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.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Energy Confined: Two Stages

Energy Confined: 
Gallery View
Stage 1
Energy Designed & Confined: 
Stage 2

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Sheltering In and A Note to "Desired Grace"

Sheltering in...Some days I go inward more than others...
It's OK from time to time to be a hermit, 
it revitalizes me. 
But one also needs a balance, of getting out, being with people. 
But those things are out of reach at the moment.
Between wearing a mask that makes breathing hard,
& worrying that people are coming too close,
it's easier to just stay in. Or to walk close to home where there are few passersby.

Small things, like making coffee in the morning,
take on greater importance these days.

In my daily journal I note small occurences,
(of which there are many) 
as well as broader reflections. 
Big events? There are few, if any.

I doodle & dabble here at home.

I spend time organizing papers, notes & drawings.
I've made great progress, 
but some times it doesn't feel as if I have. 

Penmanship practice soothes me. Pen & watercolor...

I'm often content & grateful. But lately I am missing the freedom to move about & to explore the world in the way that I did before....

A note to a nice young lady whose blog is Desired Grace:Thank you for asking my permission to use some of my sketches. I must say no, please don't use them in any way, but it was gracious of you to ask. They are my own personal responses to my world, & I encourage you to experiment & to find your own responses & images. 

PS The spacing wouldn't work the way it used to. Has anyone had this problem on the new platform?

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Journaling Practice: Organizing

I've been absorbed in my journaling practice...
I taught a little Zoom workshop with a focus on 
organizational forms of journaling:
Planner/calendar meets Sketchbook Diary
The prep work got me to develop my own practice far deeper
than ever before.
Some of my current active notebooks:
• Daily Journal (Master Journal)
• French & Polish Study 
• Music & Dance 
• Food & Fitness
• Weekly Creative Journaling Group
• Art Learning/Noting
• Journal About Making Journals 
• Creative Projects Journal

My three most actively used notebook journals.

Perhaps journaling wouldn't be such an active part of my life
if I weren't sheltering in most of the time. 

With the influence of many online journalers my layouts
are more conscious now. There is consistency with variety
from day to day.
The colors & color codes are not only fun, 
but they help me to be able to easily refer back.

A before picture. 
This started out to be a Books, Music & Films
notebook. Eeek! what chaos.
Soon I'll begin the work 
of organizing this into a neat little notebook.

In the meantime I've been organizing my old art work.
I found some plastic sheet protectors with 2" X 2" slots 
for old fashioned slides at a yard sale. 
I've been filling the little pockets
with all these snippet cutouts 
that I'd thrown willy nilly into a box.

What's cool is that now that I know where to find them,
I'm actually using them in some of my current creating!!

All this journal writing & organizing 
would not be as much of a pleasure
if I didn't love to handwrite with fountain pens
on beautifully smooth paper...
And if I didn't love using my art materials, 
especially the watercors & colored pencils.
So, my Sketchbook Wandering takes place more within
the confines of my home these days
than out of doors.