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1st Annual Nature Journaling Conference at the Montana Natural History Center

May 21, 2021 - May 23, 2021


DATES: May 21-23 2021
TIMES: Friday, 4:30-7:00 p.m., Saturday, 9:00- 4:30 p.m. & 7:00 -9:00 p.m., Sunday, 9:00- noon
LOCATION: Montana Natural History Center
Registration is required. Registration opens at 9:00 a.m. on January 1st. Follow this LINK to register.

Learn from four experienced instructors: Hannah Hinchman, Nancy Seiler, Claire Emery and Jenah Mead. Throughout the weekend they will teach a variety of nature journaling tips and techniques- event-mapping, drawing native plants and more- to enhance your joy of nature journaling. Registration opens January 1st at 9:00 a.m. for up to 25 participants.

Schedule of Events

Friday, May 21
4:30 p.m.  Doors open
5:00-6:00 p.m.  Tour the museum, mingle, wine and light refreshments served
6:00-7:00 p.m.  Keynote lecture by local artist and illustrator Nancy Seiler
7:00-9:00 p.m.  Optional no host dinner on the town

Saturday, May 22
9:00- noon  First workshop with Claire Emery: Values

Start the day with Claire Emery focused on appreciating, refining, and portraying values of light and dark in your sketches and drawings.Through observation and drawing exercises, Claire will help you learn how to include or improve your use of value. This class will occur primarily indoors at the Montana Natural History Center.

For the past 20 years, Claire has passionately pursued connecting art and conservation in her field sketches, her commissions, her original woodcuts, her teaching programs and in her place-based installations. Claire experiences and processes the world creatively. Intensely curious and introspective, she engages with the world deeply, noticing details that many others simply pass by. Her current work focuses on transforming her field sketches, observations of place, and reflections on the spiritual journey into woodcuts. Using a variety of carving tools, she carves away at the woodblocks, drawing images out of the darkness of the wood and into the light. Her bold and exquisitely detailed woodcuts are commissioned by conservation organizations and sought by collectors around the country.

1:30 – 4:30 p.m.  Second workshop with Hannah Hinchman: Field Trip- Event Mapping at Greenough Park

Take a walk with artist and author Hannah Hinchman to immerse yourself in the event mapping practice. Hannah will provide instruction on this journaling technique and demonstrate useful tips to get started or develop your skills. You will wander through beautiful Greenough park creating your own map of the phenomena that most interests you- trees, flowers, birds, rocks, water- Greenough has so much to investigate through journaling.

Hannah Hinchman is a freelance artist, writer, and calligrapher. Her work has been published in numerous magazines. She is the author of A Life in the Hand: Creating the Illuminated Journal, A Trail Through Leaves: the Journal as a Path to Place, and Little Things in a Big Country: An Artist and Her Dog on the Rocky Mountain Front.

7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  Third workshop with Jenah Mead: Nature Journal Illustration

Artist and naturalist Jenah Mead will guide you through her drawing process during an engaging evening of bird illustration. Using specimens from the Montana Natural History Center as subjects for your work, Jenah will walk you through the foundations you need to compose a beautiful journal entry that captures the likeness, emotion, and fine details of birds.

Jenah Mead is an artist, naturalist, and educator out of Missoula, Montana who specializes in wildlife illustrations and has taught science and nature education for over a decade. She holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Environmental Studies. Jenah combines the study of nature and art to create detailed graphite illustrations of local flora and fauna.

“My drawings embody my experiences observing and connecting with the natural world. I invite viewers to slow down and notice the wonders surrounding them.”  -Jenah Mead

Sunday, May 23
9:00 a.m. – noon  Fourth workshop with Nancy Seiler: Field Trip- Nature Journaling Wildflowers- Pierce Native Prairie

Meet in Ellen Knight classroom at the Montana Natural History Center with Nancy Seiler for demonstrations, an overview of line, color and warm-up exercises. We will then walk to Pierce Prairie, a haven for native wildflowers rescued from development by local botanist, John Pierce. Nancy will provide an extensive step-by-step handout including lots of tips for drawing plants. We’ll spend the rest of class working in our journals. Nancy will answer questions one-on-one.

Nancy Seiler received her Visual Communications degree from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1981. She is a Golden Working Artist for Golden Artist Colors presenting lectures, demonstrations and workshops in acrylics, watercolors, and oils in Southern California and Montana. She has also taught classical botanical illustration and nature journaling since 2003. Seiler has exhibited her acrylic paintings and botanical illustrations since 2002. In the summer of 2014, she co-owned a successful pop-up gallery in Bigfork, Montana. Her work is represented by Frame of Reference Fine Art in Whitefish, Montana and 709 Gallery in Missoula, Montana.

What to Bring:

  • Lunch, (or plan to eat out on Saturday), water, snacks
  • Clothes appropriate for changing Montana weather conditions- raincoat, hat, sunscreen, etc.
  • Good walking shoes or boots
  • Camp stool or Crazy Creek style chair
  • Binoculars (optional, we have some to borrow)
  • Camera (optional)
Art Materials: 
  • Pencil (mechanical or wood with sharpener)
  • Eraser
  • Water container and rag or paper towels
  • Journal or sketchbook
  • Ink pens such as micron
  • Watercolor pencils
  • Brushes (#8 round)
  • Follow this LINK for more information on supplies and retailers

Cost: $250
Please ask us about scholarships. We want you to be able to attend! Call 406 327-0405 for details.

Registration is required. Registration opens at 9:00 a.m. on January 1st. Follow this LINK to register.


What’s the refund policy?
The course fee (minus a 25% administrative fee) is refundable if a cancellation is made up to 7 days before the event. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made after this deadline.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
Nope! We will have a list of all the attendees.


May 21, 2021
May 23, 2021
Event Categories:


Montana Natural History Center
120 Hickory Street, Suite A
Missoula, MT 59801 United States