Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Pajama Patterns

These pajamas aren't going to last forever, and I'll miss this pattern when they're gone!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Saturday, May 30, 2020


Walnut Ink on Canvas Paper

You can get some lovely spatters with a folded pen if you use textured paper, press hard, and write fast.  I took a sheet of canvas paper and played around last week, but more practice is definitely required. 

Friday, May 29, 2020


Gelatos and Stabilo Pencil on Canvas Paper
I got inspired by Paivi Eerola to do some watercolors, but as often happens when I try to imitate another artist, they didn't work out.  (Why do I do that?).  So, in a fit of fingerpainting, out came the gelatos and I had fun again.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Wot....No Art?

Watercolor and Uniball Pen
Strathmore Sketchbook

When I'm too lazy to blog, my friend Janice sends me an email with the subject "Wot....No Art?"  So this one is for her.

She posted a picture of a bouquet of flowers she received for Mother's Day, and briefly contemplated painting them, but she thought that she couldn't do them justice.  I suggested that an essence of the bouquet was just fine, but she didn't take me up on the challenge.  

I did this page soon after she posted the bouquet, enjoying the pun of this phrase we hear frequently with the idea of a bunch of flowers crowded in a vase.  I wasn't going to post this sketchbook page at all, primarily because of the wrinkled paper, but it seems fitting after receiving her email.  There's always art, if you #doitfortheprocess.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


Watersoluble Graphite, Strathmore Sketchbook

Continuing on with value studies, I sketched the "view of the day" from MapCrunch.  "MapCrunch teleports you to a random place in the world."  It uses Google Streetview.  It's a fun option for sketching street scenes when you don't want to leave the house. 

Watersoluble Graphite, Strathmore Sketchbook

Monday, May 18, 2020

Same Subject, Two More Approaches

Watercolor, Stillman & Birn Alpha Sketchbook
The first approach is a quick direct to watercolor sketch.  Tulips never fail to inspire me.

The second approach started as a value study, inspired by a talented urban sketcher, Paul Wang, but then I couldn't resist adding some color.  The paper is all wrinkled but it makes a lovely sound when I turn the page!

Watersoluble Graphite, Strathmore Sketchbook

Friday, May 15, 2020


Poster Paint, 11" x 14" Strathmore Sketch 

Yes, believe it or not, there is a hashtag for the Dr. Bonnie Henry fan club.  This makes me an official member.

Dr. Henry is the Provincial Health Officer here in British Columbia.  She has made us all proud during this pandemic, with her calm, empathetic, and clear daily press conferences.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Breakfast Time

Watercolour, 8 1/2" x 5 1/2" Stillman and Birn Alpha Journal

I painted just part of the #stillherestilllife challenge last week, using my tablet to zoom in on my choice of composition.  I was inspired by the shadows on the wall.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Reminded of My Favorite Way to Gelli Print

One of the best gelli print teachers, Birgit Koopsen, posted on Instagram about her play day with a 5" x 7" plate, used as a stamp.  I don't have the 5" x 7" plate, but I have the 3" x 5", and she inspired me to play for a couple of days.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Still Here Still Life Challenge

Ink and Watercolor in Stillman & Birn Alpha Journal
Just in time to quench my thirst, I found a still life drawing challenge on Instagram:  #stillherestilllife.  Each week they post a new photo or painting of a still life and invite us to do our own interpretation.  The inspiration looks really good so far, so I've jumped in.

I should start my own hashtag:  #farfromperfectbutsomuchfun

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

That's a Lot of Vases!

Collage and Ink in 16 Page Journal

Watercolor and Ink in 16 Page Journal

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Painting with Gelatos

Gelatos in Sixteen Page Journal
The tulips are never far away at this time of year.

Monday, May 4, 2020


Ink, Watercolor and Collage in 16 page journal

I've developed a bit of a thing for still life lately.  It started with vases.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Buried Treasure

Buried in my file of gelli prints I found an alcohol ink piece adorned with stamping.  With some judicious trimming, I have another card! 

Saturday, May 2, 2020


This is another card made from a gelli print.  I used a stamp by PSX to make the bamboo impression in the paint.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Gelli Print Cards

I made a few more cards from gelli prints recently.  Here are two that came from the same print.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Filling Up the Card Box

Hero Arts Stamp on Gelli Print

These will each receive an appropriate greeting before mailing.  I'm good to go for awhile!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020


Imagination:  Learn to take breaks from the world.
20/20 Visionaries Oracle Card
Hero Arts stamp on Gelli Print

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Tulip Season

Watercolor on Fabriano WC Paper

Tulip season has definitely arrived.  I started these paintings wet on wet and then added additional layers when completely dry.  Fun fun fun!

Watercolor on Stonehenge 100% Cotton Paper

Monday, April 20, 2020

Grape Hyacinths

Watercolour on 100% Cotton Paper

Often the flowers that thrill me the most are the volunteers that spring up unbidden - sometimes in the lawn rather than the garden.

Years ago I planted some grape hyacinths in our front garden, but these days they spring up anywhere they like.  I love their wild abandon!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Rejoicing While Waiting

Watercolor in mixed media journal

Today is a day when Christians wait, the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  Imagine how those first disciples felt - their saviour had been crucified and their faith was being tested while they waited for something to happen.  They didn't know exactly what to expect would happen next.  It was a time of great uncertainty.

The "Covid-times" are a lot like that for me - waiting for something new to happen.  I'm not sure exactly what I'm waiting for, just for better times ahead, I guess.

And so, in this waiting time, I continue to do the only thing I can, put one foot in front of the next and practice the lessons that my faith teaches me - to worry only about today and to rejoice in today.

When I look at this watercolor attempt I'm tempted to fill this space with "should haves".  I should have used better paper, for sure.  But learning and practicing the skill of painting is a lot like life - we always get another chance tomorrow.

This is the day that the Lord has made - let us rejoice and be glad in it! - Psalm 118:24


Thursday, April 9, 2020

Toto the Toilet

Graphite and Watercolor on Gesso
Calligraphy - Pointed Pen and Walnut Ink

Meet Toto, my new toilet.  I've learned more about toilets in the last week than I care to, but at least I've not been so preoccupied with the pandemic!  We didn't have our pick of toilets - our house is so old that my tub and sink are almond/beige.  It's a little hard to find toilets in that color, apparently. 

And yes, I will draw anything, including mops and toilets.  Whatever I'm thinking about!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Silver Linings

Watercolor on Gesso
Calligraphy - Walnut Ink with Pointed Pen

During these difficult times, I find it useful to look for the silver linings that are found in every cloud.  I belong to an ethnic United Church in my neighbourhood; our English congregation is quite small.  Larger churches are recording their services and broadcasting the videos.  We are small enough to meet on Zoom and the participation and interaction is so much better than just passively watching a video.

"Was I deceived? or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?" 
- John Milton, Comus, 1634

Monday, April 6, 2020

Midnight Mopping

I woke last week to the sound of running water.  It seemed unusual for midnight, so I got out of bed.  My bathroom was flooded and the toilet was spewing water.  Apparently toilet tanks don't last forever - the water was coming from a large crack down the side.

I quickly turned off the water, ran down to the basement for a bucket and mop and returned for 45 minutes of clean-up.  The mop broke in the middle, adding to the excitement.  (How my husband remained asleep through all the swearing I'll never know).

The living room below the bathroom did not escape unscathed, unfortunately, but it could have been much worse had I not woken up when I did.

Stay tuned for the next chapter - we'll find out if I can get a new toilet installed in the middle of a pandemic!  (At least I have something else to think about now).

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Stencil with Inktense Blocks

Mostly people use acrylic paint with stencils.  Acrylic paint is not my favorite medium - it is too messy for my liking.  I love the look of the mixed media layers, though, and I have recently found that you can do the same thing with Inktense Blocks.

When I say "the same thing", you must appreciate that one of the appeals of acrylic paint for mixed media techniques like stenciling is that acrylic paint dries permanent.  When you apply another wet layer over top, the paint does not reactivate.  (Contrast that with watercolors, for example).  Inktense pencils or blocks are also permanent once dry.

Here I used punchinella, or sequin waste, as a stencil to put the yellow dots on the page.  I applied it with a damp cosmetic sponge, which I stroked over the block to pick up the pigment.  When this layer was dry I drew and painted over top.

Fun, fun, fun!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Inspired by a Walk

Spring is my favorite time of year - new flowers are blooming every day!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Calligraphy Practice becomes Bookmarks

Pointed Pen, Watercolor Ink

I was trying out some calligraphy options for my journal the other day.  I wrote on strips of mixed media paper left over from making journals.

Pointed Pen, Watercolor Ink, Pencil Crayon, Gel Pen
Watercolor ink worked well for the lettering and for the added color in the counter-spaces the best option is gel pen or a very sharp pencil crayon.

Monday, March 30, 2020

La Rochelle

I'm back in the Loire Valley today, sketching from photos we took in 2005.  

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Tulips Everywhere!

The #floraldrawingchallenge is a wrap, but I kept going for one more day.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Adding Little Flowers

"If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness" - Therese of Lisieux

In this lesson of the #floraldrawingchallenge, Katrina suggested we add some small flowers or foliage to our designs.  I like it!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Go Big or Go Home!

Katrina from Blushed Design says it is easier if you draw big.  I'm not sure, this one kind of got away from me LOL.  This is in my 14" x 17" sketchbook.  

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Beauty and Kindness are All Around Us

Spring is coming to the Northern Hemisphere in all its glorious beauty, ignoring the crazy times we find ourselves living in.  This reminds me that this too shall pass!

In the meantime, there are lots of generous artists on social media sharing their tips and talent.  I drew this for the #floraldrawingchallenge on Instagram.

Stay calm and draw on!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020



 Write Your Own Story

20/20 Visionaries Oracle Card

Monday, March 16, 2020


 Be kind to yourself; create your own balance.

20/20 Visionaries Oracle Card
Collage on Gelli Print Background

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Modifying Teesha Moore's Amazing 16 Page Journal

I've made further modications to Teesha Moore's Amazing 16 Page Journal so that it fits into my Traveler's Notebook.  These ones feature:
  • a single signature made from three folios
  • the whole signature is the same as Teesha Moore's book - i.e. her cover is also a folio in my latest version
  • 3 sheets of 14" x 17" paper made the signatures for these 2 books
  • the signature is made from my favorite Deserres mixed media paper
  • covers made from gelli prints and other acrylic play
  • five hole pamphlet stitch

I love the flaps and foldouts but now I have my favorite paper too!  

Monday, March 9, 2020


 Do not be afraid to stand out in the crowd.

20/20 Visionaries Oracle Card
Collage on Alcohol Ink Background

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Spring in the Sixteen Page Journal

The only thing I don't like about the book we made at the calligraphy society meeting is the paper.  I had to gesso the pages to stop wet media from bleeding through the paper.

As long as I was applying gesso, I decided to turn it into a mixed media journal.  You can see I've added some tissue paper sewing pattern for fun.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Another House for the Village

This is another handcarved stamp; it's a little taller than the others at 4 inches.

I'm really enjoying my new journal - a slight modification to the amazing 16 page journal by Tisha Moore.  We made it at the Westcoast Calligraphy Society meeting and it has pages of different sizes.  This page is 4 1/2" wide.  I just love flipping through it and opening and closing the flaps!  (I'm easily amused.)