See inside

Welcome to New Zealand: A Nature Journal is a bright and colorful introduction to documenting the natural world.

Author and illustrator Sandra Morris filled this 48-page book with many inspiring ideas. It is a great resource to use this week during
National Environmental Education Week (EE Week), not to mention that fast-approaching summer vacation!

Included in the colorful pages of her book are ideas not usually found in journaling books.

These ideas include:

  • How to create a seasonal color wheel.
  • How to create a garden food chain.
  • How to sketch a forest ecosystem.
  • How to create a habitat study.
  • How to create a layered map of shore birds.
  • How to create a moon log.
  • How to track cloud formations during the day.
  • How to create a zoo trail map.

An idea I especially like is Morris’ approach to comparing two species of swamp birds. This smart idea will appeal to someone who is learning about birds and who is just now beginning a practice of sketching birds.

Selected pages of this book are viewable online.

Welcome to New Zealand can be purchased from your local bookseller through IndieBound. Better yet, stop by your local bookstore this weekend and help them celebrate Independent Bookstore Day, an annual event occurring on the fourth Saturday of April (learn more).

Courtesy Nomade Aventure, © Agathe and Thomas Haevermans

If you’ve ever wanted to go somewhere less traveled to draw and paint plants like the botanists and artists of past centuries, here is your opportunity.

Scientific illustrator Agathe Haevermans and botanist Thomas Haevermans have announced they will lead a botany and illustration tour of Madagascar in the fall.

This tour is a 14-day adventure that includes travel by foot, bus, boat and dug-out canoe. Travelers will visit national parks and marine reserves, seaside villages, local markets, pristine forests, and meet with Malagasy botanical artists. Travelers will fill their sketchbooks with images daily while learning about Madagascar’s flora and fauna. Madagascar is home to thousands of species believed not to exist anywhere else on earth.

Here is a brief look at the itinerary:

    Day 1
    Arrival in the Malagasy capital, visit a botanical and zoological park, meet Malagasy botanical artists.

    Day 3
    Hike to the top of Montagne des Français, visit the Orangea forest, sketch the Baobabs, pachypodiums, and other succulent plants.

    Day 4
    Visit a dense rainforest.

    Day 5
    Visit geological features, go on a hike and add images to your sketchbook.

    Day 6
    Visit Ankarana National Park, sketch the botanical curiosities you encounter.

    Day 7
    Visit an uninhabited island and explore the lagoon.

    Day 8
    Visit one of the last primary forests where you can find almost all the endemic flora and fauna in northern Madagascar. Travel by cut-out canoe.

    Day 9
    Morning drawing workshop with Agathe at the hotel. Afternoon on your own.

    Day 10
    Visit local markets in a seaside village.

    Day 11
    Visit Ankarafantsika National Park.

    Day 12
    Explore Ankarafantsika National Park.

    Day 13
    Walking tour of the City of Flowers.

    Day 14
    Botanical drawing workshop and other options available on this day.

The full itinerary of this adventure can be viewed on the website of Nomade Aventure, the travel company organizing this trip.

More About Your Experienced Guides

Agathe and Thomas Haevermans are both members of the Société des Explorateurs Français (Society of French Explorers).

Agathe Haevermans is the scientific illustrator at the Muséum National Histoire Naturelle (Museum of Natural History) in Paris. She is also the president of the Société Française d’Illustration Botanique (French Society of Botanical Illustration), and the author of several books, including The Art of Botanical Drawing: An Introductory Guide (2009).

Thomas Haevermans is a botanist who has conducted research throughout Asia and Madagascar. He now manages the botanical team at the Institute of Systemics, Evolution, and Biodiversity at the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris.

Accompanying the Haevermans will be a team of local French-speaking guides and local park guides.

This adventure begins on October 20, 2018, in the capital city of Antananarivo.

Cost: 2929 €

(Note: The duration and price shown in the itinerary does not include an international return flight so to allow travelers to book a return trip most appropriate for their situation)

View map and itinerary

More Images

(Click on image to enlarge)

Lady Finger Bananas, watercolor. © 2018 Sally Jacobs, all rights reserved

Sunday’s at the
Farmers Market

tag Gallery
Los Angeles, CA
April 17 – May 12, 2018

Contemporary botanical artist, Sally Jacobs, continues her exploration of Los Angeles’ farmers market in Sundays at the Farmers Market.

A watercolor artist and foodie, Sally visits the farmers market weekly to select specimens that inspire creativity in both her studio and her kitchen.

Sally’s paintings have been on exhibit in juried shows in New York and San Francisco, and at museums in New York, Minneapolis, and Phoenix. She was an award-winner at the Brand 37 Works on Paper exhibition at the Brand Library and Art Gallery and is one of the artists featured in Today’s Botanical Artists, a book about botanical artists in North America.

Meet Sally at the opening reception on Saturday, April 21, 2018 (5-8 pm). Learn from Sally during her Artists’ Talk scheduled for Saturday, April 28 from 3-4 pm.

Interested in trying botanical art yourself? Sally will teach you How to Draw a Leaf on Saturday, May 5 from 1-3 pm. Contact Sally to reserve your place in class. Class size is limited.

Visit the tag Gallery at 5458 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm. (View Map)


Read a review of Today’s Botanical Artists and learn from the artists featured in this book (begin here).

Plant Prints & Earth Paintings
Tina Scopa
An Tobar
Isle of Mull, Scotland
March 3-30, 2018

This past summer we learned about edaphic plant art when we spoke with Scottish artist Tina Scopa. Working spontaneously with plants and soil, Tina gets plants to “draw” themselves in prints, photography, and ceramic work. Her current exhibition titled, Plant Prints & Earth Paintings, represents four years of exploring plants and soil. Images from this show are below.

During our conversation with Tina, we also learned she was working on her fine art degree at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design at the University of Dundee. I am happy to share that Tina has almost completed her studies and is working on her degree show.

While we wait for her degree show, we can learn more about Tina’s practice and about what motivates her to create edaphic plant art by reading her paper about environmental art (also called land art or ecological art).

In a living understanding of nature, Tina asks the question:

    Can a contemporary art practice reconnect society to the “rhythms, sights, sounds, and scents of the natural world”?

To answer this question, Tina researched experiential knowledge and experiential understanding through art. If you have an interest in learning how art might be used in environmental education, you will enjoy Tina’s paper.

The exhibition Plant Prints & Earth Paintings is now on view at An Tobar on the Isle of Mull. Click on the first image to begin a tour of the exhibition.

All photos are courtesy of Tina Scopa.


For the past fifteen years, I have encouraged an interest in plants through art, science, and interpretation as the full-time educator, bookseller, and editor at ArtPlantae. While art, science, and interpretation continue to be part of my practice, I am shifting my attention to issues related to the nature of work in informal environmental education.

My current project, The Freelance Condition & Lifelong Learning in Communities, is an investigation into the contributions informal educators make to lifelong learning. This research focuses specifically on the contributions of freelance informal educators who address plants, nature, and related topics in their work. I am focusing on freelance informal educators in particular because they are not bound to one location and have the opportunity to create change in many different settings.

Who are these freelance educators?

What do they do?

Where do they work?

How do they lead?

What do they need to be better leaders?

These are some of the questions I seek to answer.


Did you know the average American spends less than 5% of their life in the classroom (Falk & Dierking, 2010)?

Most learning throughout one’s life occurs outside of the classroom. This means that most people learn about plants, nature, and related topics outside of school. I suspect many people learn from independent professionals working in informal education. Where do they learn from these independent professionals? What do they learn? I hope to find answers to these questions.

If you are an independent professional whose work connects people with nature, please consider sharing your story. If you lead a program as an author, illustrator, poet, artist, photographer, basket weaver, book artist, scientist, designer, or interpreter in informal learning environments, please consider sharing your story.

Not sure if you are a “freelance informal educator”?

For this study, a “freelance informal educator” is defined as someone who does not receive income as an employee (W-2 income) for the programs, products, or learning experiences they create. Freelance educators, like other freelancers, work one project, one event, or one gig at a time. If this describes you, please consider sharing your story.

Over the years I have met many passionate, independent professionals who strive to connect people with nature through their work. I have often wondered how many other professionals like them (and me) are out there in the world. I have also wondered about how each educator contributes to the public’s understanding of nature. This survey represents the first step towards finding this out.

Are you a freelance informal educator whose work connects people with plants, nature, and related topics?

Share Your Story

Literature Cited

Falk, J.H., & Dierking, L.D. (2010). The 95 percent solution: School is not where most Americans learn most of their science. American Scientist, 98(6): 486-493

Page by page, illustrated journals recognize the interpretive encounters so foundational to worldmaking and, in doing so, cultivate the deep attention to, and experience of, the world that is our first step toward care.

— Lyn K. Baldwin

In Drawing Care: The Illustrated Journal’s “Path to Place”,
Lyn K. Baldwin explains how illustrated journals can reinvigorate peoples’ experience with “place”.

Baldwin is a plant ecologist at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. She researches how to use drawing as a learning tool to learn about nature and place. Baldwin’s research into this subject began when she realized the demand for care required tools she never learned while training to be an ecologist.

Baldwin believes humans have thought their way out of nature and that “there is no guarantee that thinking alone will lead us back” (Baldwin, 2018). She feels the most effective way people can change their relationship with place is by keeping a journal. Specifically, an illustrated resonant journal.

What is a resonant journal?

In her article, Baldwin discusses four types of journals people use to record the world around them. In her discussion, she refers to the “scale of journals” as defined by artist and author, Hannah Hinchman. Baldwin explains that at one end of Hinchman’s scale, we find informational journals (e.g., a biologist’s field notebook). Next along the scale are investigative journals, journals with observations accompanied by fewer details normally found in informational journals. Investigative journals are followed by resonant journals which are journals composed of a person’s outward observations intermingled with their inner thoughts. The last journal type on Hinchman’s scale are reflective journals (e.g., personal diaries).

Baldwin argues that illustrated resonant journals are the key tool capable of combating the “extinction of experience” (Baldwin, 2018), which refers the ever-increasing divide between people and nature. She says illustrated resonant journals are the best tool to use because they include a drawing component. She explains that it is the act of drawing that pushed informational journals towards becoming resonant journals and that drawing helped “resonant journals gain their footings as a creative practice capable of remaking the world” (Baldwin, 2018). Baldwin explains that drawing enhances a person’s experience with place because drawing:

  1. Makes seeing more important than looking.
  2. Allows more of the world to make an impression on one’s consciousness.
  3. Literally draws a person into a place and experience.

Baldwin believes illustrated resonant journals could “repopulate nature” (Baldwin, 2018) and create stronger connections to place than scientific observations and species lists could ever do on their own.

Baldwin concludes her article by describing five journaling exercises teachers can teach to their students. These exercises are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Baldwin emphasizes that with these exercises, the process is more important than the product. She shares these specific exercises because, during her lengthy career as a journaling instructor, she has seen these writing and drawing exercises enhance student experience of place in only a few hours. These exercises are a wonderful addition to your art and science file folder and are just in time for Earth Day 2018. Obtain a copy of Baldwin’s article to receive instructions for:

  • Illuminated contour drawings
  • Color swatches and sound tapestries
  • Landscape drawing
  • Odd Couples (a writing exercise that adds energy to sentences)
  • Titles (an exercise in lettering and writing titles)

Selected examples of these activities follows:

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Baldwin’s article Drawing Care is available on the website of the Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism. (Black & white illustrations, $42.50 for 24-hour access).

A color copy of Baldwin’s unpublished manuscript is available on the Thompson Rivers University’s repository for FREE. The link to this article is included here compliments of Lyn Baldwin.

Also courtesy of Lyn Baldwin is a link to free downloads of her published article. This publisher-supplied link allows for only 50 downloads. After fifty copies are downloaded, the article will cost $42.50 for 24-hour access or $154.00 for 30-day access.

I would like to thank Lyn for her generosity and for sharing these links with ArtPlantae readers.

Literature Cited

Baldwin, L. K. (2018). Drawing care: the illustrated journal’s “path to place”. Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism, 18(1): 75-93

More from Lyn Baldwin

The Scientific Illustration Distance Program begins a new session next month. During this term, students have the opportunity to learn traditional and digital techniques.

Here is what’s new at Classes Near You > New York:

    Gretchen Kai Halpert

    Gretchen Kai Halpert is the founder and instructor of an online program in scientific illustration. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design/CE, Gretchen has many years of experience working as a scientific illustrator and teaching natural science illustration.

    Learn more about the distance learning program in scientific illustration at www.gretchenhalpert-distanceprogram.com. Check out her blog and enjoy the student artwork. Sign up for the SIDP newsletter to keep abreast of opportunities.

    Gretchen Kai Halpert
    Scientific Illustration, Session II, Pen and Ink

    March 27-May 29, 2018
    1:00-3:00 or 7:00-9:00 EST or email

    Pen and Ink is a staple for scientific illustrators. This class gives you an opportunity to immerse yourself in proficiency. Pen and ink, crowquill, line and wash techniques, composition, scratchboard, working from life, professional practices, final projects, practice with preparing and sending artwork digitally. The course includes handouts; tutorials; weekly live video conferencing; small classes, individual attention. Beginning and intermediate students.

    Gretchen Kai Halpert
    Scientific Illustration, Session III, Color

    March 27-May 29, 2018
    1:00-3:00 or 7:00-9:00 EST or email

    Session III includes watercolor, colored pencil, digital options, advanced composition and projects, professional practices and preparation for internships/independent studies/or portfolio development. Live video conferencing, email, weekly critiques and assignments, recorded tutorials. Prerequisites: having completed Sessions I and II, or permission of the instructor.

To apply, complete the Registration Form or contact Gretchen.

Subscribe to the SIDP newsletter for program news
Sign up for the website or email Gretchen.

Follow Gretchen on Facebook and Twitter.

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