Just the other day I was pondering upon how to combine my interest for nature; for mindlessly walking around in the world looking at things that grow, flower and wither, for discovering beauty all around – and my love for sketching. And then, almost as reply to a request, I discovered the unusual talented Lara Call Gastinger and her perpetual nature journal.
To tell the truth, Gastinger’s perpetual nature journal seems to be a perfect answer to my rumination.
Lara Call Gastinger is a botanical artist and illustrator and is most recently the chief illustrator for the Flora of Virginia Project. The subjects of her art come from the natural world and her art reveals detailed evidence of change, decay, and processes that occur in nature.
A perpetual journal is a journal that you date the pages to represent, let’s say, a week out of the year and you return to those same pages every year. So, one page of your journal might have notes and illustrations from multiple years or multiple entries from the same year.
Here is my first installment, week 9, weeds –
I’ve been doing this since year 2000. It really helps one learn about the plants and the seasons where they live. What’s cool is that one journal can be used year after year and there is no stress to do a huge drawing everyday or even every week. … I’ve had many sketches that I do not like individually but all together over years, it starts to become something else. … the layout builds upon each year since this is a perpetual journal. So…let’s just say, it’s not very planned out. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much but that’s what journals are for.
You’ll find Lara Call Gastinger’s wonderful work on her webpage: http://www.laracallgastinger.com/
and on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laragastinger/ and if you use Instagram, you should also check out #lgperpetualjournal