Friday, July 10, 2015


Life throws us 'normal weeks' filled with sadness, energy and joy.

My 94-year old mother-in-law is failing. She has had a long and full life. Right now, she is an old woman who needs comfort, attention, touch, and love. Life seems to come back around, doesn't it? Just like my mother-in-law needs to be cared for in the way we care for babies.

At the same time we are on alert for news of her, I am trying to complete two different art projects for submission before the deadline next week. In the midst of this normal, hectic week, I received an email from a friend that made me laugh as soon as I opened it. She sent me these two images:

Photos by Pam Okasaki

I'm not a big believer in heavenly angels, but I do think that people are the angels in our midst. How many times have you been slogging along with daily existence when you have been startled by someone who makes you pause, makes you laugh, or makes you smile: a respite from your daily grind. Here's to all the earthly angels out there! And if you have images of faces that you would like to share, send them to me at

The New York Times ran a feature article recently about adults coloring in coloring books to gain tranquility. Growing up, I loved to color in coloring books. I could wile away a whole afternoon filling the pages with color. I've just received news that a Zen Doodle that I made will be included in North Light's new coloring book, "Zen Doodle Coloring Book". That's exciting for me, and has renewed my interest in coloring books. Now I am working on some drawings that I hope will become a coloring book of my own.

I am using photos that I have taken (all of those hundreds of photos of flowers that I have taken finally will be put to good use) and converting them to coloring book drawings. Here is an example of how I create a workable drawing.

The original photograph

I made a photo copy of the photo

From that, a pencil tracing. Here is where I eliminated unnecessary or confusing shapes.

Then another, cleaner tracing.

Finally a drawing on velum using Pentel's Tradio Stylo Sketch Pen, which I love because of the flexibility of its nib. (caution: the ink is not waterproof)

Now I need your help. I need someone who loves to color to color this drawing. I need to know if the shapes are clear. Can you tell which is a leaf and which is a flower petal? Is it fun to color? What are your suggestions?

You can scan your resulting coloring to me at You will be one of my angels!

Check out Zen Doodle Coloring Book at 

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