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Sketching in Family Situations: Creating New Family Contracts

If you desire to sketch at family gatherings and visits but it seems impossible this post is for you. If you already have sketching integrated into your life I suggest you stop reading and go sketch. Recently a blog reader wrote the following to me I love your posts and your portraits! How do you […]

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Don’t Sweat Ink Blots

  Look if you’re making an illustration for a client or inking a piece to hang on the wall, an ink blot can be unfortunate. But if you’re working quickly in your journal and you get a blot—laugh, smile, take a big breath, wonder at the unique shape that the ink made as it fell […]

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A Little Bit of Bright Color in a Portrait

You already know how I feel about the paper in the Arteza Watercolor Book—pretty ambivalent at best; but there is nothing like a bit of bright color to make you smile. And if you are working loosely with a flat brush, you might just start giggling because you’re having so much fun. Get out your […]

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Keeping Your Mind in the Present Moment

Seems like you can’t turn around these days without someone telling you to keep your mind in the present moment. I tell my students that all the time. I have told students for 30 years that being able to keep your mind in the present moment is one of the main benefits of journaling. I’m […]

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The Property Brothers Make Change Seem Easy (with Hard Work)

I’m probably the only person on the planet who sees “Property Brothers” as a show about change, adaptation, and living in the present moment. (As I write this I’m also including “Property Brothers: Buying and Selling,” as I watched them all simultaneously; and I have since started watching the new, “Property Brothers: Forever Home.”) While […]

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Print Always Means a Tight Edit…

Last week the Minneapolis Star Tribune posted a pop-up interview with me in their Currents section. It’s a way to pose a couple questions to people who are in someway connected with the outdoors—to find out what is catching their interest and focus now. I’m not sure why the editor asked me, except that we’d […]

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In Context: Whacky Sketching Mistakes

Sometimes the hand zigs when you want it to zag and something odd, like a dictator’s stare, seems like an intentional message from our subconscious.

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What Has Happened to Hercule Poirot?

Actor John Malkovich takes on Hercule Poirot in “The ABC Murders” available on Amazon Prime. I recommend watching this version of Agatha Christie’s book by the same name not just to keep abreast of how the interpretation of Christie’s work continues to morph with each new “generation,” but also because it is simply fun to […]

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In Context: Looking at the Arteza Watercolor Book Part 9

Doing a Tape Test in the Arteza Watercolor Book I use Nichiban Artist’s tape 99.9 percent of the time when I want to tape something. It works well on my favorite papers—it’s one of the reasons those papers are my favorite papers, I’ve found a tape that works with them. But many watercolorists like to […]

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In Context: Looking at the Arteza Watercolor Book Part 8

Again I didn’t write anything on this journal page, so it’s a bit weird for “In Context” but it’s one more in my series of mini review comments on the Arteza Watercolor Book. What I enjoyed on this spread was the manner in which I could get some delicate wash techniques. I was using a […]

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