Pen and Ink...and maybe some paint

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Why do we do this?

I've been thinking about why I love to draw and paint. Why do I feel the need to create a scripture journal? I don't believe I'll ever be one of those with an Etsy shop where I sell my creations, so what's my motivation?

Hmmm...I think it's a lot like self-publishing a book. My sketchbooks are my self-published books. I don't need to find someone who agrees they're wonderful and agrees to foot the bill for putting them into print. I just do it and nobody can stop me, lol!

I don't care about the size of the audience that will view my creations. I don't care about making money on them. I mostly hope my kids will someday find them and have fun getting to know a side of mom they might not have suspected existed. I kind of live in my own head a lot, so this is a chance to reveal some of what I'm thinking, though nobody may see these until I've gone on to glory.

As far as my scripture journal, I think that is the most important of my creations. In it I hope to collect many of my thoughts about life on this planet and I hope some of those thoughts might help my children as they go through the inevitable hardships of living in this fallen world.

I've never thought of my art as just a fun hobby, though it is fun. Most of what I've posted here so far has happened in the last year. In fact, it was almost exactly a year ago that I wrote this first post! This blog has been a vehicle to inspire me to practice the craft of drawing and painting so I might use these gifts for God's glory. I'm still in the practicing phase and have so far to go, but I'm seeing some progress and searching for ways to actually use my skills in real life.

As I said before, I think my scripture journal is the most important thing I've done so far and I hope to continue to fill it with thoughts that will be helpful to succeeding generations of my family, until the Lord returns. I hope they will keep it as a family treasure. To me that's an awesome idea!

So join me in creating wonderful "self-published" works of art that your family will love and that will bring back good memories for years to come!

Shalom and God bless!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Diva's Weekly Challenge-Home

I loved this challenge! I stayed up way too late to finish this, but I love it! My least favorite part is the mooka. They're so pretty when others draw them, but mine seem to fall flat. Anyway, here is my ZIA.

I live in northern Minnesota which is a place of woods and lakes. I used a "part" of the Afterglo tangle for the trees. The Asian Fans in the sky represent the Northern Lights, aka Aurora Borealis, rolling through the sky. Hepmee represents snow, which makes up a major part of our year! The pokeberries remind me of all the red berries that grow in our woods to feed the birds and bears and the shiny threesome of pokeleaves represents the ever present poison ivy which blankets our woodsy land. Of course I couldn't leave out Riverstones and Agua along with Lilypads! This ZIA feels very much like home to me!

To see more of these "homey" zentangles and ZIA's go to the Diva's blog!



ALREADY??? I don't even seem to have time to do any new projects and suddenly it's WOYWW time again! WOYWW (or What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday) is a great chance to hop around the globe perusing other people's artsy workspaces. If you find this thought intriguing, hop over to Julia's Stamping Ground blog and start clicking on links!

My space isn't looking all that inspiring at the moment. I've begun a ZIA for The Diva's Weekly Challenge, but it's difficult to tell what it is yet. We're supposed to make a picture representing our home using tangles.  Anyway, that's what you see on my desk.

On my slant-top desk you'll see the rainbow willow I drew a couple of days ago. I just finished making leaves on it this morning. I kind of like it!

I've still got lots of ideas for my scripture journal, which I want to get back to working on. But for tonight I'm going to work on my ZIA so I can get it linked up over at The Diva's Weekly Challenge.

Hope everyone has a great WOYWW!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Rainbow Willow...

Just felt like painting a willow tree. I've always loved willows and I wondered what it would look like for a willow tree to have rainbow colored branches.

I began by just swishing some rainbow colored strokes onto my paper. I wanted the branches to look windswept. Then I added the trunk and decided to put it on a river bank complete with a muskrat hole.

I liked this a lot, but after adding some ink to the trunk and grass I felt like the branches needed some leaves. So, I've begun adding some leaves. This may take a while, and it's getting late, so I'm showing my partially finished version.

It's been fun to do a little "inking" tonight. Capturing our dreams on paper...what could be more fun?

Shalom for tonight!

Friday, June 22, 2012

A few sketches...

I find myself struggling slightly with this week's Diva's Challenge. Cadent and I just don't see eye-to-eye! Something about me and anything geometric. When I try to do it in a looser form I get even more lost! But here is my simple rendition. Actually, it's unfinished, but this is all there will be, hee, hee.

P.S.-Here's my second attempt. I decided to give it another try after seeing so many fantastic examples on other people's blogs!

Not the greatest, but I'm overcoming my cadentphobia! :D
The image of a little miniature nature vignette floated through my brain, so I jotted down two little framed sketches. I may play with this idea some more. It's fun to draw something small and quick.

I'm getting close to the end of this sketchbook so I may go back and fill in all the white space with some small drawings.

To see more zentangles for the Diva's Weekly Challenge click here!

I also wanted to show you the ATC that Jane from JB's Bits 'n' Bobz sent me for the 3rd Anniversary of the What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday blog hop!

It's so very British! Even the air mail envelope with the Queen Elizabeth stamp is a keepsake for a plain old American like myself! Thanks, Jane! :D

Have a great day and shalom!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I must confess...this workdesk is sort of a re-creation. :) There was very little on my desk, but this is a representation of what I've been doing lately. I've been working quite a bit in my scripture journal and you can see some of my scribbled notes. The book on the bottom right of the desk is "The Enchanted Barn" by Grace Livingston Hill, which I am using as a pen and ink journal. The funny thing is, I began reading some of the pages and then decided to finish reading the book before I use any more of it for pen and ink! On my slant-top desk you can see my latest sketch which is of a building in the Old City of Jerusalem.

My WOYWW button is hiding behind the horse on my clock. See it? (It would help if the photo wasn't so blurry!!)
We are having a lot of thunder and lightning...and rain! I'm not going to complain since many around the U.S. are going through droughts and fires. I hope you are all having pleasant weather!
To see lots of delightful desks from around the world go to Julia's Stamping Ground!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Sketches

I missed Sunday Sketches last week because I took a break from blogging due to the death of a little great-grandson, Gabriel. We were saddened that Gabriel did not survive his birthing and the whole family mourned with his mom and dad. We are sure that he is now healed and happy and living with Jesus where he will be surrounded with all of the love he can take in, and for that assurance we are thankful. So you will understand that much of my sketching for the last few days has centered around Gabriel's homegoing. I wanted to memorialize this little great-grandson in my scripture journal and begin adding some scriptures on death and eternal life. This is not a morbid thing, but a hopeful experience. So here is what I've put together so far...

I also did this zentangle for The Diva's Weekly Challenge...

and did an urban sketch of part of the Old City of Jerusalem for the Sketchbook Challenge.

I'm hoping that my sketches and my scripture journal will be things my family will treasure when I'm gone and that they will see the joy that art has brought to me and the hope I found in the scriptures. Of course, I'm not planning on going anywhere anytime soon, but our days are in the Lord's hands and it's always good to live as though He might call us home at any time.

That's my sermon-in-a-nutshell for today! :) To see more artwork go to Sunday Sketches at the Blue Chair Diary blog!

Have a great Father's Day and Shalom!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Returning to an old love...Jerusalem...

I've been in love with Jerusalem since I discovered her at about age 16. This was when I came to know the Lord. Well, at least, when I began to know the Lord. It's a lifelong and eternal process, I know now! :) I began studying the history of the Jewish people and the land of Israel at that time (beginning in 1973 or so) and I've always loved pictures of Jerusalem. Someday I'll go there, but for now I'll try to draw some of the beautiful stones of the city. I got a little frustrated trying to represent all of those stones, lol! Anyone got any advice on how to do that? Anyway, here is this mornings' attempt.

I've been taking a lot of notes for my scripture journal. I want to write some thoughts about death and eternal life since the passing of little Gabriel. I know that if we belong to God and have accepted Jesus's atoning sacrifice on our behalf, we are safe in His hands. Satan may kill our bodies, but he cannot touch our spirit. I know Gabriel is safe. I'd like to capture these thoughts in my journal.

Have a blessed day and a great weekend!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Diva's Weekly Challenge

The Diva's Weekly Challenge was to use eccentric circles when drawing our string. This is how mine turned out. (I couldn't resist making it a little juicy!)

If you would like to see lots of wonderful examples of zentangles for this week's challenge go to the blog list here! :D

Shalom all!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Here we are again! Wednesday! Life is flying by one week at  a time! Once more it's time to sneak a peek at folks' desks all around the world. Julia at Stamping Ground is the hostess of this fun blog hop, so drop in at her blog if you'd like to join in.

Some of you may have read my last post in which I talked about my little great-grandson, Gabriel. For those of you who didn't, little Gabriel passed away six days ago while in the process of being born. It was a sad day for all of us. He had been diagnosed with heart problems a while back and it was expected that he would need some surgeries, but his heart just stopped while his mom was in labor. As you can understand, we've been thinking a lot about him this week and in his memory I wanted to create a couple of pages in my scripture journal. I'm not sure I'm finished with these. I may add some more text, but this is what they look like so far.

My granddaughter, Esther, had a dream about her son the night he died. In her dream she saw Gabriel in heaven and he was being held and passed around  by many people who loved him, and who had gone to heaven before him: two of his great-uncles, a good friend of the family and a man Esther didn't know. She described him to her husband as a very large, muscular black man. Her husband, Logan, had been feeling very sad thinking of Gabriel being all alone and after Esther's description he checked with some of his military buddies. They found out that a friend of his matching her description had died in Iraq and he hadn't known about it. One of these friends sent a picture of the man who died. His name is Mario and Esther said that, yes, that was the man in her dream. I hope I'm explaining this clearly, but I thought it was such a blessing that God would give her a dream like this to put both of the parents' hearts at ease knowing their little boy was surrounded by people who love him. Of course, Jesus is there with him also, but God knew it would bless them to see these other people they knew. :)

Besides these journal pages I haven't been doing a lot art-wise. On my slant-top desk you'll see my sketchbook which appears to be blank, but in reality there is a string drawn there awaiting my attempt to draw a zentangle for The Diva's Weekly Challenge. Not tonight; it's late!

I hope you all have a great WOYWW and thanks for all of your prayers!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

We'll see you in Heaven, sweet little Gabriel...

Our granddaughter, Esther, gave birth to our little great-grandson, Gabriel on June 6. Sadly, he didn't survive, but we rejoice that he's in the safe arms of his Savior, Jesus! Gabriel had been diagnosed with a heart problem which would have required surgery immediately after birth with follow-up surgery in 6 months. His little heart just stopped beating before he emerged into this new world. I know he's loving his home in Heaven, and we sure would appreciate your prayers for his mommy, grandmom and aunt in Oklahoma who miss him so much. We pray that they will feel God's loving arms around them and that they will eventually feel at peace knowing that Gabriel is safe.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Scripture journal and a cool little sketchbook!

Here are a couple of photos of things I've added to the cover of my scripture journal. I love adding these old hymns with such beautiful words. I thought it would be cool to put a song on the spine. Wish I had put it the other way around so it's right side up! Oh well!

I also added another hymn and  a wild Columbine to the back cover. I love collaging flowers. It reminds me of pictures I've seen of insects and other objects that have been preserved in amber. Very magical and beautiful!

My daughter was throwing away this little appointment book and I just had to save it. I've seen someone doing their sketching in an appointment book just in the last few days, so I know it will be very cool for sketching in! I did a little painting on the cover page, but I'll probably just use pen on the rest of the pages.

I have journals coming out of my ears! Now to figure out what to fill them with! :D

Have a lovely day!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Diva's Challenge #73-Bridgen

I did a little playing around with the tangle called Bridgen. It was kind of fun, but I think I went overboard using too many other tangles. It lacks the elegance of The Diva's, but it was fun trying lots of other tangles. :)  I changed my photo because a couple of you commented that the tangles would show up better with a straight-on shot rather than the picture I took at an angle. :D

I did a lot of shading within the tangles with the raspberry colored pencil, but it doesn't show up in the photo.

To see more zentangle inspired art, go to The Diva's Challenge blog!



I've been having some casual, non-challenge-related fun with my cheap acrylic paints!  Do you love the plastic coleslaw container on the upper left corner of my desk? It's great for holding my tubes of watercolor and bottles of acrylics! I've gessoed the top and I'll be thinking of something to paint on it. :D  Note that my basket of watercolor boxes has been relegated to a spot on the floor. Hey, space is at a premium around here!

My Scripture journal got a two page spread decorated with some lovely shades of green, yellow, lavender and peach. I added a little "gouache wash" to the music on the left. I'll do the same on the right one.

 The left over paint on my palette was used to smear a little paint on a page of my Pen and Ink journal. I'll draw something in pen over that at some point in time.

 I'm loving acrylics. So different from watercolors. Imagine being able to actually paint one color over another! (I have used acrylics before...MANY years ago. But that was for painting wood craft objects, not for painting on paper.)

Here's what's on my slant-top desk. I haven't drawn anything in this sketchbook since the 29 Faces Challenge ended, so I just display something I like here on the desk. As you can see, I'm re-reading "The Screwtape Letters". I think I missed a lot the first time!

Like I said, just casual painting fun, which is nice after so many challenge deadlines.

We've been enjoying watching endless reruns of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee! She's quite a lady and I admire her a lot. Were any of you in the crowd around the festivities? Hope all of you in England had fun with that!

I'm off to visit desks! If you would like to see some fascinating desks around the world go to Julia's Stamping Ground and visit the zanyness! (Zaniness? Zaneyness?)


Saturday, June 2, 2012

A journal and some pen and ink...

Well, after about eight hours of babysitting my little Odj Podje (as we sometimes call Audrey) I found myself in an empty house and decided to do a little something. (I did get in a long nap after daughter Micah came home from work and found the house empty upon waking. Hubby wasn't home yet, so...)

I've been wondering what to do with the exquisite cover of my 1904 copy of  "A Child's Garden of Verses".  I had removed the pages and lined the cover with some flannel material and was going to use it as a "folder" to put stuff in. But I decided to make it into an actual journal.

I'm not very complex when it comes to these things, so I took all of the watercolor and bristol paper I had left in my tablets, folded them in half and they are now residing in the cover. Next, I will poke some small holes along both sides of the spine and thread some sort of cording through these to hold the pages, which will have corresponding holes in them. I know I "should" sew all of my pages into signatures, etc, but I'm just too lazy, and, after all, there ARE NO RULES when it comes to having fun with art, right? So now I feel better that this cover will actually be used as a journal instead of sitting forlornly on the bottom shelf of my slant top desk. I love this idea of using old books for journals. They are just too charming to leave on the bookshelf and I'll NEVER run out of drawing paper, lol!

The Sketchbook Challenge for this month is Urban Sketching, which is a challenge in itself since I live in the country!  But after reading their definition of urban sketching I'm thinking it really means drawing from your own natural environment, so that's what I'll be doing. This is a sketch of some art supplies on my art desk.

I think it will take some time and practice for me to get the hang of drawing over text so that the drawing shows up better. I know I can gesso over it, but I don't like working on top of gesso. Besides, I've seen others do it without gesso and theirs looks great. So experimentation is in order. I may get it figured out by the time I fill this journal. I anticipate lots of fun in the mean time! :D

Well, hubby arrived as I was beginning this blog post and has promised me chicken strips at Dairy Queen if I ride along with him to pick up some hay. It's a date! :D 

 Four hours later: My trip to town bore even more fruit than expected. Besides the dinner at Dairy Queen we stopped off at Wal-mart, and on a whim I went in to look over the drawing pens in the office supply aisle. Seventeen dollars later I emerged from the store with this small stash!

I've seen commercials on TV about the Ink Joy pens and hope they live up to the hype! The little bottles of acrylic paint cost 53 cents, except for the black and white which were 97 cents. Probably not the best quality, but good enough for me to mess around with! The sketchbook was too neato to pass up. It's made in England. Does that mean it's wonderful? Once again, good enough to play in! So I'm a happy camper. Oh, and besides that I sketched the Wal-mart garden center while I was waiting for hubby in the truck (before I was struck with the whimsy to go inside...).

Then I took this photo from our front yard. I may use this as my header over at my Backwoods Crazy Quilt blog.

Have a wonderful weekend. Ours has been sunny and beautiful and promises to stay that way. Maybe we'll plant some flowers tomorrow.



I love to think of hiding in the cleft of a rock with His hand stretched over me for protection. Or hiding in the shadow of His wings. He is the One we need to run to every day, not just in times of trouble. :)