Watercolor images and handwritten descriptions of goldenrod, milkweed, monarch butterflies and other natural native treasures fill the pages of nature artist Carol Agnew’s journal. She says she loves to create art outdoors and describes the experience of silently studying and drawing the nuances of species in their natural habitats as one of clarity, calmness and interconnection.
“It’s magical to go out and quietly study and draw, to slow down enough, to stand still long enough, that nature relaxes around you and does its own thing,” says Agnew, who leads a nature journaling workshop for outdoor lovers at Hiram College’s 545-acre James H. Barlow Field Station, 11305 Wheeler Road, Garrettsville 44231.
With smartphone cameras usually just a pocket or purse away, snapping photos has emerged as a routine practice while drawing is becoming a lost art, Agnew says. “There certainly is a freedom that comes when you let your own expression loose on a canvas or piece of paper. It is yours. It becomes a method used to recall a journey and what you observed along the way,” she adds
Agnew is offering a series of nature journaling workshops for community members and Hiram students, faculty and staff. Participants will learn illustration and hand-lettering techniques to apply “en plein air” (French for open “in full” air). They may capture a bumblebee buzzing atop a bounty of lavender New England aster or a maple leaf flaunting showy splashes of yellow, red and orange.
“The subject can be detailed or a fuzzy blur. It all depends on if your subject is stationary or if it flies away. That’s the fun of it,” Agnew says.
Agnew’s next “Images of a Naturalist’s Journey” workshop takes place Sunday, Oct. 2. Two workshop series will follow on Oct. 16, 23 and 30 and on Nov. 13, 20 and 27. The 1:30-3:30 p.m. sessions are open to participants at all skill levels and include supplies. At the completion of all the sessions, participants (who attended one workshop or many) and their friends and family members will be invited to a winter reception to display and discuss their work.
Costs range from $14 for a session/date to $42 for a series of workshop. Hiram College students receive free workshop admission with a $5 donation to the Hiram College James H. Barrow Biological Field Station. Hiram faculty and staff receive a $2 discount for each session.
To register, contact Carol Agnew at 216.816.4305; firstname.lastname@example.org.