Wildflowers Along the Trail in your Watercolor Nature Journal

Start Date: Sunday, July 31, 2022
Instructor: Kristin Meuser
Fee: $550.00
Term: Summer 2022

Workshop Description

Each Sierra wildflower has a unique life of its own, and each year's bloom is a surprise. From the tiniest to the showiest flowers, the Lakes Basin area of the Sierra Nevada provides the habitat for huge diversity. You are invited to explore the wonder of wildflowers in your watercolor nature journal during your week at the Sierra Nevada Field Campus.

This workshop begins with an introduction to your compact kit including a description of the tools and their use, color mixing and matching, followed by basic flower anatomy that will help students understand how to sketch and paint flowers in the field.

Four full days of flower discovery, sketching, and painting will be yours as you are guided to peaceful and dramatic locations in the Sierra Buttes and Lakes Basin areas where you will hike 1-3 miles roundtrip each day allowing for plenty of time to sketch, paint and write about the flowers you encounter.

In the mornings Kristin will give a painting demonstration on the trail. The group will return to the Field Campus by mid-afternoon for relaxation by the river or a swim in nearby lakes. In late afternoon or early evening meetings, Kristin will offer slideshows and students will have an opportunity to sketch and paint specific flowers in preparation for the following day's location using Kristin's hands-on exercises. Students of ALL LEVELS are encouraged to join.

watercolor of plants and butterfly
artists in the field make sketches

Instructor Bio

Kristin Meuser

Kristin Meuser has been painting the land in various mediums for over 35 years. Many years ago her love of nature lead her to the Sierra Nevada Field Campus where she studied nature journaling with Jack Laws, watercolor with Andie Thrams and writing with Sarah Rabkin. Her career as a graphic designer gives her journal pages a sense of structured variety and a delightfully cohesive overall effect. She has been teaching watercolor nature journaling for the past 10 years privately and at art and retreat centers in California and Nevada. Over the past two years she has adapted her teaching to 3-hour zoom workshops. Her work is found in private collections; it has been shown regionally; and has been represented by the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite. 

Lori Bellis, biologist, botanist and long-time friend of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus, will be assisting Kristin in this workshop. Her knowledge of the flora of the Lakes Basin will add an abundance of depth to this workshop.

Workshop Details

Workshop Schedule

Workshop Supplies List

The backbone of this workshop is Kristin's compact yet powerful watercolor nature journaling kit. All the tools have been carefully sourced to maximize your individual success as well as to encourage a deep and cohesive collective experience. To that end, the $60 kit is REQUIRED on the first day of the workshop with NO exceptions unless you bring one of Kristin's kits with you from one of her previous workshops

Suggested Reading

  • **Botany in a Day, Thomas J. Elpel, HOPS Press
  • **Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada, John Muir Laws, Heyday Press
  • Laws Guide to Drawing Birds, John Muir Laws, Heyday Press
  • The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, John Muir Laws, Heyday Press
  • Drawing a Tree, Bruno Munari, Edizioni Corraini, Italy
  • Discovering Sierra Trees, Stephen F Arno, Yosemite Natural History Association
  • How to Draw Animals, Jack Hamm, Perigree
  • Drawn to Nature, Clare Walker Leslie, Storey Publishing
  • A Trail Through Leaves: The Journal as a Path to Place, Hannah Hinchman, Norton
  • Local Color, Mimi Robinson, Princeton Architectural Press

    **Highly recommended

Lodging and Camping Supplies

Camping gear if you are staying on campus:

  • tent and sleeping pad (unless you are staying in our tent with a cot provided)
  • warm sleeping bag
  • pillow, toiletries, and towel
  • flashlight and lantern
  • alarm clock

Field gear for everyone:

  • day pack
  • sunscreen
  • insect repellant
  • water bottles
  • plastic containers for packed lunches
  • sense of humor

You might also want to bring:

  • camera
  • binoculars
  • hand lens
  • camp chair


The weather in the Sierra Nevada can vary greatly, even in a single day. Be prepared for chilly temperatures at night, even below freezing early in the summer. Rain is a possibility any time, whether forecast or not. Variable weather clothing that can be layered is best: long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, warm sweater and jacket, t-shirt and shorts or skirt, sturdy shoes or hiking boots, sun hat, rain gear, and a warm hat or gloves for cold weather and/or night activities. And, if you come later in the season, bring your swimsuit for afternoon dips in the lakes!