desire to teach others about its beauty. She warmly welcomes people into her nature-loving community. You won’t regret joining Christine!”
– Ian Fawley, Interpretive Ranger, Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

“Christine is stellar in the classroom. Her projects are well thought out and she works very collaboratively with the classroom teachers. She mixes the science and the art nicely and the projects are well-timed.”
-Julie Block, former Director
Youth in Arts, San Rafael

Christine ignites the studio classroom with her in-depth knowledge of wildlife biology, illustration, drawing, and painting to create a unique, diverse learning environment for artists of all ages! All of Christine’s classes are high-quality opportunities for our students at Art Station.”
-Deborah Allen, Arts Education Manager

“Christine is a strong, youthful scientist who entices others to look at the loveliness of nature. Her energy is contagious. Anyone would be lucky to have Christine on their team. Her passion and love for nature permeate whatever it is she is doing. She’s the real deal and has the scientific knowledge to accompany her enthusiasm.”
– Jill Harke, Director, John Muir Mountain Day Camp

“It was a pleasure working with Christine. She is very knowledgeable and knows who to convey that knowledge in a way that makes people excited to learn. Our girls absolutely love her enthusiasm and creative activities. I would highly recommend Christine for any program that involved teaching art and science to children.”
– Amy Perez, Girl Scout Leader, Troop 1238

“Thanks Christine for sharing your passion and expertise with us in your wonderful class today. Both my kids loved it and so did I. I appreciate you being so supportive of our different skill levels. And your nature songs were a big hit – the girls have been singing them all afternoon!”
– Robin Baraybar, Oregon

“Ms. Elder enhanced our seventh grade Life Sciences curriculum; her knowledge, expertise and organizational skills always make it a rewarding experience for all.”
–Trish Mihalek, Hall Middle School

Teaching about javelinas

Teaching about the Collared Peccary

Praise from Adult Students

“Christine is a dynamite teacher, even for slow art learners like me. I’ve taken two bird sketching classes with here – she’s patient, entertaining and knows how to integrate biology with technique.”
– Denise Fainberg, Redmond Oregon

“Great exercises, especially for the beginner drawer like me. Christine is an excellent teacher and an enthusiastic advocate for nature journaling.”
– Cherie Campbell

“Christine is such a wonderful teacher. She knows her field really well and is very generous with her time and information. Her classes are top of the line and so much fun.”
– Lorna Cahill, Bend Oregon

“Christine was wonderfully organized and her presentation was extremely helpful. She filled every minute with useful info. I’m totally new to drawing and I came away with an increased sense of confidence and tools to use.”
– Susan Chollar, California

“I enjoyed Christine’s energy and the variety of activities she presented for us to experience with sketching, especially in being a beginner. I found her to be motivating and encouraging with the process of sketching, helpful in providing technique suggestions to consider, as well as tools/materials to use.”
– Deborah Lannizzotto, California

“Your introducing me to drawing (the scariest thing ever!) actually has led me to draw as a form of meditation and journaling without words … loving it!!!”
– Marie Mathews, Oregon

Praise from Youth Students

Christine with Monet

“Dear Christine, you are a great teacher and I love drawing with you.  When I first moved to Oregon I didn’t know anything about nature and you were the first one to teach me.  Since then I have wanted to learn more about plants and birds.  I can’t wait to see you again next year, and maybe we can draw some insects and bugs that we find!”
-Love, Monet (age 10)

“I have gone birding with Christine and have gone to several of her art classes. My family has had so much fun learning about birds from these experiences. Christine is very nice and she loves nature. It is fun to sing bird songs with her and watch her dance. I’m looking forward to seeing her again.”
-Gunner (age 12)

Christine’s Students

Art Station

Christine and students at the Art Station

One of the best ways I’ve discovered to build a deep and informed connection with nature is through the practice of field sketching. It’s a time-honored tradition practiced by all the respected naturalists through time from John Muir, John James Audubon to the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

I’ve found that in the process of observing something long enough to draw a sketch of it, you’ll learn more about its behavior and form than dozens of photos could provide, and you’ll have fun while you’re at it.I find it so rewarding to share my love of nature sketching and watch my students gain the confidence to explore the natural world through their sketchbooks.

I’ve taught hundreds of people my fun & quick techniques for sketching plants & animals. I can teach you to draw with ease and confidence and to take that skill outdoors where you’ll be rewarded with a greater knowledge and appreciation for that which you’ve drawn.



BirdSleuth summer camp in Jamaica

I was invited to bring my teaching activities to a children’s program at the Hope Zoo in Kingston, Jamaica sponsored by BirdsCaribbean.  I developed a custom suite of activities for the kids including bird sketching, animal charades, origami, and songs. I also taught them animal yoga poses and animal names in American Sign Language.