The concentration and stillness
that it takes to draw or paint out of doors
gives nature time to unfold
and reveal itself,
time for the shrew to pop out of the leaf litter
beside you and dart back in,
time for the wren to call, the hawk to soar,
and the butterfly to alight
to feed from the flower you draw.

Aleta's journal accounts develop as the drawing or painting is done. She pauses now and then to jot down a word or phrase, to use later in composing the text which frames the finished drawing - so the story becomes complete in word as well as picture.

Aleta's books (Canadian Nature Notebook (1979), Wild Seasons Daybook (1985), North Moresby Wilderness (1990) and A Place to Walk (1995) have been drawn from her illustrated natural history journals.

Since 1995 she has been teaching her method of combining drawings, watercolours, and lettering, on archival-quality materials to make a permanent record of a place and time.

In 2004 Aleta and her husband Dr. Frederick W. Schueler designed and launched theNatureJournal an archival system of record keeping to be used by naturalists, hikers, gardeners, and other journalists of all ages.

[journalling in the desert]

contact Aleta Karstad

The Nature Journals of

Aleta Karstad

[Tobermory Bog]


selected pages, early journals

recent journal pages


Drifted Series
of watercolors


oil paintings

see also NEW!! theNatureJournal kit


home at

about us

Fragile Inheritance

Bishops Mills Natural History Centre