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Recommended Reading

Artist and naturalist Hannah Hinchman combines focused and lyrical observation with exquisite illustrations...don't miss her work! One of the most important to me was "A Life in Hand; Creating an Illuminated Journal," but there was no picture with Amazon's listing...



I am delighted to say that Burroughs Award winning author and artist Ann Zwinger has been my mentor for many years. It was all but impossible to settle on a single book to recommend...




Edward Abbey is the Grand Old Curmudgeon of nature writing --one of my all time favorites.









“A lifelong interest in the outdoors, in walking, drawing, making notes, playing with tadpoles and bugs made me long to be a naturalist when I grew up -- assuming that growing up will ever happen! Reading books by Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, John Burroughs, Sally Carrighar, Henry Beston, Ann Zwinger, Ed Abbey and many others only firmed my nebulous childhood dreams into a career choice. I have been blessed to spend these years wandering the outdoors, writing books and articles, making field sketches and paintings of what I found in nature. It is the best of both worlds -- doing what you love and earning a living from it.”


Johnson has written nine books and countless articles on natural history, and a number of others that combined art and nature, such as The Sierra Club Guide to Sketching in Nature, The Sierra Club Guide to Painting in Nature, Painting Nature’s Details in Watercolor, and Drawing and Painting from Nature.

Her natural history books were On Becoming Lost; A Naturalist’s Search for Meaning, The Local Wilderness, The Nocturnal Naturalist, The Naturalist’s Path, and The Wild Foods Cookbook. Her writings have been included in many nature anthologies as well.

The cabin she built in the woods as a base camp from which to work was featured in her book, The Naturalist’s Cabin; Constructing a Dream, and in a number of magazine articles, including Country Living, Harrowsmith Country Life, and the Missouri Conservationist.

The land that surrounds the tiny cabin provided many hours of rambling, sketching and taking notes that eventually became One Square Mile; An Artist’s Journal of the American Heartland.

Johnson has taught independent painting and field sketching workshops coast to coast and given workshops on field sketching and painting for the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary in Liberty, Missouri. She has designed trail signs for both those organizations, and is currently at work on a large commissioned portrait of their founder for the Nature Sanctuary.

Field sketch of Equisetum or horsetail, pencil, from The Naturalist's Path; Beginning The Study of Nature.

Click on below art for enlargements.



“Full Summer,” Sierra Club Books, watercolor wild flowers found along a Missouri road side.

Green heron pen and ink appeared in one of Johnson's nature books on her jewelry.


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