Book Review: True Nature by Barbara Bash

Day 11: Several people have noticed there dreams becoming more colorful and memorable. Have you noticed a change? Tomorrow we’ll talk about setting a ritual and intention for your journaling. What’s this sentence doing here?

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Nature journals make me swoon with joy. I know they aren’t wildly popular, and I don’t care. I collect them, I make them, I love them. They capture the essence of life and time in one book. For me, it’s what art journaling is about.

Cover of True Nature by Barbara Bash

I also admire artists who create from the heart. Creating from the heart is the bravest work, because you have to trust yourself. Listen to your intuition. Choose with your soul. That’s a big risk. Particularly in a world of commerce and retail therapy, many artists feel pressure to make creative decisions through their bank account. “How much can I cut back and still have enough quality to sell well?” It’s a real question asked by many artists. It’s a realistic question to ask.

Loose wash drawing on pg. 45 in the "Summer" section

And then there are the artists who say, “I have a question in my heart that needs answering. That’s where I’ll be for the next while. Working. Making meaning.”

From the "Autumn" section. Bash asks, "Where does pressure come from?"

Barbara Bash has done both a nature journal and a work of the heart. She kept a nature journal for a year while doing a series of solitary, contemplative retreats. Her watercolors, pen and ink drawings and meditations are gathered in her book, True Nature. It’s a book of inspiration, of small, measured steps, of awe and wonder.

Bash's calligraphy, emphasizing her heart-felt questions of meditation.

It’s hand-written, with quotes and thoughts scattered throughout. Bash “enters the drawing world of endless time and curiosity” and, with meditation, “everything becomes worthy of study and affection.”

This gentle book would make a lovely gift for a meditator, an artist, a writer, or a naturalist. Almost everyone on your gift list. It’s a holding book, a page-turning book, not for the e-reader.  Oh, and don’t forget a copy for your bedside table.

Quinn McDonald is a naturalist and the author of Raw Art Journaling, Making Meaning, Making Art. The book is available on Quinn’s website with a code for free shipping. The code will expire in 10 days, so don’t wait.