Calligraphy practice is my meditation

How I use my art journals for calligraphy practice

Every since third grade handwriting class, I’ve had a love affair with letters and making beautiful script. Mrs. Patterson’s class with the letter charts decorating the wall above the chalkboards (no white board then people) was my favorite time of the school day.

Throughout my early school years and then into college, I practiced a variety of styles and kept a keen interest in alphabet forms and the history of calligraphy in general. These days, I blend my art journal images with calligraphy practice in various sketchbooks and planners.

365 days of art journal designs

I currently have four different diaries, or journals that I have committed to practice in daily throughout the year. Most spreads are not planned out and grow intuitively as the verse, or song, or image is chosen. I have a small box of ephemera which contains paper images that I have made, some that have been rubber stamped, and older pieces of my art that have been re-purposed as “collage” material.

Most often, it is simply a process of reaching in and pulling out surprises. Yes, a small pile of bits are often sifted through and more often than not, a page direction is serendipitously created. It truly is a joy to see things come together as paint, paper, and ink are merged into an artistic message.

Simple, slow living–mindfulness and art as meditation. The joys of art supplies and streaming music in my studio, playing with color, form, line, and words. I couldn’t imagine life any other way.

 The art and calligraphy journals of 2017…

Sumi ink with a dip pen in my Hobonichi Techo. Watercolors.

Washi tape. Watercolors. Sumi ink and colored pencil. Moleskine pocket-sized daily diary.

Watercolors and brush lettering in the beautiful Fabriano Venezia sketchbook.

Watercolors and dip pen calligraphy in a Leuchtturm sketchbook.

Watercolors in my daily Hobonichi art and quotes journal. Moon Palace Sumi ink.

I ordered a blank, wooden oblique holder from Paper Ink Arts and hand painted acrylic florals around the base. Practicing curly a alphabet style in my Peter Pauper Press grid notebook.

… and so continues the 2017 art and calligraphy journey.

Hobonichi Art Journal Flip

Patience is the name of the game when uploading videos to YouTube, but due to several requests, I’m giving YouTube another try. Unfortunately, uploading speeds are notoriously slow, at least for me here at home, and the frustration level peaks when dealing with the wait times as the videos process at a snail’s pace.

But it’s there! Finally! The YouTube video has processed. It is just a flip through of my Hobonichi Techo Art Journal so far for 2017 with some commentary on the techniques and supplies that I used. If there are any specific videos you would like to see, please leave me a comment below! 🙂

Mixed media on German text

I began using some old books for mixed media experiments. Here are a few samples of art marking on an old German book I purchased from a university library sale. I really liked the old German typography, and I used various pastels, pencils, and paint to overlay visual interest while allowing the text to show through. Some pages I will rip out of the book and add to my collage art, some will stay in the book itself. It is convenient to work on a page in between other studio projects, and it’s always helpful to have interesting images lying around to use when needed.

white rock



 german girl


Daily Mixed Media

My intention for 2014 was to do more daily art–something creative to keep the studio tools engaged and my art brain in experimental, play mode. So far, so good. I’ve mostly been adding some new mixed media pieces in my Canson XL art journal; these are small entries measuring around 5×7 inches, and the results have been very satisfying. It’s relaxing, and there is no pressure to create a masterpiece during these exercises. It’s just simple art fun, and that’s the best kind of creativity.

Usually I start with some graphite marks and some found papers. From there, I use oil pastels (water soluble), acrylics, graphite, watercolor pencils, and anything else lying around that will work in building color and form! The fun part is using all these art toys and seeing what happens in the end.

    offthegridr off the grid 2