This, that, and the other

What a fun guy Mark Lipinski is! I had a great time being a guest on his radio talk show this past Wednesday. If you missed the show you can catch it here. The whole show revolved around finding time to be creative-right up my alley:-)

On the note of finding time to be creative, I’m still sketching every day in my journal. I’ve also been seeing a lot more sketches on Facebook lately which is really fun! It’s a great exercise even if your first love is painting or some other art form. Sketching requires only simple tools and can be done anywhere and best of all there is no drying time! I filled my 8×10 Moleskine journal and I’ve moved into a 9×12 Strathmore Visual Journal-100lb drawing paper. Strathmore has been so nice to provide me with plenty of journals to work in. I really love working in a larger format. The paper is so nice too!

This sketch I started last night in bed, but fell asleep before I finished. I’m going to work on it in a bit. I’ve been trying to leave my blending stump alone and just use the pencils. This is just the first layer of 2H lead. Working with pencil is much different from Conte Crayon, but I really enjoy working with these simple mediums. It’s a great break from the onslaught of paint, paper and more in my studio. I also use these sketches in multiple ways by scanning them and using them in other projects. Gotta make the most of our art!

If you haven’t signed up for my free online workshop with Strathmore Artist Papers, there’s still time. We have over 13,000 participants in this event! So much fun and they are a chatty group, so click the image above if you want to find out more.

On a bit of a down note I’ll finish up this post. I tried the Sharpie Liquid Pencils and as much as I tried to like them ( I so love the idea of them!) I really can’t recommend them. I bought four of them  and all but one really skipped and didn’t lay down smoothly at all. The one feature that I’d read about them that most motivated me to buy them was that they became ‘permanent’ after 24 hours. Well the word ‘permanent’ was used loosely. They don’t, they just don’t erase as well after 24 hours. They didn’t work well in my Moleskine journal and as you can see up above, they ‘erased’ when I went over the writing in her hair with water soluble graphite. I was disappointed in them and actually so was my 9 year old who brought his back to me and said he’d rather use a regular pencil. So there you have my opinion, if you have had luck with them I’d love to hear about it! Let’s see what you all think and maybe we can find a good use for this new product!

Preparations for Paris

I’m just back from a trip to see my family and now with only two days left to pack for Paris, my house is a flurry of activity. Laundry is being done, mail being stopped, emails being answered, arrangements to have our pets looked after, packing, packing and packing.

I was so excited to be able to share my book with my family and I’ll be packing that as well for the workshop attendees to get a first peek at it!

All of these exciting things have been put into a new perspective by the events of the past couple of weeks and as exciting as they are, the anticipation of Christmas, the trip of a lifetime, the unveiling of a book two years in the making, I realize the truly important blessing is simply being healthy. Something that is easily taken for granted.

So my wish for you this Christmas, family and friends, is for good health in the New Year. It will be the prayer uttered from my lips as we ring the New Year in in the glow of the lights from the Eiffel Tower.


Sometimes things happen in life that appear so random. No cause and effect, just a lightening bolt out of a clear blue sky.

It’s what we do in those moments that shows who we are.

Watching lightening strike someone else is hard. Very hard. Seeing how they deal with it is a valuable life lesson. Choices are everywhere, but I choose to follow the example set before me and continue forward, one step at a time just like I’ve been taught my whole life.


These are some of the pages in my sketchbook/journal

This is the one I work in most often (except for my push to paint a page a day last month)

I love using just a few simple tools and have been playing with pencil, pitt pens and conte crayon for awhile now.

It’s relaxing and a great way to record my daily feelings and still be creative

Working in several journals at once allows me to always have a way to express myself. I will often use these sketches to go on to make more art. I usually scan the sketch before I add the words so I can re-use it somewhere else.

Working daily on your art ensures you will see growth in your work as you keep moving forward