What Are You Waiting For? It’s State Fair Sketching Time!

I love Fairs!  Where else is there a multitude of creatures just hanging around begging to be included in my sketchbook.


A couple of warm-ups and I’m ready to go!


Sometimes there are so many to choose from… I decide to sketch as many as possible. (Check out that Lamancha goat! I was astounded to learn they’re born without external ear flaps… pinnae.)


I even go one to pose for me after his turn in the show ring.


Sometimes humans are interested in my work… the cows? Not so much! ( I thought Holsteins were only black and white. Not so! These red and white girls are Holsteins too! )


There’s still time for you to take your sketchbook and get in on the fun. New Hampshire’s Hopkinton State Fair is open tomorrow and Monday. If you’ve missed your chance at your nearest fair I highly recommend you start planning for next year… I know I am!

Journaling Current Events

Are you having trouble coming up with an idea for a journal entry? Are you looking for journal prompts?  Sometimes the best ideas can be plucked from the news. It can be as simple as adding an image, as in my quick take on Monday’s Super-Moon.


Along with my soluble ink and watercolor wash I used a bit of Titanium White gouache for the moon. Nice and opaque… I’m liking that.

And today is the third annual World Elephant Day. A little web search found a host of activities going on… too bad the day will soon be over. Instead I created my own homage. A few years ago I inherited a lovely book, The Eye of the Elephant by Delia and Mark Owens; it tells the personal story of the authors’ quest to save the endangered elephants of Zambia. I’ve always loved their cover image… to me elephants really are the soul of Africa. My copy of it became a way to remember how treasured they should be.


And then there’s Robin Williams. As one who’s had friends and family members who suffered with depression, and ultimately suicide, my wounds go deep. There will be pages. Reflections, maybe even images.

Quinn McDonald said it well today.

None of us knew Robin William’s suffering, but we know that silence is a killer. Our culture doesn’t approve of any perceived mental weakness, and the more the secret of depression is kept, the bigger the horror of it grows.

Allow the pain in your life to speak. Give your friend, your relative, your lover, your partner the gift of the question that heals: Why do you suffer so?

If you know someone who needs to talk, or if you do, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255). The group is a series of 163 crisis centers in 49 states. Your call is confidential.

Fountain Pen Fun!

I am NOT addicted!

If this sounds a bit defensive… well………


From left to right… TWSBI Mini Fine, Visconti Traveling Ink Pot, Pelican M200 Fine, Duke with bent calligraphy nib, Pentel Pocket Brush Pen, Pelican M200 Medium, Lamy Joy with 1.5 calligraphy nib, Platinum Preppy, Lamy Safari Extra Fine, Lamy Vista black EF, Lamy Al-Star F, and an old Mont Blanc rollerball, just because it writes well.


My favorites are filled with different inks for different purposes.  My Pelican at the top is loaded with regular black Waterman ink… it’s soluble and bleeds wonderfully when hit with water. The silver Duke has Noodler’s Lexington Gray which needs a bit longer on the paper to become permanent. The lowermost pen is my beloved TWSBI Mini with a Fine point… LOVE! I’ve filled it with Platinum Carbon Black ink which has been the most reliably permanent ink I’ve tried.

What’s that just above the TWSBI?  It’s my Visconti Traveling Ink Pot… it holds plenty of ink for quite a few refills. I load it with the PCB and it tucks neatly into my TSA approved quart sized fluid bag for carry-on travel.  I’ve been away for more than 2 weeks and it’s served me well!


At this point I only have black fountain pen inks but I’m planning on remedying that! I have an order pending with my friends at Goulet Pens.  FAIR WARNING!  Do not click that link unless you are prepared to spend substantial time and have your credit card handy.

Addicted?  hmmmmm….   Obsessed?  OK, I’ll give you that.