Nature Journaling: October 2020

Learn the art of seeing and recording the world around you


October 23-25, 2020 | Online Workshop Hosted on Zoom

Instructor: Roseann Hanson

Fee for students: $110 + Eventbrite fees

Neither science education nor art training is needed—you will develop the skills of a naturalist and a field sketch-artist along the way. 


“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 online workshop 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.  

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. 

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. 
  • Tricks to 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.

Prior to the workshop: Roseann will recommend some simple supplies—you don’t need much. If you want to purchase supply kits ahead of time, we will have a link for that as well (workbook, waterbrush, and mini paint kit).


On Friday evening: On the Zoom web platform, Roseann will introduce you to the addictive and gratifying world of nature journaling, explaining the concept of daily observations and recording, how to use the tools you have, and tips for improving your observing and recording skills. She will show that by “observing-questioning-reflecting” you will be truly seeing, not just looking. 

Then, on Saturday and Sunday, the workshop will include a combination of live presentations and discussions / interactions, interspersed with “virtual field trips” via pre-recorded demos and 360-degree-view websites (such as Navigator series), and live demos using a document camera showing Roseann’s sketching and creating pages.


  • Pen, preferably permanent and waterproof ink.
  • Notebook or journal; should include watercolor paper (minimum 90-pound 100% cotton) if you would like to learn to add watercolor.
  • Other optional supplies list will be emailed to you after registration.



5:30 pm to 7 pm — Introduction / Zoom session


9 am to 11 am — live instruction / demos on Zoom

11 to 1 pm — students leave and go out and work on an assignment in their yard or nearby home. [Lunch during this time as well]

1 to 2:30 pm — return to Zoom discussions, sharing pages


1 pm to 3 pm — Zoom instruction and sharing

One week later, Saturday — optional check-in

10 am to 11 am — 1 hour live on Zoom


By the end of the class, you will come away with a new way of actually seeing the natural world before you and have new skills for recording what you see in meaningful and useful ways.

Instructor Bio

Roseann Hanson is a naturalist and explorer who has been keeping nature journals for more than 30 years. She studied journalism and ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona, and has worked in the American Southwest, Mexico, and East Africa as a conservationist, naturalist, and writer.  She has authored a dozen natural history and outdoor books, including the Southern Arizona Nature Almanac and San Pedro River: A Discovery Guide, both of which include her nature journal data and art. Roseann is a lapidary, metalsmith, and watercolor artist, and currently is coordinator for the trans-disciplinary art & science program at the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, part of the Arizona Institutes for Resilience at the University of Arizona. She was named a Fellow of both the Explorers Club in the U.S. and the Royal Geographical Society in Great Britain for her conservation and expedition work.

Visit the Exploring Overland: Field Arts website to learn more about Roseann's work.