Be Like Mandela…

… be an optimist!

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being an optimist is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many moments when my faith in humanity was surely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

——-  Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom (1994)

18 July 1918 – 05 December 2013

Freezing Time

After Monday’s post I kept thinking of why I keep my sketchbook-journal and remembered this piece of wisdom from Julia Cameron I wrote on the page where I played with my watersoluble inks.


So much of the adventure of the life we lead rushes past us in a blur. Velocity is the culprit. Velocity and pressure. A sketchbook freezes time. It is an instantaneous form of meditation focusing us on the worth of every passing moment. So often the great adventure of life lies between the lines, in how we felt at a certain time and at a certain place. This tool will help you remember and savor the passing parade.

 —Julia Cameron, Walking in this World: The Practical Art of Creativity

Cold Weather – Warm Café

Winter has been creeping up on us and it’s become tougher to brave the elements and sketch outside. Thank goodness for the welcoming ambiance of a local café… the Tuckerbox, located on a corner in downtown White River Jct. Vermont.

I love people watching and have been working on sketching figures to improve my grasp of features and proportions. As I enjoyed my mocha I was treated to a splendid view of my fellow patrons.  Some, like this trio, were only there for a few minutes so fast was the operative word. I used one of my fountain pens filled with water-soluble ink…. just a touch with my wet brush gave me all the shading I needed.

141113aBut then there were the “regulars”… like this fellow.  Over the few hours I was there I saw him nurse his coffee, finish his work at the bar, leave and then return for lunch with friends. It was as if the Tuckerbox had become his office.

141113bI loved fleshing out his history in my mind as I sketched him… who knows… blogger? local reporter? … or, boringly… just one of the owners. Maybe I’ll just have to become one of the regulars to find out.