Amy Tan Video, Binocular Sale, Custom Watercolor Palette, and December Class and Field Trip Schedule
John Muir Laws
December 2019 Nature Journal News
December Nature Journal Workshop: Doodling Diagrams with Amy Schlesser
December 10-13, Various Locations
Get ready to doodle some diagrams! This workshop will show you how to make simple drawings of how animals move and more. We’ll watch as animals eat, walk, waddle, hop, pounce (etc.), and figure out how to translate that motion into a simple sketch. We’ll also decode crazy creatures’ limbs, map out where animals wander, break down how things work, create “mystery chain” diagrams, and more. There’s no need for any knowledge of science or math to try this out–nor to fall in love with it! This workshop will be taught by guest artist Amy Schleser, who creates science explanations for kids as her day job and formerly developed science exhibitions for museums. Check out her work online on Instagram ( or at All ages and experience levels are welcome. No registration necessary, $20 suggested donation. NOTE: For those of you out of the area or unable to attend, please know that it is my goal to record all of our nature journaling workshops and make them available to everyone for free through my blog. 
December Event Calendar
Wild Wonder Conference Videos:
Amy Tan Talk on Nature Journaling
We are so excited to share the first of several videos of keynote talks from the 2019 Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference. Did you know that Amy Tan, bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and other novels, is also an avid nature journaler? As I said in my introduction of Amy at Wild Wonder: "That's right....Amy Tan keeps a nature journal, and you can, too!" Amy is a member of our Nature Journal Club Facebook community as Enmei Tan. We were thrilled that she agreed to come to Wild Wonder to read the beautiful and moving preface she wrote for my new book, How to Teach Nature Journaling, co-authored with Emilie Lygren (forthcoming, Heyday Books, 2020). In her essay, she shares her personal history with drawing and how she came to be a nature journaler. Enjoy!
Watch Amy Tan's Talk at Wild Wonder
Nature Journal Club Field Trip:
Salmon Spawning

Sunday, December 22, 10am-4pm
Love is in the Water! After the first big winter rain, Coho Salmon make their way up Lagunitas Creek in Marin County to spawn. We will start from the Leo T. Cronin Fish Viewing Area on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. From there we will search for spawning redds in the creek and look for mushrooms under the redwood canopy (it is often chilly under the trees so dress in layers). BONUS: We will have our usual potluck lunch PLUS a holiday gift exchange at this event. Click the blue button below for more details. If you need a few tips on drawing fish before you go, please see the fish blog posts below. The program is open to all ages and ability levels. No registration necessary. $20 suggested donation. Click below for details and directions. (Thanks to Mark Simmons for this sketchnote page.)

December Field Trip Details
Blog Posts
See Blog Archive
Custom Watercolor Palette Available
This is my favorite watercolor palette, filled with my custom selection of the paint colors I use both in my studio and in the field. These are hand filled and made one at a time. We will have a limited number in the store starting on December 9 and will make more to fill demand. When you order directly from my store, it helps support me and my work. Thank you.
See Palette Details
Sale on My Favorite Binoculars!
These are my favorite binoculars and the ones I always wear in the field. They work great on distant birds but also can focus on insects or flowers that are only a foot and a half away. They open up a whole new world. They are lightweight, durable, and easy to bring anywhere you go. A great gift for yourself or someone else! Save $25 on them through 12/31 or while supplies last.
See Binocular Details
Interview on Talaterra
In November, I was interviewed by Tania Marien for Talaterra, a podcast about freelance educators working in natural resource fields and environmental education. We talked about the early days of my work as an environmental educator, the wonderful support that helped me complete the Laws Guide to the Sierra Nevada, and how I have worked to build the nature journaling community. 
Listen to the Podcast
Video Interview  
Northern California Public Media recently accompanied me on a bird sketching walk in the San Francisco Bay Area where I live. It is a great introduction to my work and the joys of nature journaling. Watch the short video here.
Nature Journaling Tip: Learn From Others
Sometimes, when we look at other people's journal pages (at in-person workshops or online in our Nature Journal Club), we hear a little voice that says "Wow! That is so amazing! I can never do that!" If you have that voice, that inner critic, that doesn’t mean you are bad or you can’t do this. Everybody’s got that little voice. I’ve got it. Picasso had it. Van Gough had it. When we listen to that voice, it can actually shut us down and make us journal less. So try this approach instead--look at other people's pages and try to find something you can use. What technique did they use to capture the tree branches? What did they do with their map or the layout that makes their page work so well? The more specific you can be, the easier it will be for you to take and use an idea. Instead of saying “Oooh, that looks so good!” try “they blocked out the shape of the shadow with simple forms and it worked.” See if you can find one little trick from their page that you can isolate, and next time, try that on your page. That way, we can all learn from each other.
Thank you for your support!
My mission is to connect people to art, science, and nature through nature journaling. Your donation supports free and low-cost educational programming, workshops, teacher training, and online and downloadable resources. Your support makes it possible for me to continue this work and to offer my services at low or no cost. Your donation, whatever the size, is greatly appreciated and is tax-deductible.

Special Donor Thank You Gifts
For a limited time while limited supplies last, those who make a donation of $100 or more using the link below will receive a special gift of a Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference Pencil Pouch, featuring my original art and some other goodies including watercolor dot cards from Daniel Smith and QoR ($30 value, click the photo for more details), or a Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference Poster (an 18x24 poster with the same art as the pouch, $30 value).
Support My Work With a Donation
John Muir Laws
Nature Journal Club
P.O. Box 25523
San Mateo, CA 94402-9998.
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