Inspiration: Natural history resources and examples to jump-start and inspire you, your students, and your friends

A few weeks ago, a friend wrote and asked me: “What natural history illustrators/artist-scientists would you want to use to inspire youth/adults to love nature, art, and science?” Oh, was I excited to answer the question! Here are a handful of the natural history SciArtists I recommended: Cathy Johnson Jenny Keller – contributor to Field Notes on Science … Continue reading Inspiration: Natural history resources and examples to jump-start and inspire you, your students, and your friends

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Sketching Tip: Being ready to sketch (or, handy portable sketching materials)

Sketching any time, any where, gets easier with practice. But planning for sketching helps, too. Having materials ready means I can grab the appropriate (and/or most convenient) set-up and be ready to go at a moment’s notice. And, having sketching materials along means I’m way more likely to sketch! Along with some sort of sketchbook, … Continue reading Sketching Tip: Being ready to sketch (or, handy portable sketching materials)

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Sketching Tip: Using words for all they are worth

Not all sketching plans go according to plan, and then words can play a critical role.  In May 2016, I took a trip to East Africa, working on the first international phase of my ecology storybook project: “The Ecologically True Story of the Tortoise and the Hare.” I did a lot of prep for my trip … Continue reading Sketching Tip: Using words for all they are worth

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Artful Science: Learning by drawing

One of my favorite things about being an artist is getting to learn about other people’s science. For example, in the past couple of years, I’ve learned: about traditional ecological knowledge relating to caribou genetics (link) several fish species build nests (link; my take) citizen science is helping Wyoming biologists track amphibian populations (link) bees … Continue reading Artful Science: Learning by drawing

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Sketching Tip: Sketching your notes at conferences, meetings & in class

These tips are excerpted from an earlier article I wrote highlighting many ways that sketchnotes are being used by scientists. The following tips, though, are broadly applicable for many kinds of note-taking situations. Keep your supplies simple and portable. A ballpoint pen and one color (marker, colored pencil, even a crayon!) can produce delightful results. … Continue reading Sketching Tip: Sketching your notes at conferences, meetings & in class

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Sketching Tip: How few materials can you bring?

Sketching any time, any where, gets easier with practice. But planning for sketching helps, too. I discussed a couple of ideas for planning in the April 2016 newsletter. Those tips focused on paring down your materials to essentials and sketching from photos so you’re a little more familiar with subject matter when you sketch it in real … Continue reading Sketching Tip: How few materials can you bring?

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Summer 2017 newsletter: Drawing on windows, making fish & more art-science tips

Happy summer, dear readers! I trust this finds you enjoying the weather and doing a bit of sketching. It’s hot in my corner of the Mountain West. I’m writing you from my basement – the only space where it is cool enough to think. But, happily, along with the heat comes garden season, complete with loads of the pollinators … Continue reading Summer 2017 newsletter: Drawing on windows, making fish & more art-science tips

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Darwin wouldn’t draw. Seriously.

He said so himself. And he regretted it. Exhibit A, from The Autobiography of Charles Darwin: “[Not being urged to practice dissection] has been an irremediable evil, as well as my incapacity to draw.” It was actually Darwin’s shipmate on the HMS Beagle, Conrad Martens, who made the sketches best known from that expedition. And, it wasn’t until … Continue reading Darwin wouldn’t draw. Seriously.

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