Have you ever wanted to start a nature journal, or take the leap into nature writing? I’m offering two workshops on those subjects this fall at the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, just west of downtown Tucson.
Nature Journaling: Learn the art of seeing and recording the world around you
Friday, November 15 – 5 pm to 7 pm in the Tumamoc Library
Saturday, November 16 – 9 am to 3 pm at Tumamoc Hill
Sunday, November 17 – 9 am to 3 pm at Tumamoc Hill
$145 per person
Keeping a nature journal can both deepen your connections to the natural world and help you learn more about it. Neither science education nor art training is needed—you will develop the skills of a naturalist and a field sketch-artist along the way.
This 3-session class will introduce the tools and processes of keeping a nature journal, with instructor Roseann Hanson and guest instructor Paul Mirocha.
“Your observations, questions, and reflections will enrich your experiences and develop gratitude, reverence, and the skills of a naturalist . . . If you train your mind to see deeply and with intentional curiosity . . . the world will open before you.” - John Muir Laws, artist, naturalist, and author
In this class we will learn how to practice “intentional curiosity” as the core of nature journaling: to ask questions, to dig deeper, to focus our minds both intently and intentionally.
The class will include:
The nuts-and-bolts of journal-keeping (paper and ink types, archival systems, how to make entries that you can refer to later, laying out pages, prompts to jump-start observations, and tips on researching science questions sparked by your observations).
Easy tips that enable anyone to get started sketching and painting. Roseann will help free you from your inner critic and start sketching and painting. Art in a nature journal is not only lovely to see, but an important component of your skillset because the very act of drawing and painting something from life involves incredibly intense observation. Your brain is wholly occupied by only that thing you are observing and drawing—it is a kind of meditation that results in new insights, deeper understanding, and even reverence and gratitude.
Instructor Roseann Hanson, who has been keeping a nature journal for more than 30 years, will be your guide on the journey to becoming a naturalist, nature journalist, and artist.
TO FIND OUT MORE DETAILS AND TO REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nature-journaling-tickets-69219225567
Writing the Lives of the Sonoran Desert: Exploring nature with words
Friday, December 13 – 5 pm to 7 pm in the Tumamoc Library
Saturday, December 14 – 9 am to 3 pm at Tumamoc Hill
Sunday, December 15 – 9 am to 3 pm at Tumamoc Hill
$145 per person
In this class you will learn to explore nature with words, from poetry to fiction to science writing. You will learn to participate in nature fully and honestly, as well as to observe, record, and express nature in writing, without “purple prose.”
Nature writers Jonathan and Roseann Hanson will share with you their “secret” for a daily dose of wildness, along with a simple process of recording what you observe accurately, of researching facts and details, and then potentially producing an article or essay for personal enjoyment or publication.
The class will include:
Prior to the workshop: The Hansons will share a suggested reading list and a few easy assignments to give you content to bring to the first class.
On Friday evening in the beautiful Desert Laboratory library, which resonates with over a century of powerful words about nature (it is the birthplace of the field of ecology and the venerable journal Ecology), Jonathan and Roseann will introduce types of writing and share samples to discuss:
- Nature writing (more poetic writing; examples of writers: Terry Tempest Williams, Gary Snyder)
- Natural history writing (combining science with creative prose; examples of writers: Gary Paul Nabhan, Robert Michael Pyle, Ann Zwinger, Pete Dunne)
- Interpretive writing (careful interpretation of science-based facts into interesting writing for very general use)
- Or a combination of all three, such as Diane Ackerman’s Natural History of the Senses.
On Saturday and Sunday the class will spend time exploring Tumamoc Hill and engaging with its wildness through writing exercises. Bring a lunch each day to enjoy in the Sonoran Plant garden courtyard. Throughout the weekend we’ll share writing, and discuss ways to overcome common challenges such as overly “purple” prose or writer’s block.
By the end of class, you will come away with a new outlook on nature writing, along with new skills. Along the way the Hansons will challenge your perception of nature and your role in it—and spark your creative process.
TO FIND OUT MORE DETAILS AND TO REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/writing-the-lives-of-the-sonoran-desert-tickets-69223668857