Saturday, February 28, 2009


I just got a new book called "An Illustrated Life" by Danny Gregory which I highly recommend for anyone interested in sketching/journaling. It is a peek into the sketchbooks and visual journals of a variety of artists, illustrators, and designers, along with a quick description by each artist of their working methods and materials.

I think I have always assumed that keeping an artist's journal was a talent that you either had or you didn't--and I fell into the later category. I never felt that my sketches were accomplished enough, and I couldn't get down on the page what I wanted fast enough. And what if I made a mistake? The whole book was ruined!

The "duh" moment for me in reading this book was realizing that keeping a visual journal is an ongoing learning process and there are no mistakes or rules. You don't have to get it right the first time, you can go back and fix and change and rework. It doesn't have to be perfect sketches of cathedrals and watercolor landscapes--it can be an illustrated grocery list. There are no rules!

While this may seem obvious to some people, it was a liberating realization for me. I hope my
daily entries going forward reflect this inspiration.

Friday, February 27, 2009


I've been out of town for a few days enjoying some sun and color in Captiva, FL. I didn't attempt to post sketches each day--but I did do them! Here are a few selections......

Saturday, February 21, 2009

spoonful of sugar

I've been saving some pretty little orange and yellow peppers to do a sketch. I thought today would be the day, got them arranged in a lovely still life, and did some really boring sketches. Luckily, I got distracted by the pot full of wooden spoons and the sugar jar on the counter instead.

Friday, February 20, 2009

dumpster diving

Making art from "what is front of me" was put to the test today. I was 15 minutes early to a class and had a sketchbook in the car. Such a perfect opportunity--except that I was parked in the most boring location you can imagine. In front of me a tall fence. Next to me a nondescript tan building, a beat up mini-van and an old-school town car (some potential there, but I could only see the tail lights) a basketball hoop and the dumpster. And as it was 7 degrees outside, plein air sketching was not an option. So, when life gives you dumpsters........

Thursday, February 19, 2009

february orchids

Today is a reminder of a Minnesota winter truism- the days that look the nicest, aren't! After a nice little warm up we are back in the single digits. But the sun is shining beautifully into the kitchen and lighting up the orchid plant sitting on top of a brightly embroidered table runner. A treat for winter weary eyes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

tea and toast

A sketch from the breakfast table--and a potential painting. Check back tomorrow....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

red, white and blue

Not the belated President's Day tribute it sounds like, but rather a sketch of my Valentine's Day. A bouquet of beautiful white tulips (thanks, Josh) , a cupcake with a red heart on top (thanks, Syd), and a jar of Kirstin's delicious blueberry sauce. All sketched on the bag from the bakery where we started the day in search of the best croissants in the Twin Cities. I would have added one of them to the sketch, but we ate them ALL! The only minor flaw in the experience was getting there too late to sample the almond(my favorite) and coconut(which has the potential to unseat the current favorite) varieties. Now we know to start earlier the next time.

Monday, February 16, 2009

kicking and screaming

I'm not on Facebook (mainly from fear that my children would not befriend me, given the choice), don't twitter, barely text, and can't take a decent photo. And I realize that having a blog in 2009 is not exactly the cutting edge of technological savvy, but it's time. For a lot of reasons. Since we don't really know each other all that well yet, I'll just share this one.

I would like to use this blog as a sketchbook/art journal to help keep me honest in the "do art daily" realm. I have enjoyed following other artist's daily painting and sketching blogs (I'll share some favorites later, when I learn how to do that!). Yet, despite my best intentions, I generally only sketch when I take a trip. And then I become frustrated with my results because I don't practice. So, with cyberspace as my witness, I'm going to practice and (oh, lucky you!) share the results.

Here I go, kicking and screaming (and just a bit late to the party) into the blogosphere.