• Demos
March 27, 2024

Nature Journaling with John Muir Laws

Paint along as we learn tips and techniques for nature journaling!

By The Art Toolkit Team

A sketchbook shows an ink and watercolor sketch of an interestingly shaped lemon, with the text The Funky Lemon. The lemon itself is on a tray next to the sketchbook, cut open.

This is a live recording from our Nature Journaling demo with artist John Muir Laws (a.k.a. Jack) from March 26th, 2024. Nature journaling is a way of documenting your observations of nature on paper. It can elevate our knowledge, understanding, and connection with our environment and the world around us.

In this demo, Jack shared his background and favorite tools and guided us through an exploration of a funky lemon from his garden! By tapping into a sense of curiosity and wonder through nature journaling techniques, he demonstrated how the act of attention fosters our relationship with the natural world. 

Keeping a nature journal is a learnable skill that can change our lives forever, opening doors to mindful attention, curiosity, wonder, beauty, connection, peace, and joy.
—John Muir Laws

About John Muir Laws

A man in front of a tree holding a sketchbook.
John Muir Laws

John Muir Laws is a principal leader and innovator of the worldwide nature journaling movement and the Wild Wonder Foundation’s president, co-founder, and creative director. He is an award-winning naturalist, artist, scientist, and educator who has dedicated nearly four decades to connecting people to nature through art and science. From an early age, his parents instilled in him a deep love and respect for nature. Over the years, that love has grown to a commitment to stewardship, nature conservation, and a passion to share the delight of exploring nature with others.

A watercolor sketch of Iris flowers on a light brown paper.
Iris Over Time by John Muir Laws
A watercolor and ink sketch of Miner's lettuce, labeled with the various parts of the plant.
Miner’s Lettuce by John Muir Laws

As a writer, scientist, and artist, Jack has developed numerous interdisciplinary educational programs that train students to observe with rigor and to refine techniques to become intentionally curious.

He is the author and illustrator of several books including The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling (also available in Spanish), The Laws Sketchbook, The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds, Sierra Birds: a Hiker’s Guide, Sierra Wildflowers: A Hiker’s Guide, and The Laws Guide to the Sierra Nevada. He is co-author with Emilie Lygren of How to Teach Nature Journaling.

Learn more about Jack on his website and visit the Wild Wonder Foundation for additional resources and learning opportunities.

All images courtesy of John Muir Laws.

An artist sites on a rock, dipping a paintbrush in a Pocket Palette.

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