As this introduction is being written, outside the studio window a first fall of wet snow has covered the ground and clings to the branches of the barren trees. With an overcast sky, the scene is essentially a black-and-white picture, in which the tracery of the trees is enhanced by this change in nature’s cycle.
- Henry C. Pitz, Drawing Trees
The exploring of new media and techniques is an exhilerating [sic] experience for the true artist and should be indulged in by the student freely and naturally, unmindful of any comment that technique spells death for the creative impulse. The creative spirit that is killed by technical investigation is a piddling thing that will not be missed.
I find drawing to be the simplest, the most direct, and the least expensive art medium for studying nature. We have so encumbered ourselves today through sports, recreation, and hunting with an abundance of tools for “being in nature” that we have lost the greatest tool of all: simply sitting and watching. Drawing allows for this. We have also lost the ability to learn on our own and to trust our own learning. Nature drawing is a solitary pursuit. The experience is between ourselves and the object. Often it becomes more sketching than drawing, using the pencil more as a tool for taking notes of observations than for creating a lovely drawing.
- Clare Walker Leslie, Nature Drawing (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1980)
...Above all, enjoy your study. Use it as a time to be in full contact with nature without the distractions and worries that so flood our everyday human lives. If a day’s drawing results in nothing but torn-up pages but was fully enjoyed otherwise by being outdoors watching birds courting, studying various plant forms, or observing the wind blowing ripple patterns across a pond, then consider your day a success. Drawing should bring you to nature, not back you away from it. So be patient. Your way of drawing will change, evolve, and mature, as will your study of nature.