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Drawing Connections: Nature Journals

publishedover 1 year ago
4 min read

Drawing Connections

"Nature Journals"
Vol. 1, No. 7, July 2021

Stories Behind the Art

There is no doubt that my favourite subject for drawing and painting is nature. Always has been and always will be. I have spent hours on a single piece and also just 15-20 mins. I have recently started doing more nature journaling and absolutely love it. For me its a perfect amount of time for a piece and since I am doing it in a sketchbook, it is quite mobile. This doesn’t mean I have stopped working on larger pieces but rather this allows me to continue testing and refining my skills in my studio and on the go.

I will be doing much more nature journaling over the coming weeks in addition to a few other projects so keep an eye on my Instagram or for works in progress as well as finished pieces.

Here are some recent pieces.

Watercolor pbeesainting of bees
Watercolor painting of bees

We have found that the bees seem to be lower in numbers this year which is quite concerning. They have come up a bit in the last week which has been good. This piece combines a few different bee varieties with some based on photos I have taken. We try very hard to ensure we have flowers blooming throughout the season to feed these wonderful pollinators. This piece was done with Daniel Smith watercolors.

Watercolor of a stoat
Watercolor painting of a stoat

This stoat or weasel was hanging out on our property last year. I was taken but how cute it looked and how curious it was in what I was doing. It slowly disppeared behind a pile of wood and came out the other side with a mouse in its mouth. Quite a surprise but wonderful to see nature at work. This was also done with Daniel Smith watercolors and water brushes.

Colored pencil drawing of cecropia moths
Colored pencil of cecropia moths

We rescued a cecropia moth a few years ago when we spotted it crossing the road. We had no idea what it was so we brought it back and placed it in one of the butterfly containers we used to raise monarchs. It almost immediately created a cocoon on a silver maple branch. It over-wintered in -35 Celsius Ottawa weather and emerged the next spring. Turns out we had a female. She emerged and simply hung out on the wall and attracted a male. They mated over about 24 hours and then disappeared. She would then proceed to lay her eggs and her life ends. Yes, they only live for about 10 days as a moth because they emerge without a mouth. Their sole puprose is to breed (lay eggs) and then die.

Recent Drawing Inspiration Episodes

Here are a couple of the most recent “Drawing Inspiration” podcast episodes. The podcast is available wherever you listen to music.

56: Birds, Bunnies and Cars, Oh My! It’s Time for Creative Check-in

Birds, Bunnies and Cars, Oh My! It’s Time for Creative Check-in

I reflect on the last few interviews and the year to date. I talk about my recent foray into watercolor with more detail around some recent pieces as well as my toolkit. It’s also time for creative check-in to consider what is important and whether you are on the right track. I also talk about finding art time within the nooks and crannies of life and also some interesting homework using your phone.

57: Cars, Coconuts, and Letting Go of Perfection with France Van Stone

Cars, Coconuts, and Letting Go of Perfection with France Van Stone

I continue my work with watercolor by painting a tractor and some bees and then draw some rocks. France Van Stone then joins the podcast to share her creative journey. France has been able to carry her passion for art through her life while working full time as a French teacher. She talks about the influence of living near a large car manufacturer in France when she was younger and the lovely accidents along the way that shape our art. We explore the tools, materials and approaches she has used to develop her work. We also talk about the impact of social media on creating and sharing and services like as well as owning your own content.

Are you enjoying the podcast? If so, you can support it through Patreon. Your financial support goes directly to the costs associated with recording, hosting, and running the show. I also have some great benefits through all three tiers. You can also support the show by leaving a review within your podcast player as well as sharing the podcast with others.

What I'm Listening To

I typically talk about what I am watching but as a podcaster, so many people ask me what‘s queued up in my podcast player. In alphabetical order, here’s what I am listening to these days and while not complete, it is a good sampling.

3 Point Perspective - Jake Parker, Will Terry and Lee White are illustrators talking about their experiences and answering listener questions. (Jake appeared on Drawing Inspiration Episode #43)

Make More Art - A pretty good podcast from the folks at Etchr. I recently discovered this one and like it so far.

Make Do - I listen to every episode of this podcast. Julia and Tiff talk about their creative experiences. Their chemistry and openness is always a welcome addition to my day. (Tiff appeared on Drawing Inspiration Episode #15)

Skeptics Guide to the Universe (SGU) - There are many science podcasts but this is by far one of the best. A mix of current events and also a deep dive at times into all areas of science and the struggles with pseudo-science.

The Negative Space Podcast - Max Ulichney started a new podcast with Nicholas Kole, and James A. Castillo to discuss working in the film and tv industry in character design. These guys are great! (Max appeared on Drawing Inspiration Episode #27)

Writing Excuses - I have been working on a few writing pieces for some time. At just 15 minutes, this podcast is not too long and provides very helpful insight for those wishing to write a novel or short story.

The Bookshelf

Sketch!: The Non-Artist's Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life

Are you interested in beginning your art journey but don't know where to start or what tools are needed? Maybe you should start with drawing.

"Sketch!" is a great book by France Van Stone which we talk about on Episode 57 of the podcast. She has created a wonderful guide for those interested in sitting down for the first time or revisiting art after a number of years. She covers tools, techniques, and a few tips and tricks. She also has a series of prompts to get you going. This is a great addition to any artist's bookshelf and a wonderful gift idea. You can find here.

Online shop and current discount code

Visit the my shop at and
use the code SUMMER2021 for a 15% discount on any order.

Discount code valid until July 31, 2020

Stay safe, take care and keep drawing.


Vol. 1, No. 7, July 2021