washi tape

Depression, journaling and the power of the weekly blank canvas in my journal.

My week was varied with encouraging highs and depressing lows. But the weekly canvas in my journal helped me pull it all together, see the big picture and look forward. This is how I find meaning in life. I tend to record the events and experiences of my day in a small notebook that I carry with me everywhere. Then on weekends I sit at my desk and create a journal spread around my week. 

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Why do I sketch?

I fill about a sketchbook a month these days. When I am done they go on a shelf in my studio and I look back on them often. My children look through them and I show them off to friends and other curious people. This number doesn't include the "extra" books I keep around. Why do I do it? Why do I use precious paper and other materials for plenty of less than perfect pages? Because if I don't I grow stagnant and miserable. Because the process is how I grow as an artist and as a person. Because my sketchbooks are important. I admire other artists that keep active, consistent yet varied and adventurous sketchbooks. It is a tricky balance for sure to develop and maintain a style while continuing to push yourself as an artist and experiment. As I try to break out of my sketchbooks a bit more and feel comfortable doing pieces for the public rather than for myself I know that making time for my sketchbooks is something that needs to come first in my art life. No matter where I am at in life I will always sketch.

The first page of every sketchbook starts something like this. Thank you  Liz Steel  for helping me get over first page jitters.

The first page of every sketchbook starts something like this. Thank you Liz Steel for helping me get over first page jitters.

Arty Gifts!

One of little girl's Montessori teachers is an artist and a sketcher and she told me at end of year picnic that she is trying to form a sketching habit and showed me her Moleskine. I recommended the Visual Journals for affordable quality mixed-media paper that can stand up to paint and ink. Then I surprised her by giving her my tiny Altoid watercolor travel kit (the one with the bikes was a bonus since I know she's into biking). She didn't want to take it but I wanted to give her a gift that she would love and I knew I had another waiting for me drying at home. Another mother suggested that I start selling them and maybe I will put a couple in my shop, but mostly I want to start making them as gifts for art loving friends. Here's to a great Friday and a great weekend! Surprise somebody with a small gift if you get the chance and feel inclined. 

Tiny travel paint kits make great gifts.

Tiny travel paint kits make great gifts.