Thursday, August 11, 2016

A New 'Master Naturalist' - Sketching and Painting

High Tide Spring (available here) - based on a watercolor sketch at the Connecticut River
This year has been so exciting so far, and we're almost 2/3 of the way through!  And there's still more exciting things yet to come! 
Perhaps you can join me at the next "Nature Sketchbook Journaling" class at the CT Audubon center in Pomfret, CT. 
August 20th - Saturday - 9am to noon
$5 for CAS members, $10 non-members
This fee goes to support the center!
After completing the Master Naturalist class with the CT Audubon in Spring, I've been able to expand my role from simply 'nature lover' to one who shares with my community.  Currently my  role as master naturalist is to continue learning everything I can about our natural world here in Connecticut, and share/teach this to others in the form of sketchbook journaling. 
 I grew up in Florida, and always loved being outdoors.  From a lifetime of learning in the south, I felt I knew and was familiar with all of that region's 'flora and fauna' but knew little of my adopted home state here in Connecticut.  So I jumped at the opportunity to learn through the Master Naturalist program at the CT Audubon Society center in Pomfret, CT.  
As a painter and a naturalist, in a time when so many are dis-enchanted with our world and things that are going on...I wanted to help people become "enchanted" by our natural surroundings and help them develop a love and appreciation for it... perhaps helping them to see things in a new way.  When people see beauty (and learn to see it in places where they might not expect it), they are more likely to love and protect that place or thing. 
I spent the winter and spring in the weekly course sessions held at the CT Audubon center in Pomfret.  Like "drinking out of the fire hydrant" - there is so much material to cover! It made me realize how long it would take for me to feel truly competent!  Luckily, learning is a lifelong endeavor that we commit to.  Each class was fascinating and amazing.  I'd come home smiling those days, feeling like a happy 10 year old Girl Scout!  The teachers were excellent - I had found an entirely new appreciation of my surroundings - the courses had exceeded my expectations!
 Each of the new master naturalists is asked to give back 40 hours of volunteer time.  I am thrilled to be able to share and teach "nature sketchbook journaling".  As a painter, I love the look and feel of paint and ink on paper.  But as a life-long nature lover, I especially enjoy going back through old sketchbooks.  I can see what was blooming on a certain date the previous year, remember funny incidents like the antics of a chipmunk.  This little creature chased a group of sparrows all around a garden bench...while they continued to taunt him!  These painted sketches bring back so many more wonderful memories than most photographs ever do!
Sketching has a meditative quality to it, and sketching from life - out in nature - allows you to see things you would NEVER notice if you were just hiking through.  Time seems to stand still, while you observe things like a dragonfly trying to lift off the ground with a small crab he has captured; or a hummingbird that is hovering over your page as you paint red flowers! Nature is enchanted indeed. It cares not of our skill in drawing or painting, only that we witness it, and fall in love with it - and preserve and protect it!

 I'd love for you to join us in Pomfret on the 20th; call and reserve your spot
CT Audubon Society- 860-928-4948
and be prepared to be enchanted! 

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Blogger Deborah Downes said...

Planning to be there!

August 11, 2016 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Roxanne Steed said...

Thanks Deb! I think there will be a nice group there! Hope the weather is good for us!!

August 12, 2016 at 8:57 AM  

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