My first nature journaling workshop

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I was a bit nervous early last Saturday morning. My first ever nature journaling workshop with a bunch of paying customers! I had previously trialed the format and exercises with a few of my more tolerant friends as guinea pigs. And they survived. They even liked it!

But I was still rather anxious. Would the participants get into it? Would the workshop be inspiring? Could I do it? I was so preoccupied I forgot the most simple things that morning. For example, Ray had to gently remind me to open the gate first, before driving the car out of the driveway.

This was all a bit silly, as I had always enjoyed teaching, and have received plenty of positive feedback over the years. I’ve taught zoology, botany and ecology to Uni students. Taught Pony Club kids how to care for and ride their horses. And it was work as a penguin- and whale tour guide that allowed me to survive financially towards the end of my PhD. I think I was nervous on Saturday morning because inspiring people to get into nature journaling is really important to me. If I didn’t care so much, I may have been more blasé.

Several hours later the workshop was over, and I was much relieved. The workshop participants were a great bunch of interested and motivated nature-lovers, and every person seemed to get something out of it.

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We explored some of the many ways you can do nature journaling, and did a contour drawing exercise to warm up.

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We played with different art materials, and went on a short ecology tour of the site.

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The morning tea treats created by the talented Heather kept everyone busily journaling for the whole session.

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Some people didn’t want to leave! Many (most? All?) were inspired to keep going with nature journaling. Whoopee!

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A large part of the success of the event was the excellent organisation provided by Genevieve Robey, and the support and hosting of the Bulimba Creek Catchment Committee (B4C). Genevieve also took all of these terrific photos of the workshop – thanks Gen!

The best part is we’re doing it all again this Saturday at Minnippi Parklands. So if you’re interested in nature journaling, come along and give it a go!

If you can’t be there, you can still check out my new book Make a Date with Nature: An introduction to nature journaling. It’s free to download, or you can buy a print copy for only $6.99.

Sunday afternoon saw me relaxing the garden with a cup of tea and my dogs. And a bit more nature journaling, of course! :

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12 Responses

  1. Kirsti

    How wonderful Paula!
    Sounds like a roaring success….and now I’m thinking how we can get you up here to Armidale to run one!
    Your way of connecting with nature through art, observation, patience and creativity is inspiring.
    Cheers,
    Kirsti

    • Paula Peeters

      Hey thankyou Kirsti! I would love to do some workshops in and around Armidale – maybe as part of a nature journaling workshop tour? Get people drawing ants as part of it, of course. Thanks for your enthusiasm and praise. Cheers, Paula

  2. Congrats on your successful event!

  3. Rhonda Butcher

    Well done Paula, sounds like a wonderful day. I hope you get to run many more courses – you always learn something from people interested in their environment, some little gem that you didn’t know. Truly inspiring PP. Keep up the good work.
    Cheers
    Rhonda

    • Paula Peeters

      Hey Rhonda great to hear from you! I know you could create the most fabulous nature journal. Maybe on your next holiday? Thanks for the praise and encouragement. I hope you are well, and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Love Paula

  4. Sue Southwood

    Hey Paula , Well done! I well remember my first ever workshop with total strangers! Aaarrrggghh! It went well, and so did all the following, well most of them. There was one where they didn’t read the synopsis properly and had a huge whinge. But I went on with others.
    Don’t ever let nerves get in your way, you know your subject, and it is what they come to hear about. So well done you!
    Sue

    • Paula Peeters

      Hi Sue, Yes it is a bit weird how we beat ourselves up sometimes! I think that every person who is good at a particular thing will take that knowledge for granted, after a while. We need to remind ourselves of these things, value them, and share them with others. Thankyou for the warm encouragement 🙂 . Cheers, Paula

  5. Hi Paula, I’ve been doing workshops this year which combine art with ecology here in Vic, one workshop leads to another it seems. I’ve found it exhilarating but also exhausting esp. when its over. Great way to meet energetic and like minded people! All the best with future workshops.

    • Paula Peeters

      Hey thanks Peter, I’ve been enjoying your blog posts about your workshops, and would have liked to attend one if it was closer to home. Yes I think meeting like-minded people is a great thing about workshops and always gives me a buzz. Now that I’ve done one, I’m more excited and relaxed (is that possible?) about the next one. Cheers, Paula

  6. Lovely! I can understand those pre-workshop nerves. Not only the importance of the topic but also the newness of the venture and the unknown come into the mix for me. It’s always great to feel those nerves leave as the journey takes over and something enjoyable emerges. Sounds like the workshop was much enjoyed by everyone Paula.

    • Paula Peeters

      Hi Gail, I did another workshop last weekend and now the nerves are well gone, thank goodness! Funny how we beat ourselves up sometimes. I’m now in the process of organising some one-day workshops and shorter nature journaling ‘practice’ sessions. And I’m looking forward to these immensely! Thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers, Paula