Monday, March 29, 2021

Spring in my Studio

 I've re-organized the little studio AGAIN and keep trying out different ways to make the space work for me.  Gradually it is coming together. I bought a used bookcase this past week (out of the photo) but that has definitely eased up the storage.  It's important to know WHERE things are (of course) and be able to get to them rather quickly.  If I need a black permanent pen or a flat acrylic brush or carbon ink for my fountain pen, or have run out of opera watercolor...spending half an hour locating it in the middle of a project won't do.  You don't want to be grumpy in your studio which is a "happy place".  Tons of article are written about "how to organize" your work place or the "advantages of organization" etc.  I know this is not new news to anyone who makes art!!!  I am in the process of doing some "labeling" which helps.  AND I have purchased a small comfy chair which will, I hope, tuck itself into one corner.  That is something I had in Florida and strangely I miss that a lot.  

This week's botanical art included saying good bye to my beautiful tulips who have given us two weeks of lovely blooms but are finished up now.  And sketching the milkweed that Julie brought over on her visit on Saturday.  Am thinking the seeds should go into the prairie that we have here on campus!

This week's online workshop was by Karen Knudsen on the Dillman's Facebook page.  It will probably be up and viewable for awhile.  Be sure to take a look as it's quite fun and if you have some acrylics it doesn't take anything very unusual to complete.  She's teaching up there in late May.  

Off to my yoga class.
Have a great week.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

A Potpourri of Art Activities over the weekend

Sketchbook Revival again (4th year) sort of drew me in.  Of course my life is not totally my own right now...although we are making progressing as weather improves in Wisconsin we are to get out and about more.  

But in-between I am trying to squeeze in a little art and the mini lesson on stamp carving and then layering the printing seemed to hit the spot for me.  I want to play more with that!  

 Then as we "spring forward" I started a new "mini journal" page in a new journal all together!  I got my clock up in the studio...comforting to have the old clock up there.  And then Marlene knit me some Bernie Sanders mittens which arrived just in time for the snow!  So I got to wear them!  

And Greg and I are nursing a lovely pot of pink tulips on our window sill.  So pretty and so helpful as we wander our way through the fickle and mired weather days of Wisconsin March.  

And then Zentangle is starting Project Pack #13 which is VERY different than one I've ever includes water-soluble graphite and a brush and a clear glaze pen.  The leaf shaped background is made with diluted graphite and a brush.  

My chop is an inverted V (for Virginia) and and S for Stiles. 

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Pulling together Thoughts of Transition During the Pandemic

 It's been quite awhile since I finished a "tiny journal" page. This one had a few "oversized" entries.  I mean bigger than 2" x 2".  In actuality only the mask made for Mardi Gras is the original size.  I think it seems like a bit larger-than-life month for Greg and me.  

So this page represents the new beginning of our life "back in Wisconsin".  The sweet little clock from my daughter, Beth's home in St. Charles, ILL, represents the "interim time" between Florida and Wisconsin.  She put us up for about 5 days as we waited for the moving truck to arrive.  

We arrived at University Oaks in Madison at EXACTLY 10:51am on January 28.  We had to take a Covid test and so that name tag stated the time of the test.  It marked the exact arrival in an amazing way. Such a bitter cold two months...with windchills like -27.  Huge shock to two Florida refugees.  

It was hard to exactly pinpoint which of the many many things that have happened between January 28th and March 11th should be documented.  I usually just let the chips fall where they may on these things and it usually works out okay.  Moving left to right you'll see a welcome basket from my daughter and son in law, Mark, who live in Madison (with wine) and then the lovely old Sycamore tree which caught the snow on it's little fruit (seed) balls like little elf caps.  Giving our new home on 4th floor the name "Sycamore Tree House".  Then Mardi Gras mask making, and then our Covid Vaccination record card...we got our second shots on March 3, 2021.  And then the long awaited new sofa arrived making our little apartment home cozy along with a desk that we ordered unassembled AND put together OURSELVES (talk 8 hours of construction!). 

Then the brave step I took in upgrading my MacBook Air to Big Sur which is the latest upgrade to MacOS system.  All by myself!!!  And then finally our new WI driver's licenses and back into my new studio with some new ink pads for an upcoming project.  

This page completes this particular sketchbook.  A year long project overall, started Jan 12, 2019.  So it is my Pandemic Sketchpad.  I am guessing we'll all will have some memory like or sketches or something that we will hold in our hands and remember the strange amazing year. Something we'll pass along to our great grandchildren and try to tell them how it was.  And I know it's not over yet.  I am praying that we see the light now.  

But we lost so much.  I am praying that we learned some things too.

I look back at the last theme...about the butterfly who "has time enough" and I pray for all of us that there is "time enough" in your life too.  


Thursday, March 4, 2021

Botanical Zen: A Relaxed Approach to Nature Inspired Patterns: A Zoom Class

Botanical Zen: A Relaxed Approach to Nature Inspired Patterns

A Zoom Class offered on Sunday April 25 from 1-4 pm


Here's a little information about the Zoom class...

It's being offered in conjunction with Olbrich Gardens in Madison, WI and registration costs $16.  Information and supply list is available on the following link.

I am co- teaching the class with my daughter, Julie, who is also a certified Zentangle® teacher.  

You can find out more about Zentangle at or by clicking the Zentangle link above in the header on my blog.  Julie and I will be teaching from Madison, Wisconsin, of course, but due to the joys of Zoom it doesn't matter where you are!  Come and celebrate spring with us and learn more about the joys of relaxing and meditative Zentangle.  

Naturally, we love working with students in person best and hope that it won't be too long before we can do that again.  In person classes in Zentangle generally run about $35/person including supplies.  So we are happy to offer this virtual class at a big discount so that you can get started enjoying the benefits of celebrating spring in a new way!  

No drawing experience is required and the supplies are simple.  You will need two 10" x 10" sheets of wc or drawing paper...smooth paper is best.  I recommend Canson Montval wc paper or something similar to a 140# paper (or drawing paper).  A fine line pen such as Sakura Micron .01 or PN (plastic nib) pens or Faber Castell Fine.  A extra-fine Sharpie can substitute but is not my favorite.  And a cardboard tortillion blender.  These can be ordered on Amazon or found in any art supply store or sometimes at Michaels.  They often come in a bag.  Pick small or medium.  

If you have any questions about the class you can use the comment section below in my blog or email me directly at