Sunday, September 6, 2015


At last things are slowing down a little from the summer chaos that has been my life lately.  For this I am extremely grateful, as my art life has been suffering substantially.

While my Muse still seems to be on somewhat of a vacation, I have forced myself over the last couple of weeks to create "something" every evening -- for the sake of creating and relaxing.  My first go-to is an Index Card (thanks to Tammy Garcia of Daisy Yellow for this little addiction) or my pocket journal because it seems lately there has been no time for major art creations.

I have a little Graphique pocket journal I picked up last year at David's Bridal of all places, (and it is almost full) but this little journal has great unlined paper that holds up very well to all sorts of wet and dry media without pilling.  I normally keep it in my purse, handy for a wait at the doctor's office, for an oil change, or easily pulled out of my purse while having some of that quality time in front of the television with the hubs.

Now, when it comes to actual "journaling" I have a special journal that I write in all the time, and it is never for public consumption.  Too much raw journaling in there I think for anyone but me to see. When my true "journals" get full, I gesso over every page, and then art them up.  I sure don't want to waste all that good paper!

Most of the single pages shown here are adjacent to journal entries in my pocket journal done in a modified "bullet" format, but with doodled captions about the day, the weather, perhaps our dinner or the days events. I often draw simple practice sketches there as well...because I need the practice.

Anywho, I can sit in the recliner with some of my favorite pens or colored pencils and doodle away, recap the day and usually I will get some more detailed "art" going on the adjacent page.  Here are a some I've done recently to show you.

Doodles with Signo Uniball pen and colored pencils

Testing out some new "Satin" Azalea pink and Neon Purple acrylic paints from Target.  The pink was really smooth and satiny when dry, and was easy to write on.  The purple had more of a grainy feel, but plenty smooth for writing.

 Practicing some official Zentangle patterns over some leftover paint swiped onto the page several days earlier.  The flowers were created using a modified version of the border leaf tangle

Doodly fish, creating after a Friday night dinner date for some marathon fish eating over at Lake Fork

More of that Azalea pink and Neon purple paint.  This time I was finger painting and dry brushing.  I love to document some of my favorite quotes in my pocket journal for inspiration

Another doodle-thon.  This particular starburst pattern was inspired by Tammy Garcia from a watercolor design she created. By focusing on the lines it helps my mind really relax. Plus, doing these official Zentangle designs and then shading them in helps me to master them. I'm still learning lots of these patterns

Pretty Coffee.  This particular evening I was having "pretty coffee" in one of my antique tea cups. I have collected antique cups and saucers most of my life, and having "pretty coffee" was something I shared with my Mother. We made a big deal out of selecting the evening's perfect cup/saucer and enjoying some flavored coffee or perhaps just some good strong coffee with a little Amaretto or Baileys.  You can thank her for my love of coffee, my propensity to collect many things, and most especially the tea cups.  My favorites are my Nippon footed cups.  A quick sketch with a Sakura Micron pen over leftover Peacock blue paint. Doodles shaded with Warm Gray Copic marker.

Monthly summation in my pocket journal.  At the end of each month, I like to think about the entire month and annotate the positive things that occurred.  I almost always "print" as opposed to cursive writing.  By doing so, I can linger over my thoughts and ingrain those memories into my mind while contemplating the events I am recording.  Then I generally doodle all over the page. This page was done with Sakura Micron pen and Prismacolor pencils.

More practice on my Dolly Pop Girls.  If you know anything about me, you know I love sunflowers. Big ones, little ones, arty ones.  I draw them all the time.  I paint them on anything I can.  They litter my art journals everywhere.  I can't help myself.  This little cutie version has leaves for her bangs (first time) and I like this much better since I just can't seem to master drawing hair.  

More line control practice.  Actually, I do this kind of thing quite often because I have carpal tunnel syndrome and benign tremors in both hands.  I notice the tremors the most when gripping a pen or something small, so this night, I was consciously and most determinedly holding my pen quite loosely while still trying to draw straight, connecting lines.

This page was a little late night, magazine clipping, collage fun.  Another leftover paint background with some fussy-cut images from a magazine advertisement and some "found poetry"

And the next night, more of the same.  My sister-in-law gives me all her People magazines, and for whatever reason, this night I was focused on the eyes in these mags.  Do you recognize any of these eyes?  Some are from very famous folks, others, not so much.....  But it was fun putting it together and then piecing some found poetry to go with it.

That's my late night life around here. Finding a few minutes to make something... anything that is creative, whether just for the practice, or just for fun and whimsy.  And these pages or little creations were just for me...... not in response for any prompts or for any purpose other than the sheer joy of putting pen, pencil and paint on paper.

As always, I'm doing my best to keep it artful!

~~Aunt Betty


  1. Nice article today Ms. Betty. I enjoy seeing what kind of art you make.
    I'm glad things have slowed down a bit for you and you're able to do more mixed media. Love you Sweet woman.
    P.S. Love all the eyes and of course the coffee art.

  2. Thanks so much, Lynn. These little bits late in the evening really help me unwind. We all need more of that to be sure.