Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: A Life In Hand: Creating the Illuminated Journal
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on March 22, 1999
When I bought the first edition of this book several years ago, I went back and bought 6 more copies which I gave to my closest friends. Each felt as I did, that this was a profound book that stimulated creative journal keeping for inner and outer experiences to sharpen every day. I'd long looked for someone who could guide my urges to write and to draw, to stimulate me to put my observations out where I could really grasp them. Hinchman showed me the way with writing and memory exercises which I actually did and enjoyed, basic art technique, encouragement, and the idea that my scribbles and jottings could become a treasured personal record.
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on January 4, 1997
This book has created a nationwide interest in illustrated journal-keeping. It's a friendly, exquisitely illustrated volume from someone who is obviously nature-connected and literate to boot. If you like maps, natural history illustration, or if you are one of those who have always wanted to draw, but don't believe you can....this is the book for you
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Sky a relaxed blue. Snow shadows have more violet than sky does. At the unfocussed edge of the shadow, an orange penumbra. ~February 1989

A Life in Hand is a book set designed to encourage your creativity. Both books have beautiful covers and the second book is filled with blank pages.

Hannah Hinchman lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where she works as a freelance artist, illustrator, graphic designer, calligrapher, writer and teacher. Her work has appeared in Sisters of the Earth and in Sierra magazine. She now teaches field journal workshops for the Yellowstone Institute. All the drawings in the instruction booklet were taken from Hannah's journals. The last section of this book is filled with Watercolor art and Hannah's calligraphy.

Hannah encourages everyone to begin a journal, no matter what your age or life experience. She explores the magic of journal keeping and brings a new perspective to letter writing. She enjoys word play and stream-of-consciousness writing.

If you want to start a journal, this book set may inspire you and give you ideas for illustrating your observations about life.

~The Rebecca Review
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VINE VOICEon January 16, 2006
I've read and am reading several books on journal writing, having decided to take on that task in earnest. Often these books are heavily into a kind of exploratory self-analysis of the psychological sort as an aid to figuring out one's personal issues. They can also be lengthy and involved.

But Hannah Hinchman's book is readable, delightfully brief and nicely illustrated with her art work. It covers the field sufficiently but not exhaustively, and provides enough examples from accomplished journalists to give the newcomer models he or she needs to get going in the right direction. And there is constant helpful and practical advice. I find myself going back to it over and over again to remind myself of the fine points of her wise guidance.

If you're new or fairly new to the journal-writing endeavor, I highly recommend this book.
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on March 24, 2005
I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with Hannah in Grand Teton NP, and her love for capturing the beauty of nature is evident in her journals. Illuminating her pages with detailed sketches, her skill at calligraphy and her love of writing will delight other journal keepers and nature lovers. Would have been nice to have had it all in color, but a good read for sketchbook & journalists.
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on January 23, 2013
Hannah Hinchman gives concrete ideas and instructions as you would expect in a how-to book. But, she goes beyond the step-by-step hand-holding, sharing private moments captured in lively sketches and glowing paintings, and deeply felt observations of life and the process of writing and journaling. She takes her process and the medium seriously, but keeps a sense of playfulness. Overall, the book is a rich invitation to dive into self-discovery, creative expression and nature observation through nature journaling.
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on May 3, 2004
This book is simple introduction to visual diary-keeping and will be enjoyed by people looking for a short, unintimidating, introduction to this topic.
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VINE VOICEon December 29, 2009
If you miss illusrations in books, whats a better way to go through the sketches and while you are at it learn a few things like contour drawings and gesture drawings. These workouts will get out the shy artist in you who has always wanted to draw but did not know how. Sort of like screaming to hear your own voice.
Exercises like field observation, memory walking,meditative sketching, capture the day, listing will surprise and satisfy you with their outcomes.
Examining negative space, varying psychic distance are other promising ways of entering the world of sketching .
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on April 11, 2014
One of the first authors to develope a journal/sketchbook and decided to own such a classic. Read it and enjoyed the authors clarity and skill with her art. Inspiring. Have more recently enjoyed newer journal type authors,but Hinchman was one of the first.
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on December 15, 2012
This book has been a staple on my shelves and in my classes "How to Write Your Book" and "How to Publish Your Book" in Omaha for years. There is simply no better book to help you get what's in your head out and onto the paper in front of you. I first purchased this book in 1990 in paper, and have worn the pages out. Now that I have downloaded it on my Kindle and my phone, I still use it for inspiration, and to inspire my students.
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