Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Meet the Correspondents--Maria Hodkins

There is nothing closer to pure ecstasy than losing myself in the natural world with my sketch journal and a bag full of sketching tools. Nature continues to be my best teacher in nurturing my sense of wonder in this life. Always intriguing, always beautiful, always mysterious, I am never tired or bored of exploring it, seeing and sketching the world around me. I have been a writer all my life, and dabbled in art on the side, mostly oils and acryllics. About 20 years ago I let watercolor take hold of my hand, and loved its translucent, soft qualities for capturing nature. I am a lover of trees, and am devoted to capturing the essence of many trees that I meet, and I have sketches hanging on my walls of all my tree friends over the years. Birds, too, captivate me, and I love to try to capture their sweet, winsome ways on the page before they flit away.

I live in a beautiful river valley at the foot of the West Elk Mountains in western Colorado, and consider myself so fortunate to have such exquisite landscapes in my daily view. Just yesterday a herd of 16 mule deer were grazing just outside of my yard at sunset, and red-winged blackbirds trill from a slough just across the road. I was a naturalist for Colorado State Parks for 3 years, and taught visitor programs on moose, elk, and black bear, as well as guiding wildflower walks, so the mountains feel like home to me--but I also love the seashore, and have spent a good deal of time in Florida. I would rather be anywhere where plants are growing, birds chirping, and I can wander aimlessly, than in an urban setting. I have always kept journals, but was inspired about 8 years ago to put the sketches, the writing, and the nature studies together and have kept nature journals ever since. I now teach classes and workshops all over Colorado in visual journaling and bookbinding. You can see my website at

Thanks to Kate, my annual sketching buddy, for creating this forum for all of us celebrating nature in her infinite forms.


  1. Glad to have you with us, Maria! Your killdeer is perfect, I saw one here by our accountant's, doing her "follow me" thing!

    I love Colorado, as you know, and the Rocky Mountain ecosystem is going to be interesting to see here...

  2. Nice to meet you Maria. I love your work and yes you have a wonderful place to live. I spend time in the LaGarita Mountain Range and others drawing and painting. Up around South Fork and over at Westfield. Looking forward to your input. I'll look for you on flickr.

  3. Lovely work - and I can hardly wait to see what you bring us from Colorado!


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