In childhood I eagerly looked forward to new discoveries each day: leaf shapes new to me, Nancy Drew’s latest escapade, robin eggs hatching (nestled in a bush right beside my front porch). I enthusiastically enjoyed family drives in the country, wading in creeks, and the soft spray misting from spring waterfalls. Visiting my welcoming grandparents, I delighted in acorns, blue skies, and insights gleaned while resting under a sheltering oak tree. Cradled in the West Virginia hills and her many rivers, creeks, and step-pools, I was filled with anticipation for life’s daily adventure and nature’s patient instruction.
My enthusiasm grew even stronger in young adulthood with weekend explorations in the California mountains along the Pacific coast north of San Francisco. Then living in Marin County and venturing along Highway 1 on my puttering two-stroke motorcycle, I made frequent stops and detours to appreciate the impressive landscapes and shoreline. I felt vibrantly alive during those adventures.
My ensuing lifelong fascination with landforms and the processes that formed them eventually led me back to college after raising my children. I studied geomorpholgy, forest watersheds, and art.
Now, as then, I anticipate each day eager to feel the sun warm my skin, the wind tousle my hair, or the falling rain splash my upturned smiling face. The outdoors is my touchstone and muse which launched not only my career in mapmaking but also my modest efforts at artmaking. I return from many adventures with an inspirational keepsake; a photograph, a sketch, a leaf, joy.
There is within me a rare convergence of logical thinking, intuitive feeling, and artful action. The thinker in me deep dives into a fascination with landforms and the processes that form them. The artist in me is consumed by color, composition, and artistic discovery. And the feeler in me intuits the story of our evolving individuality. At their convergence is my passion for natural environments, storytelling with pictures, and understanding the plight of the evolving individual. Hence the creation of JillsNotebook.com with its pictures that tell a story of nature at a given place and time and its blog posts on life and living.
My happy place is anywhere I can be inspired by nature. But I also love my home study-studio where I can indulge in reading, reflecting, and creating, and also think where I might like to explore next.