Black and White

21 Nov

If you need some new inspiration put away those gorgeous colors and have some fun with Black and white.

I used a black Sharpie Marker, a water-soluble marker and a water brush to make the gray shade. I did this taking an online workshop/tutorial with @AlisaBurke. If you need some new inspiration, put away the beautiful colors and have some fun with black and white, and check out Alisa’s workshop. This was done in a hand-made mini sketchbook, easy to put in a pocket or a purse, and take with you wherever you happen to go.

(actual size 3″ x 6″.)

JOURNAL PROMPT: It’s not always black and white…


When you don’t know what else to do…WRITE A POEM

3 Nov

T’was the Night Before Election Day…
(With high regard and apologies to Clement Clark Moore)

T’was the night before the election and all through the house
Not a creature was still, not me, not my spouse.
The laundry piled up, stuff still on the stairs
Dishes in the sink, a feeling of despair.

Me in my sweatshirt and Jonathan in his Jeans
Afraid to see my grandkids, what does this all mean?
Turn on the TV, turn it off, than back on
The clatter of pundits all talking about Don.

The moon will arise as it does every night
But this year 2020 has filled us with fright.
I’m off to my bed. At least it’s safe there
Though I’m still gaining weight and losing my hair.

I’ll toss and I’ll turn I’ll dream and I’ll pray
That this year’s been a nightmare and will all go away.
24 more hours or perhaps 72
Or a week or a month till we know who went blue.

It doesn’t look good, yes it does others say
We’ve never been more divided, not at all in this way.
I’ll wake with a start but it’s not even five
And yes I’ll be grateful to be healthy and alive.

For COVID is back and the numbers are high
A sniffle or a sneeze causes terror…you know why.
To mask or to not has become such an issue
And America the great has a run on toilet tissue.

I wrote letters and postcards and made a few calls
They blocked traffic on the Parkway; did they think that took balls?
So tomorrow it ends or so it begins…
The counting and waiting to learn who’s out and who’s in.

Will we be ridin’ with Biden or deep in a funk?
Four more years of this chaos and democracy’s sunk.
Of my 70-some years this has been the worst
What have we done wrong? It feels like we’re cursed.

As an optimist forever I’ve always looked up
But it’s hard to see the light through a half empty cup.
So tomorrow I’ll awake and begin a new day
I’ll be disappointed the elves didn’t come to put the laundry away.

We’ll turn on the news and watch the hands on the clock
Till the results all come in …hey, what the f*ck.
We won’t know the winner till God only knows when
And I hope we never ever go through this again.

But I would like to end on a flying high note
Happy Election Day to all and to all PLEASE GO VOTE.

From old to new…

8 Jan

Definitely a fan of “upcycling” I love turning old things into new art.  And I love starting the year with the Creative JumpStart workshop.  From the first workshop with Nathalie Kalbach, I used an old piece of art to create a stencil (of my houses) and added layers of gesso,  stamping and some markers to the corrugated cardboard substrate (ala an Amazon packing box)  I created a new simpler piece of art that I can easily duplicate and create again.  I encourage you to find an old piece of art, perhaps an old sketchbook or art journal page and use it to create something new.  Thanks, Nathalie and thanks Creative Jumpstart.  #cjs20  #creativejumpstart.


DIY Christmas Cards

5 Jan

I finally got around to making my own Christmas Cards this year, and actually got them out on time, thanks to the inspiration and motivation of John Marron, fearless teacher of Zen Painting & Poetry @Olli-Ru. Thanks all! Now let’s get to work on Valentine’s Day.

Flutter Strips

20 May

flutter strip treeflutter stripTrees as journals…why not?

As a final project in John Moran’s Zen Poetry and Painting Class we created “Flutter Strips” and at our last class gathered together and hung them on a tree. What an interesting way to journal!  What a fun thing to do with family and friends, and especially kids.  We all felt like kids at heart when we placed our flutter strips on the branches of this lovely tree.

Coloring Craze…

4 Nov


No one has been more surprised than me about the latest coloring book craze. Back in the day coloring books were the enemy of creativity and that made sense.  A kid with a crayon and a blank sheet of paper really learned to play with color, with materials with no restrictions about staying in the lines or using the correct colors. We do remember how important it was to STAY IN THE LINES!  (And NOT to color on the walls 🙂  I even remember a book called The Anti-coloring Book. Well, coloring books have taken over the bookstores not by the shelf but by the aisle. They’re in drugstores, specialty stores, stationery stores and who knows where else along with a myriad of colored pencils and markers.   I do believe coloring can be therapeutic, a great way to reduce stress or boredom, (although if you’re an artist or keep an art journal you’re never bored) but here’s a challenge.  Find a good permanent black marker and doodle your own coloring pages.  In this page, I used watercolors instead of colored pencils and I had blast.  I got to play with my watercolors without the pressure of having to create a watercolor masterpiece and as an added bonus I can journal in and around the spaces.  So give it a try and see what fantastic coloring pages you come up with.


Country Garden Crochet Bicycle

21 Sep

In line with the current trend for cycling what better way to celebrate than to our craft than upcycling a bicycle. I had so much fun creating this quintessential english country rose garden wrappe…

Source: Country Garden Crochet Bicycle

Make mine mosaic…

2 Sep

mosaic flower

I took a photo of a flower, cut it into 1″ pieces with the help of a ruled cutting mat (shown beneath the white border of the photo,) and pasted the pieces mosaic-style onto a sheet of paper, leaving some white space in between each piece. It’s an interesting way to present a photograph or your own artwork in an art journal or scrapbook, or to make a card or give as a gift.   You’ll notice I could have been more careful pasting the squares but I was just experimenting and having some fun. I have to remind myself that “Perfection is the enemy of good.” I don’t remember who said that but they are important words for me to remember.

For a more formal way to work with mosaics check out  Mosaic Moments on




It’s a wrap!

21 Aug


strawberries wrapping paper

my original sketchbook in the center on top of  a section of wrapping paper…what fun! 


How to repurpose and re-enjoy your art….

One of the things I’ve been doing with my art recently is re-using it in different ways. I especially liked this small “strawberry” watercolor I did in my sketchbook, and made it into postcards and cards. And one of the most amazing things I learned in my BEGINNING class at the Sketchbook Skool ( was that I could turn my art into fabric or wrapping paper, so… I took a chance and sent my artwork (digitally of course) to and voila! …an amazing roll of wrapping paper came back to me via US mail.  Now to be honest due to the resolution of the file the background of the paper came out brown instead of white, but I learned what I did  wrong and I loved it even in brown. If you want to turn your art into something totally new and interesting check out And if you want to really enjoy drawing and painting again, or for the first time try taking a class at the SketchbookSkool.  They even have some free trial classes.  And please subscribe to my blog. I promise I won’t inundate you with email,  but it will keep me on my toes and remind me to write now and again. I hope to inspire you to give your creativity a boost or a jump start if you need one.

Ivy Covered Walls, Ravello, Italy

27 Jul

How beautiful is this?