Saturday, November 24, 2012

Nature Journaling

Recently, IslandWood was fortunate to host Artist In Residence, Maria Corywell-Martin. Maria is passionate about expeditionary artwork and the practice of nature journaling.

In her own words, "Maria Corywell-Martin works in the tradition of traveling artists as naturalists and educators as she accompanies scientific teams on research expeditions. In the field, Maria sketches with ink and watercolor and collects multimedia recordings to build her palette of place, a record of experience, climate, and color. She develops this work into studio paintings for exhibit, as well as presentations and workshops for audiences of all ages to promote observation, scientific inquiry, and environmental awareness."

During her time at IslandWood Maria facilitated multiple workshops that included IslandWood staff, faculty, and graduate students, as well as four lucky groups of visiting School Overnight Program students.

Maria explaining her craft to a group of IslandWood's graduate students during their professional development seminar.

Her workshops provided a thorough exploration of nature journaling and its historical progression. Additionally, she guided participants through the creation of their own personal journal and then led them into the outdoors where their journals were quickly put to use.

One of IslandWood's EEC Graduate students hard at work on her nature journal.

I was teaching for the week that Maria visited and my students were able to participate in one of her nature journaling sessions. They enthusiastically pushed on through the chilly afternoon air and in the end each left with a newly acquired craft.

Student Nature Journal
 A sample nature journal created by a visiting 5th grade student.

Maria was patient, kind, and ever enthusiastic as each individual carefully documented their observations. And, in the end she left us with one final piece of insight; "a creative mind if never bored."

We are incredibly grateful to Maria for the time she spent at IslandWood. If you would like to see more of her amazing expeditionary art, please visit


Sunday, November 4, 2012


Howl-O-Ween at IslandWood has come and gone this year,
Yet photographs and memories will forever remain clear.
No candy is needed in a place such as this covered in lichens and moss,
Where each child's mind becomes the driver ensuring no moment is lost.

Rain or shine the moods of grads would simply not diminish,
Until each child who left IslandWood held smile at the finish.


Through costumes clad these info sharers delved into the woods,
Sharing that energy brought with them from embraced childhoods.

As waves were exchanged from teacher to pupil a final focus remained,
When and where would the dance take place for which so many had trained.

The Great Hall filled with enthusiasm and angst from a most excited crew,
Who ensued upon Winslow's main street pavement to pay MJ his due.

As foot step sounds filled the streets of this wonderful harbor town,
A flash mob of Thriller zombies began their reign over those around.

They moved left and they moved right fully committed to the act,
Yet five minutes later the crowd dispersed never to come back.


And so we bid you adieu until one year from now,
When Halloween returns and another grad class creates that wowful wow.