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In Context—It’s All Grist for the Mind Mill

Ever since childhood I’ve been the type of journal keeper who has visual elements in amongst written elements. It doesn’t matter if it’s something that I hear on the street, or in this case on the TV. It doesn’t matter if it is something that I’m reading. Everything is fair game, and I get down […]

A close up of my scribbling. The Sakura Pigma Professional Brush Pen I was using was getting deliciously dried out.

Bookbinding and Journaling, I Can Be Contrary In My Choices

I started the new year with one of the journals I bound in the fall of 2017. (I made 50 plus journals in a month while in a cast [foot and ankle] due to a fall down some stairs. Another contrary choice I see in hindsight—but the orthopedic surgeon had cleared me for activity.) It […]

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In Context: Acceptance

This is from my 5 x 8 inch or so Hand•Book Watercolor Journal I was carrying in my purse at the time. I was sitting in the eye doctor’s office for the umpteenth time, sketching people in line at the counter as I wanted for my appointment. (I am fascinated by winter coats and so […]

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Accepting Changes in Your Process

I’ve written quite a bit about accepting changes in your process throughout the 11 years of this blog. It is a common theme in my teaching.  One of the things that seems to hang students up the most is the notion that there must be one “right” way to do something. I’m constantly telling crop […]

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The Right Pen with the Right Paper?

I have spent years telling students that there is no perfect paper. There is no perfect pen. That’s still true! Why write today that there is a right pen with the right paper? Because sketching, if you’re going to do it all the time, should be, in fact needs to be, fun. And one of […]

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What Are You Waiting for? Go Ahead Paint on Note Paper

    “What Are You Waiting for? Go Ahead Paint on Note Paper” pretty much says it all. Here’s a spread from one of my green lined journals. You can find non-art journals in any bookstore on earth—typically with botanical sketches or pink covers that will appeal to 16 year old girls. (Well actually to […]

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Don’t Stop, Keep Going

  I think one of the biggest mistakes an artist keeping a visual journal or sketchbook can make is to stop when he gets frustrated. That’s when you kick it up a notch, hunker down, repeat, repeat, repeat.  Keep searching for that line, or that likeness, whatever it maybe. If you give up too quickly […]

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Paper Matters: Is There A Right Paper?

For artists making works on paper media selection and method of application of course both matter, but too often artists forget that paper matters too. Have you been seduced by an art supply catalog into purchasing a substandard, non-artist grade paper? I see it all the time in my student’s questions. They’ve spent money on […]

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Textures: Backgrounds for Visual Journaling and Mixed Media Begins June 1, 2019

  “Textures: Backgrounds for Visual Journaling and Mixed Media” registration is now open. Class begins on June 1.  There are 6 weeks of lessons in which students work through the process of creating backgrounds for their artwork. I share my favorite materials and approaches and provide detailed information on those materials so that you can […]

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Testing Papers for the 2018 Minnesota State Fair

Before I go to the Fair each year I test a bunch of papers to see which bound book (containing that paper) I want to take and work with, or which loose sheets I want to carry and work upon. On this sheet I also worked with a Niji Waterbrush. I knew that for some […]

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