Saturday, July 31, 2021

Artist Trading Cards

I continue to sketch, but recently I got into 
playing with media & designs on Artists' Trading Cards.

Have a pre-cut 2.5" X 3.5" pile of heavier weight paper handy,
& as the mood strikes, Play!  I've been enjoying
some shimmering watercolor gold paint &
a white Sogno pen along with my usual Daniel Smiths.


Artist Trading Cards are 2.5" by 3.5", 
You never sell them, you trade them, says the originator
of this format/tradition.
They remind me of baseball cards, or,
the  "Funny Valentines" in my childhood that 
we collected & traded.

They fit nicely in my Chic Sparrow mini "Nano" journal cover,
so I can carry them around & give them away as 
I run into people.

I miss communicating with you all here...
I will try to post & read posts more often...

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Daily Sketch Diary: Food & Nutrition

The Daily Page Sketch Diary continues, 
separate from my Daily Master Journal. 
Lately I have a focus on my food & nutrition. 
I eat in smaller quantities than I used to.
 There are some wonderful rewards

I eat less food but I draw it more.
I'm very grateful to be able to eat in a healthy manner.

Wow! This was the stem of a head of lettuce.

My little essay on broccoli & vegetables.
Why are humans more drawn to things like
sugar & alcohol which aren't nutritious than to broccoli? 
I don't have the answer, but I have had to accept it, and to learn 
to work at making healthy, mindful choices. 

How about you? Do you have any healthy practices 
around food & nutrition?

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Illustrated Sketch-Diary: A Series

It's a new series of pages, diary pages with illustration. Lately it's been about material objects here at home in a blank book called Stalogy. 

The paper is like tracing paper, thin, crispy, doesn't take much water, so I've been using my Prismacolors over very light washes of color. 



Monday, June 14, 2021

Dream Come True: Speaking French, France. Dream to Fulfill: Art

 I enjoyed May's series with daily prompts on "Mindfulness" &
Mental Health. All of the prompts were positive & uplifting during 
a month which is always uplifting here: Full springtime! 
I longed to travel during the covid quarantine time. 
I'm still not ready to do it, but there is hope.

Stay tuned for a new sketchbook diary series 
that I began on June 1. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

On Beauty & Fashion

More in the series on Mindfulness...
The prompt was asking us to think about Beauty...
Which got me to thinking about fashion 
& the role it's played in my life. 
The subject of beauty in human beings is complicated.
It's much easier to contemplate beauty in nature & art.
But it's a definite preoccupation. We have our own versions of 
the Greek gods & goddesses...& beauty industries. Wow!

What do you think on this subject?

Sunday, May 9, 2021



The prompt was: 
How are we helpful to other people?
Big topic. I focused on one aspect:
How J and I are "inter-helpful" to one another. 
(or would it be "intra-helpful", it it were even a word?)

I sort of tidied us up here. I think we look older
than in this sketch,
but we often feel younger than we are.
Grateful here.

Good Sunday to you, thanks for stopping by...

Friday, May 7, 2021

Journaling As a Tool for Spiritual Growth

I'm participating in a group journal activity 
during May which is "Mental Health Month.
One prompt per day. 
Above, it was about loving oneself.

This was a response to a question about 
what we learned & experienced during the quarantine year.
Journaling in my paper books became more important 
than ever as a way to nurture my mind & spirit.

Thinking about what we are good at. 
Congratulating ourselves. What I like about writing prompts
is that anything that gets sparked is OK. Tangents
can become major themes. It's about discovery,
& in this case, self-discovery. At any age...

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Le 1er mai. Un brin de muguet

Happy 1st Day of May!
I've missed you. 
I've been posting in my paper journal lately,
 & experimenting with some new materials, 
mostly pens & journal notebooks & covers. 
(Here: Uni-ball Signo, white ink.)
I will try to come visit you on your blogs. 
For now, I'm not able to post comments,
don't know why... 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Journals Dioramas Boxes Handbags & Postcards

I've been away from the blog world for so long. 
Thank you Catherine with a C for your sweet note 
on my previous entry.
Above, an illustrated journal entry 
in the form of a diorama foldable card.

A lot of my writing & art has been in my personal daily journal. 
It serves as a modified bullet journal/organizer. 
It grounds me each day. 
It's a place where I collect & sift through 
my thoughts, feelings & observations.  

Rough & Tumble handbags also help me to organize my life.
I love them as art objects & for their wonderful functionality.
They are designed & made here in Maine, one bag at a time,
though they sell online worldwide.

I've been creating in postcard formats lately.
I copied the Irish blessing from a postcard 
that someone in my art journal group sent me. 
The bottom part, "For Today"
is an excerpt pulled from that day's personal journal page.

In the art group it was my turn to present an activity. 
I taught folded boxes 
& during the week we used our boxes to collect
words, ideas, images & expressions. 
Another form of personal journaling.

I made mine from paste papers that I'd painted 
in some workshops during the last several years. 
I was introduced recently to the white ink Uniball Signo pen
which creates beautiful lines over color. Love it!

So, I've missed you all & over the weekend I look forward
to reading & commenting on your blogs. 
Things are looking more hopeful than in 2020.

Someone reminded me recently,
"Spring is a process, not a moment."
So I can wish you a good Spring before the official 1st day,
with a virtual card.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

For the Love of Penmanship

What do all these images have in common?
I wrote a letter to my 3rd grade teacher to thank her for teaching me cursive.
(It's not one I can really send). But it was a great prompt for journaling/memoirs.
I've been refining my cursive writing with a book, The Art of Cursive Penmanship.

A Test of the Pens in a new Quo Vadis Journal.
Clairfontaine dot grid but on white instead of cream color
like my favorite Rhodia Web Notebooks.


Pages from my Daily Journal

A different sort of art journal. Folio collage in which I'm using up snippets, little drawings
& watercolor washes & designs from my stored stash.

Yes! Handwriting with fountain pens! Love!
PS My favorite source for pens, ink, journals, paper:
Goulet Pens. Variety, customer service, yes,
but also education & inspiration of how to further 
their use & enjoyment.

Do you write/draw with a fountain pen or did you?

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Sketching at the Little Beach

Finally, an outdoor sketch! 
We weren't exactly outdoors, we were eating 
takeout sandwiches in the car,
 overlooking the little beach that is just south of here.
The seagulls are way too big, 
but it was they who dominated my attention. 
Six of them,
hanging out, swimming from pebbled sand, 
then riding tiny waves,
then just floating & bobbing, 
One was often apart from the group, 
but eventually joined the others...

Monday, January 18, 2021

Blue: Folio Book with Pockets & a Pamphlet Booklet


I promised myself & you, blog visitors, that I 
would glue up my painted Blue papers (previous post) 
into a folded folio.

The pages of the little tied up booklet 
have become ink swatches
of 5 favorite fountain pen inks in blue: 
Diamine Polar Glow, Noodler's Midnight, Sailor 940, 
Sailor Yonaga, & Noodler's Blue. 

The sentence in the lower right middle, on vellum says,
"Blue, réconforte-moi." Translated: "Blue, comfort me..."

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Gift Giving & Receiving

I've been creating postcards, folios & little booklets
to give as gifts. 
I also enjoyed receiving a few gifts this season
like this fine pottery vessel made by Maine potter,
Mark Bell.
The blues are so dreamy.
They inspired some watercolor painting...
These are now elements ready to glue into
another folio/envelope/pocket accordion booklet.
Stand by for the finished product...

I'm feeling renewed & hopeful in this new year
while also weary of the virus restrictions.
I know that restoration & healing will take time.
In the meantime: There is Art.

I hope that you out there, Dear Visitors, are 
safe, content & hopeful too.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Retrospective of Blog Posts: 2020

Looking back through my blog posts in 2020. 
The year was defined by the pandemic.
I am guessing 2021 will not be drastically different with 
attention & activities close to home. 
I like the way my art practice has been evolving 
with fewer distractions.
At the same time, I miss exploring the world out there...
And I am saddened by the illness & death
& do not take my own health for granted.

Jan. 2020. The last time I sketched in a café, before shutdown. 

In Jan. I kept a thumbnail visual journal.

Valentine's Day, 2020. 
A friend & I sketched flowers that I'd received. 
Before the quarantining began.

March 4. Last trip to Boston. 
I unconsciously knew that this would be the last time for awhile.
I didn't know just how long it would be though.

March 15. Life changed.  
The arrival of Covid, restrictions & fear.
 I drew grocery store maps for practical reasons: 
to get in & out fast.

The colors & cloth inspired me...

So I got out my sewing machine, organized a sewing center
 & learned more about stitching & working with cloth.

April. I enjoyed working on Pocket/Envelope folios & books,
inspired by Robinsunne & Amy from the 
Library Art Journal Group. 
I'm still enjoying making them.

The group started meeting on Zoom. 
I'm grateful that we've been able to continue. 
A creative spark during what can sometimes be a bleak time.

In May I started going again 
on outdoor excursions with the Sketchers.
 Camden Library park.
We don't meet now that cold weather has set in.

May:  I started watching online Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. 
I enjoyed learning more about this art form.
The sets, costumes & pageantry are stunning!
They have the same appeal as fairy tales did in my childhood.
Above: Cinderella.

July: Weeklong Experimental Sketchbook 
University class via Zoom. 
I enjoyed pushing my drawing to to some new places 
The Zoom grid became a prevalent motif.

August: Short, local car rides became 
as exciting as former longer trips had been.

September. Sketching with Sketchers 
& on my own in local gardens. 
Pockets of bliss.

September: With Sketchers at the local historic cemetary. Sunlight, autumn colors
& shadows were stunning that day. 

Sketchers went to the Rail Trail, just a few miles out of town.
There is a "sancutary" with a picnic table off the trail
overlooking the river. Safely away from other walkers. 

October. I learned a lot more about journaling including 
organizational aspects in the Dot or Bullet Journaling mode. 
Above: Food & Fitness Journal, Daily Journal, 
Music & Dance Journals. 

Today: I focus on my private journals,
experimenting & exploring, 

Looking back, what do I miss the most? 
Wandering out in the world with my sketchbook.