Currently Browsing: The Drawing Life 168 articles

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My Friend Tom Won’t Stand Next to Me in an Electrical Storm…

It’s official, after Sunday’s event my friend Tom said “You have the most awful luck! Remind me not to stand next to you when lightning is threatening!” I don’t blame him. I wouldn’t stand next to me in that situation either. And recommend that you don’t as well. Sunday Dick and I went house hunting. […]

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How Do I Keep a Journal or a Sketchbook?

I get asked all the time “How do I keep a journal or a sketchbook?” I teach journaling classes in which students create in visual journals. I teach drawing classes that require students keep a sketchbook. Some people also ask me how journals and sketchbooks differ. The questions have so much “extra” weight. What those […]

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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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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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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 […]

23 x 21 inch piecemeal portrait of a dog. Brush pen, watercolor and collage.

Piecemeal Portrait of a Dog

If you’ve been reading the blog for even a short while you’ll know that I enjoy making what I call “piecemeal style.” Please use the category list or the blog’s search engine to find many more examples of this.  Here’s one post to get you started. If you’ve been an online student of mine in […]

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In Context: Handling the Page

Sometimes our brain just clicks on an automatic timer. That happened the other day when thoughts of my last Alaskan Malamute Dottie bubbled into my mind exactly on the day 16 years after she had died.  How you handle an image or text, or both, on a page or page spread is going to be […]

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In Context—Getting Down Some Thoughts

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How You Can Use Visual Journaling to End Arguments

  Let me begin this post by stating: this is not an April Fool’s Day prank. I’m serious about the ability of visual journaling to end arguments. First you have to keep a visual journal. Next you and whomever you’re arguing with have to have a good sense of humor and a developed ability to […]

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