I think most of my friends know that I’m also doing art challenges with Illustration Friday’s FB Group. It’s a great way to keep your mind working. Each week a word is posted and I do my thing and ‘illustrate’ it. This piece is for the word challenge ‘TALL’. Hope you enjoy!

Very tall, long, long legs!


Just completed a short trip into Reno, NV! I of course reverted to my standard ‘dairy style’ of journaling the tid-bits of the day on the fly. I love documenting the daily minutia, and thus started out with a 2 page spread with a hand drawn map to fill in as we drove along.

Page 1 of map

Page 2 of map spread

During our stay at the Grand Sierra Casino & Resort, I did several sketches in the early morning hours near the Starbucks ūüôā of course, while I sipped on my morning latte and listened to the great background music! I had fun sketching folks, but often they catch on and try to cover their faces….so, I gave up on the folks and just did sketches of the immediate area. I painted them in watercolor after we returned home.

Casino Sketch

AM walk for latte ūüôā

I was thrilled to stop in Boomtown on the way back. I actually recouped my previous losses. Then, on the way back home a bit of sketching in the van while Norm drove. We really had a great trip, nice & relaxing and by the way if you ever make a trip there make sure you do the National Automobile Museum. It’s awesome!

Have a great day, and keep sketching my friends!

Over the past week I’ve been thinking about how some of the EDM Challenges seem to me to be ¬†harder than they should be to complete, and in doing the thinking thing a lot of thoughts tumbled out. This is what I think I learned, hope it makes sense to you as well.

Just not into the whole thing?

The learning is in the doing! The challenges if completed in sequence will at some time make you uncomfortable. This has happened to me, more than once. Now, I think this is a good thing. What if you are ‘just not in the mood?’ I suggest you just try ‘to work through it’, even if it takes all day (or more than one day). Inside this process¬† “the experience of learning” I have stopped to do some research, and to think about the given activity – starting with why am I feeling this way, why am I not connecting or why is there no immediate interest? ¬†From that point forward I’m truly ‘looking’ ¬†for some inspiration, YUP ‘inspiration’. Without ‘inspiration’ or some kind of connection the emotional part of the process of drawing needed ¬†to complete a challenge seems ‘life less’ and if so the completed piece just doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel lively it is without the “spark of life”.

Lovin my new socks!

Skipping around may keep you from being un-inspired but not allow for the other learning to occur. For example: how our feelings impact what we are attempting to complete. Or, how our ‘lack of patience with ourselves’ and always being in a great hurry impacts our work and produces unwanted results. If we take time to enjoy the ‘journey’ even if it is for only a few minutes we learn it contributes to a successful piece. Our soul is enjoying the amazing FUN as we learn to use new (or old stuff) media like a child ‘with that new pen’, paint, or paper.

When we take time for ourselves to discover a new perspective ‘visual or mental’ it helps us see and feel differently about what we are doing, or attempting to do. Aaaaaah, what a challenge.

EDM.50 ‘my front door’

So, maybe our short-term gains by staying actively engaged & skipping around can offset the ‘uncomfortable feelings’ you (we) run into now and the. This can be a good way of continuing forward – but, ¬†it often skirts the issues lying just ¬†under the surface¬†and those may be what are holding you back from a real genuine emotional breakthrough it your work, or life issues.

Over the past week I’ve been busy working on my background ‘faces’ project and began thinking about how the differences in process are directly connected to ‘my personal journey’. As I observed ¬†the changes in my habits (ha) first I realized that ANY change can be just the boost you need to rekindle the fire in your journaling. In this case fire is good, and I believe these changes have helped me become more creative. Although now, instead of 1 journal with¬†everything¬†in it, I have again slipped back into¬†separate¬†journals. It seems to be something I do periodically, really don’t have a clue as to why.

A background page ‘face’ painted & ready to go!

I Am Thankful for Life! EDM#42

A journal page complete!

One journal now is more or less just for writing, and it’s not really up to date. ¬†It’s just there in case I decide to write more extensively, and at the moment I have 3 different ART ¬†journals going with mixes of the Everyday Matters Challenges, Illustration Friday works, and many, many faces all in various degrees of completion to use ¬†for backgrounds. ¬†I’m thinking, ah, this craziness must be because we haven’t taken a road trip in a while, I’ll know soon because we’re getting ready for one. ¬†So, I now recognize that for me the difference truly is in the process I use and preparing backgrounds to journal INTO for me is ART JOURNALING, and doing illustrative journaling ‘on the go’, as it happens or where I am at the time seems to enable me to document my life and thoughts more along the TRAVEL JOURNALING path. Well at least I think I have it isolated in my mine anyway.

I hope you enjoy, and maybe try making some for yourself. ¬†It’s the little sparks that start the fire. ¬†I’m looking forward to this upcoming road trip because I think it will validate my current thoughts, and of course my TRAVEL JOURNAL will become fodder for an upcoming entry.

Keep playing, it’s good for your soul.

In my last post I chatted about making quick sketches from magazines and shared a couple of my ‘journal pages’. Since Tuesday I’ve completed 22 faces (of course they are in various stages of completion) but complete as far as the line work is considered, and in my madness I moved on to just making them up as I went along. Anyway today I spent time scanning a bunch in BEFORE I painted or wrote on them (gee what a concept) and decided I’d share. Hope you enjoy! Keep sketching my friends, Donna


I learned that I’d rather be sketching than anything else, you know like housework (ugh) or cleaning up my studio. I managed the least amount of chores as possible. In place of that I played. Haven’t done any road trips recently although we have one planned later this month, and I really haven’t started any projects that I would call ‘fine art, i.e. painting in a larger format’ ; after beginning the Everyday Matters and Illustration Friday groups is as if ‘someone let the kid out’. I’ve completed many, many small pieces (5×7 ish) using pen & ink, watercolor and at times colored pencils & Pitt Pens too. I also started a new project just for fun. I’ve always love doing portraits so I started with a magazine and I’m doing all kinds of faces (sketches) as backgrounds for my daily journaling habit. Right now I’ve completed 7 and have 6 more in various stages of development, main ink line work is completed-just waiting to paint, etc. ¬†Today, I decided to be patient and let them dry (working with dip pen) so I didn’t make big blobs when I flip pages, ha maybe I should just use cut pages so I can sit them out on every available flat space in studio and continue to work like a mad woman. My plan is to finish the painting and then add ‘prompts’ that will propel my writing and fill them in whenever and where ever. So, here’s a few of the images & journaling I completed this week, hope you enjoy. I’ll keep you posted, mean while you might like to ¬†‘make your own color books’ too.


Wow, the thought just occurred that I could do this with flowers (or something else) as well!

Keep playing, my friends!  Donna

Today has been quite an eye opener for me. Guess it happens once in a while (an that’s a good thing). I started today about normal, up at 6:20 am ish, read the WSJ, sprayed the roses, and came in to have coffee and start the EDM Challenge #27 — draw a book, okay. So I thought to myself I’ll do “The Creative License” by Danny Gregory because it’s one of my FAVORITES and also one I always recommend when I’m teaching classes. Whoda thunk this could be so hard for me to do? I thought maybe I just need to do a different paper, or a different size, or tackle this after breakfast! Sounded good to me. I did breakfast followed by my daily walk to Starbucks. Then upon my return I started in again. Did 3 more images…not satisfied with any of the initial linework, but decided to keep moving. Went ahead with the last one “An Illlustrated Life”. I played around with a dip pen, added watercolor, realized the ink I had just used was not waterproof (oh well) did some colored pencils, and then some more ink work. ¬†From this point, I decided to get a little more into the first one which I had pretty much ‘decided to scrap’ ¬†ahhhhhh. By this time I was coming to grips with the idea that these really weren’t as bad as I thought at the beginning and decided to finish them all. What a ‘concept’ — just keep working. This of course is something we tend to loose sight of ¬†during our day to day bursts of creativity. ¬†At least, I’m sure that I have recently. ¬†So there it is, my ramblings for today’s post.

Keep sketching my friends,

I Love This Book!

Sometimes nothing seems to go right!

I kinda like this view.

My tribute to ‘Danny Gregory’s’ book ‘An Illusltrated Life’!




Sketching Every Day!

Amazing, it’s been several days again but I’ve completed many pieces of work too! I feel positively ‘productive’. Playing around with different media and different paper has made the time feel like a new adventure (even though I’ve worked with them before) kinda like a mix and match experiment. Got some new Strathmore Visual Journals, and been working with a mix of pen(s), watercolor, colored pencils (old & newer), Pitt Pens & Tombow’s. I’m finding some I like on the mixed media paper & ¬†some I don’t — which brings me to YES the colored pencils work better on the Bristol Smooth! On the day of ‘Pause’ from the EDM challenges I completed 3-4 pieces, plus I got a little more into my playtime creative soul. Moving forward to another week, with blessings by the billions! ¬†PS…I’m also including this weeks Illustration Friday piece “Lonely”.

EDM#24 ‘a piece of fruit’ plus:)

EDM #25 (1) Empty Glass

EDM#25 (2) Plastic ‘glass’ with grape juice ūüôā

Pear Tree with a Pleasant Profile

Illustration Friday ‘Lonely’





It’s Tuesday! I’ve finished a few more Everyday Matters Challenges, and a piece for¬†Illustration¬†Friday; scanned a bunch of stuff from the past week, done several more sketches, played with some ‘not often used’ art supplies like colored pencils and such. I’ve filled yet another Strathmore visual journal (ordered 6 more online) and realized that I’m not doing as much sketching in my daily journal but have now started writing more. With this I am thrilled, because I seemed to be in a rut – and now feel like I’m moving out of it. Sometimes it just takes ¬†something like these little challenges to provide the spark (or fire) of inspiration.

Taking this time for myself (30 minutes or so) certainly feels good to me, kinda like exercise for the soul. And, the more you do the more inspired you become. So, this has (and continues to be) a journey that I’m going on ‘the personal time for me’. I wonder just where it will take me as the days go forward and the seasons change. I’m excited!

Today I’m sharing a few of the EDM challenges, and the Illustration Friday piece ‘carry’. ¬†Next up, who knows what will ‘pop’ into my mind over the next few days–especially since the words are once again beginning to flow.

Billions of blessings to all!

Early Morning on the patio, pen in one hand — coffee in the other!

View from the 2nd floor out the windows to the front yard!

This old antique lamp with gold all over it has been on the nightstand in our room for 40+ years, and I still love it!

This old pipe carries ‘what’? I really don’t know but it was a wonderful exercise in thinking the prompt through….loved it!

It's posing!

Wow, what a week! I’ve played like a child and am slowly getting into this ‘internet world’ of art – and I’m loving it. Starting with the Danny Gregory ‘Everyday Matters’ challenges, as well as becoming actively involved with Illustration Friday (something I’ve watched from the outside for a long time now). So, today I’ll share with you a few of the images I created over the week, and maybe something old of my Travel Journaling stuff.

I’m finding it interesting that so much of my art fits into these online activities, and that for so long I was more concerned with creating more formal art — that these little pieces that ‘leak out’ while playing, seemed to be lurking in the background, although they actually held more passion and joy for me than the ‘fine art’ creations. Now, I’m focusing on the fun side that goes along with the ‘jumping for joy is good exercise philosophy!

Hope these pieces help to inspire you to relax, and play as well. Have a great day!

Hopelessly LOST in this series of books! I love my Nike's!Yes, I sketch everywhere!