I started keeping a nature journal about the same time I began training to be a docent at Bouverie Nature Preserve in Glen Ellen, California. As I learned about the flora and fauna of the Preserve, I began exploring the fields and hills near my home in Sonoma. I was inspired by the book Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, thinking, “I could make my own field guide.” And so I set out to learn about and record all of the plants and animals I encountered in my explorations. I soon found that sitting quietly beside a pond or on a hillside allowed me to see and experience wonderful things:

By slowing down and focusing closely on some small piece of the natural world, I’ve gained an increased appreciation for the endless wonders of this earth. Each creature, every plant, reveals a stunning complexity and beauty. Observing and painting the cycles of Nature offers me a sense of order and calm I find nowhere else.

My first journals were hardback bound sketchbooks. When the journals I preferred were discontinued, I started to make my own, gluing beautiful papers onto acid-free boards for the covers, folding and sewing pages of carefully selected paper into signatures. The journals are usually about 8.5x6,” just fitting in my fanny pack, which also holds my Winsor-Newton field box and a handlens. Pencils and extra brushes tuck into the pockets of the waterproof covers I’ve made to protect the journals.


Irene Guidici Ehret - botanical art, nature journals, and watercolors.
Biography - On Location - Recent Paintings - In The Mountains - Water - Wildflowers - People - Other
Native Plants of Sonoma County - Buckeye Seeds - Nature Journals - Cards - Exhibits, Events - Contact