Margaret Wohler’s Nature Sketchbooks
I’ve been to two of Margaret Wohler’s nature journaling workshops, one for grown-ups at the Del Ray Artisans and one for kids at Huntley Meadows Park, where Margaret has spent more than 20 years as a park naturalist. When she teaches, she brings along a few of her own sketchbooks.
I’ve always wanted to spend time one-on-one with Margaret to talk about her art.
One afternoon recently, Margaret showed me some of the many journals she keeps in her home that are filled with notes and drawings.
She loves the idea of filling sketchbooks with observations in nature, even, she says, if the drawings are crude at times or unfinished. The more one draws, the better the artist one becomes.
Margaret always includes a few notes on the pages, such as the date, the weather and maybe temperature and cloud cover, as well as identification of various plants, insects, and other features.
She’s experimented with a lot of different artistic media, but her favorite drawing implement is the thin-lined Japanese Goulet pen.
She also loves using watercolor pencils.
Margaret draws at home, in the park, or anywhere she roams. When she goes to different towns in the U.S. or travels abroad, for example, she always spends time sketching the scenery and taking notes about the trip.
In Margaret’s home, she has framed and hung a series of her captivating dragonfly sketches.
And another in brilliant color…
Margaret recently submitted an entire sketchbook devoted to Huntley Meadows to the Brooklyn Library Sketchbook Project, a “crowd sourced library of artists’ books.” On her computer, Margaret showed me some of the pages from the bold, beautiful sketchbook she submitted to the project.
The next time you visit Huntley Meadows park, also check out the book about dragonflies in the gift shop that Margaret illustrated and co-wrote.
Margaret teaches a dragonfly sketching course at Huntley Meadows, as well as her nature journaling classes at the park and around town. Her next course in dragonfly sketching is coming up on Sunday, June 29 at 12:30 p.m. for ages 11 and up. To register, use the online forms on the Fairfax Virginia Parks and Recreation website.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful art with us, Margaret!